Mark Winter is a London-based designer who is a colleague at my present job. He recently saw my blog and mentioned his own job-hunting story. I found his story so full of lessons others might use that I asked him to write some posts about it for AlwaysBeJobHunting.com. This is the second of three installments on Mark’s creative approach to finding a job in a terrible economy. In the first, he recounted how he found his first job but was laid off as the economy soured. Here, he talks about using Facebook after all else seemed to have failed to find him a new position.
Months passed…long months of photocopying at a secondary school, wishing the ideal job would find me. I began to feel down about what I was doing with my life and wondered if my college course was worth the time and money. And then… one late night, completely fed up… I decided to create a group on Facebook.
‘The Employment of Mark J Winter’ was born. I began to fill in the description of the group, with definite tongue in cheek: “HELP ME GET A JOB & WIN 10% OF MY FIRST MONTH’S WAGES.”
I decided that if I had the help of my friends behind me, I could increase my chances of finding something. The thought of giving away 10% never bothered me in the slightest. In real terms, what is 10% of one month in a career? Also, when you take into account I’ve never been particularly driven by money it would’ve been silly of me to expect to get something for nothing.
At around 1a.m., with my face lit by the light from my ever trusty MacBook, I began laughing quietly to myself as I continued to type:
“Facebook has done some wonderful things for people: It’s helped beat X Factor to Christmas Number 1. It’s caught criminals. It’s even helping to solve world hunger. (Thought I’d made that last one up? Googled it. Fact.)
“Now I feel it’s time Facebook helped me out.
“As those of you who know me already know, and those of you who are saying ‘Who is this guy and why is he on my friends list?’ probably don’t know, I’m looking for a Graphic Design job. Preferably in Central London. Although I’m not fussy.
“Check out my website and view ‘see. speak. hear.’ for examples of my work, CV and references. I even went back to college to further my skills (check out Shillington College. Well worth it.) And I haven’t even mentioned the jobs I’ve done as favors or that time I worked for a charity… Let’s not go there.
“So, to summarize, people of Facebook… this is your chance to do a good deed and help me get a job. Go forth and spread the word of my situation. I’m a nice guy in need of a hand. You could be that hand. Tell people about this group and get them to join.
“With your help, my skills and a bit of luck, I could be the first person to beat this country’s employment crisis via the medium of Facebook.
“Please. Be kind.
“PS: The person who helps get me the job wins a 10% of my first month’s wages. Incentive.
“PPS: Are you asking how to help me get a job? Just by word of mouth. Mention me in general conversation ‘Hey, are you or do you know someone who is looking for a Graphic Designer? I know this great guy and there’s certainly no cash prize for me if you give him a job. Give him a job. Now.’”
Reading all that back now, I can see I was probably driven mad by desperation. I continued to work on the campaign for a good couple of months. I created a Twitter account and added hundreds of people in the hope they’d follow me back. I started a blog to air my updates, thoughts and ramblings. I created a video advertisement for YouTube. I made business cards advertising my campaign and left them everywhere I went. I talked to anyone and everyone, asking them to pass on my search and earn someone a few quid. I spent a great deal of time in between odd jobs working on the campaign and it really was quite exhausting. That combined with the hundreds of jobs I applied for, it really took it out of me.