by Kevin Smith
I really mean it when I say that Twitter got me my job.
About a year and a half ago, I started to realize that my job dissatisfaction was rapidly rising. I was joining the ranks of people who read Dilbert for the empathy more than the humor.
Several months of combing job boards, sending applications, and doing interviews went arduously by. I was stuck in Office Space hell, right down to the Hawaiian shirt day (I kid you not).
It wasn’t that there weren’t other jobs; they just didn’t promise to be any better. I explored every option: do contract work long-distance, work 12 hour days with no benefits, quit and go freelance, and even considered a company that never gave me a phone number – only suspicious emails with very broken English. I just couldn’t find what seemed right.
Early in this frustrating process, I started using Twitter. I’m regularly an early adopter of most things except social media, but Twitter seemed different and worth a try. For months it served mainly as an outlet, a way to share my woe and maybe steer others away from working in a gray fabric cube.
Some of my early tweets:
“An optimist is simply a pessimist with no job experience.”
“i’m officially the only one in the office choosing to not wear a hawaiian shirt. /sigh”
“i’m going to lose my mind”
“so, who’s up for another day of meetings? :-/”
“ah linkin park, i’ll let chester scream for me”
Not surprisingly, this is not how I got my new job. Whining on the Internet does not get you jobs, and it does not get you Twitter followers. It also doesn’t make your job any better. Lesson learned.
About the same time, I started getting more interested in the programming language Ruby. As it turns out, Twitter is a great place to meet people that share your interests. I started getting more involved in the Ruby community via Twitter, went to conferences, and met some great people.
Being surrounded by people who actually cared about their craft amazingly helped me endure the job I was stuck in. Not only that, but it gave me hope that I could find a company that was a better fit for me. I started making a list of my ideal company: local, small, open-minded to new ways of doing things, focus on quality and design, Mac-users, and a place where everyone was expected to be continually learning and improving their craft.
Not long after this revelation, I realized that one of my fellow Rubyist Twitter friends, Alan, worked for a company in Greenville: Gnoso. I went to their web site (now under reconstruction) and was immediately drawn to their philosophy: “Imagination. Function. Beauty.” From the site, they seemed to fit each of my “ideal company” requirements. I couldn’t believe I’d never seen this company before, so I quickly sent them my resume. After I didn’t hear back for a couple weeks, my sudden “yes we can!” hope dwindled.
Finally, I got the nerve to tell Alan that I had sent my resume but hadn’t heard anything. Turns out my resume didn’t get through, so I sent it again.
Alan recounts the situation, “I got to know Kevin as a friend on Twitter, and then when I heard that he already sent his resume to Gnoso I ran to Peter’s office to make sure that everything was going smooth with reviewing it. I felt like I already knew Kevin, and I knew that I wanted to work with him.” After a few lunch meetings over the following months, I was hired – and it all started with Twitter!
About Twitter’s role in my hiring, Peter Waldschmidt, CEO of Gnoso, says, “We were able to get a good idea of Kevin’s skills and interests just by conversing over Twitter for several months. While it doesn’t remove the need for interviews, it makes the interview process more like hiring a friend than hiring a stranger.”
Keep an eye on how you present yourself online — you never know who is watching!
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This post was written by Kevin Smith, a software developer with the great people at Gnoso, Inc. in Greenville, SC, as one of an occasional guest-posts on MarketingProfs. Kevin loves to be inspired by passion and craftsmanship. You can find him learning about cutting-edge tech, savoring his wife’s yummy food or relaxing with friends. And, of course, you can find him on Twitter, @smithk14.