As a social media strategist, our latest recruit PR Executive Roseanne Ganley has always been aware of the power of a platform. But while she has had plenty of experience using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to push a client’s agenda, here she explains how she used them to promote herself – and land her dream job with Prominent.
It’s happened to so many people in the last year. Redundancy as a result of Covid cutbacks, pandemic pay freezes and furlough finales.
But knowledge that I was not alone in my misery didn’t make it any less shocking when I lost my job.
In a situation like that you don’t know whether to cry, rush to the nearest supermarket and buy a tub of ice cream, or go for a long drive to clear your head (which, after Dominic Cummings little jaunt up north mid-lockdown was not really advisable).
Instead, I packed up my things in the office, said my goodbyes and rushed straight home to see my partner Emily and three-year-old lurcher Abi.
As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted by four paws and two arms, a big hug and reassurances that “everything was going to be ok.”
This helped. I struggled with anxiety and depression for the majority of my younger years, so my default mechanism was to curl up into a ball and cry myself to sleep. But things felt different this time.
Rather than dwell, I grabbed my laptop, logged in to my LinkedIn profile and shared a post update, letting everyone know that I had just been made redundant and asking all of my connections to share with their network to help me find work again.
I was bowled over by the response.
Within a couple of hours I had an overwhelming number of supportive messages as well as private messages from social media marketers, recruiters, CEOs of companies and marketing directors asking about my professional experience.
I had a month before finances would start to be a problem so I knew I had to seize on the opportunities presenting themselves to me.
I had interview, after interview, after interview. Informal chats, first stage interviews and daunting second stage interviews which required me to present comprehensive social media strategies, audits and proposals.
Some employers never got back to me, some took a lifetime to respond, some got my hopes up, then let me down. But, with every interview I became more confident in my ability to sell myself. I learned to be more resilient and accept that not everything is meant to be.
Long gone are the days of walking into an office and handing in your CV.
But social media opens doors of its own.
I took advantage of what was on offer online and used my unemployment to expand my skill set, taking courses with SEMRush and LinkedIn Learning and sharing the certificate on my profile.
I also set up my own website and freelance social media offering, to show my ability to hustle and make stuff happen.
Then I started connecting with every marketing professional I could find in Suffolk on LinkedIn along with CEOs and directors of marketing and PR agencies. One of those just so happened to be Helen Rudd, the managing director of Prominent PR.
Helen sent me a direct message on LinkedIn, asking whether I would be interested in having an interview with herself and members of her senior management team. Of course, I gladly accepted.
At this point, I had several job offers reach my inbox and had a crucial decision to make. But I went ahead with the Prominent interview because it sounded perfect and thanks to repeatedly putting myself out there, I was at my most confident.
What’s more, Helen, Abi and Ellen immediately made me feel at ease and I knew once the interview had finished that, if I were to be offered the position, it had now gone straight to the top of my list.
Happily, they were back in touch by the end of the day and this week I started my brand new job.
In our industry, we place a great deal of importance on using social media properly.
Clients are encouraged to share their news and views online to grow their customer base, to help them recruit, to boost their reputation or simply to be a thought-leader in their field.
We spend an inordinate amount of time making sure brands look and sound good on a variety of platforms and we utilise each one to maximum effect.
Whoever you are, whatever you are selling, the key to social media success is making it work for you.
It is great for knowledge sharing, for supporting friends and colleagues and for making the seemingly impossible happen – such as setting up knowledge calls, seminars, talks, chats with professionals in your industry sector across the globe, without having to leave your house.
Looking back on my decision to be honest and open about my work situation on a social media platform, I don’t regret a thing.
It can be hard to reach out for help when the going gets tough but if you don’t, you never know what’s possible.
Photo - Roseanne Ganley (right) with her partner Emily
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