Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Week's Social Media Experiment

Employment seekers, Canadian National Exhibition, 1920s. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1360.
The experiment: use social media to seek out work opportunities, to uncover possibilities I'm unaware of, to put it out there that I'm really - REALLY - looking for work to keep myself solvent these days. Utilizing Twitter and Facebook, I would focus the day's postings on attracting attention to my work quest, and the skills I bring to potential employers. 

7:00 A.M. Ready and willing to work for living wage.

8:00 A.M. If you're hiring today, follow ABBA's advice and take a chance on me.

9:00 A.M. Looking for a writer/researcher/communications person? Check out my LinkedIn profile. Then, let's talk!

10:00 A.M. Some old dogs can't be taught new tricks. This one can. Let's talk work opportunities where I can use old and learn new skills.

11:00 A.M. Research and writing aren't easy. They require skill to clarify any subject. I can create accessible content for your audience.

12:00 P.M. Lunch break. Because job hunters need to catch their breath.

At this point, I figured my Facebook followers required an explanation.

In case you're confused by my sudden tidal wave of posts, I'm running an experiment today involving hourly updates on social media to see if they result in any job/freelance work leads. If they are annoying the heck out of you, I apologize - sometimes experiments do that. It looks like I may have driven off some Twitter followers, though those may have been spambot accounts.

Sometimes you just have to try every trick you can think of.

This has been spurred by one of the worst bouts of existential angst I have ever experienced - last night my brain explored really dark places. Call this an attempt at a positive countermeasure that, fingers crossed, results in something. After all, as pointed out at this weekend's Toronto Park Summit, a positive approach works better than pure complaining/whining.

Maybe. Possibly. Who knows?

1:00 P.M. (Twitter version) Looking for freelance or contract help for your next project? Here's an award-winning example of my work.

On Facebook, instead of posting the 1:00 P.M. noted,  I wrote a thank you note for the feedback on the explanation note. All the comments were really appreciated and did wonders for my psyche. I know a lot of wonderful people, and hope to repay them by helping out if they find themselves in the same boat someday.

2:00 P.M. You require a short, snappy column for your site. Let's say words and images from your archives to dazzle readers? I can help.

3:00 P.M. The news cycle never sleeps. Neither does the need for historical context for headline stories. I can help.

4:00 P.M. Pinched for time for that personal/work research trip to the archives or library? I can help.

5:00 P.M. End of business day. Thanks for reading (or putting up with, depending on perspective) today's work-hunting tweets.

The results? Several job postings were passed my way, which I'll work on the rest of this week. It doesn't look like I drove people away - my Twitter feed lost three followers, but those may have been commercial/spam accounts. If any work opportunities present themselves in the next week or so because of this experiment, I'll mark it down in the lab report as success.

It's a tough market out there, but I'll muddle my way through if only through grizzled persistence and getting over my occasional bouts of pitchophobia. Fingers crossed.

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