Email Alisha here.
Teach Newark is live!
The Opportunities Project has invited me to run a new social media recruitment campaign for the Newark Public Schools system. I’m excited, scared, but hopeful to get my feet wet in the world of education reform. I’m also interested in talking with young people who are entering the workforce as teachers at such a difficult time and environment. Have any input?
I look forward to the challenge ahead!
Update: I’ve been mentioned in 5 Mashable pieces. Take a read!
TweetMyJobs: the social job search
I’ve been testing out new social job search networks this week but haven’t found a perfect match for the types of jobs I’m looking for.
Anyone have tips on stellar communities for well-rounded social media professionals like me?
I wanted to quickly share some insight from last week’s post on TechnologyReview.com which presumes today’s online presence is a bigger factor in securing a job than that dry, boring resume you send out. I completely agree that having a proactive strategy to showing who you are, what you do (or want to do), and your values in a creative way using the web is far more interesting and successful than cleaning up a dated resume. Personally, I’ve landed more gigs through my Flavors.me webpage and Mashable mentions than through a resume email attachment. So can you if you take advantage of opportunities through the social web.
Here’s what TR had to say:
“The résumé is vanishing as a way of representing who you are,” says Launa Forehand of Jobspring. Jobseekers…are proving their value through participation in online communities, and employers are increasingly using those venues to find and vet candidates.
One of the most important qualities as a jobseeker today is having a genuine interest in participating in relevant conversations. Find topics to talk about your passions, and connect with like-minded people. Those communities will do wonders for contact leads and resource exchanges.
“Being willing to share things you don’t know and seeking help in solving problems you’re working on are enormously powerful ways to attract people who share your interests.”
Ask, ask, ask. Never be afraid to speak up if you don’t know where to start or are stuck on getting to that next level. Just remember to be nice, return the favor, and know your boundaries.
Earlier generations might view such naked exposure as a double-edged sword. After all, answering a question online can reveal ignorance as well as expertise. In the emerging online ecosystem, though, it may be more important to contribute to the community than to demonstrate individual mastery.
I often work with both young professionals and older-generation businessmen and women who need a boost of courage when it comes to making a digital footprint. The best advice I can offer is experiment. In the beginning, the online world is very much a trial and error system. One way to gain confidence is to map out a SWOT analysis: your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Discover a community of thought leaders, peers/friends/colleagues, and mentors around those questions to develop a support system. The more you contribute, the better your reputation.
“Community isn’t just about relationships—it’s about becoming smarter and better at what you do,” says Jonathan Reed, an enterprise staffing consultant.
As a community manager to over a dozen sites in recent years, I can tell you that the most successful communities have emerged through cultivating relationships. Providing intelligent conversation starters and encouraging feedback is one of the best ways to attract audiences, whether you’re a company or a single professional. Don’t abuse those relationships.
For my tips on careers and business, read my contributing articles here.
Work with me this summer as WECREATE launches a new mentorship program open to the highly curious minds dedicated to creating a sustainable future.
My exclusive announcement is finally here: I am quitting my freelance career.
Five years of bouncing around gigs in pursuit of an entrepreneurial dream… I quit. I’ve thought a lot about how I want to share my story publicly so it was perfect timing that Stephanie Vorhees at Crush New York approached me for an interview last week.
I’ve been taking a long, hard look at the career path I’ve dealt with this past year. New Years Eve I laid in bed unconsolable as I tried to think of just one success from each month that had just passed by. I couldn’t. Every month seemed to end up worse than the previous and I was puzzled as to why this kept happening. Opportunities that presented themselves as meaningful, enjoyable, and promising quickly became nightmares for me. I couldn’t get things right and the line between my personal life and my professional career began to blur. Despite my best efforts, I was falling apart.
Things were really, really bad. I was left without a place to live three times in 2012. I noticed myself becoming a different person: someone with no motivation, no trust in other people, a distracting negative attitude, and crushing stress that took a toll on me in ways I never thought imaginable.
Five years of this crap wasn’t worth it.
In the end, unable to look back with pride on work I had done (with a majority of roles I flat out abandoned for more reasons than one), losing my confidence and motivation to contribute my talent, and being disregarded in too many ways, I gave up. I knew that things had to change and they had to change NOW. My life depended on it.
So, how did I quit and what am I doing now?
Getting a job is all about who you know. It’s the oldest tip in the book, and it’s absolutely true. You never know who may have an offer you can’t refuse one day, and that is exactly why I always tell people to connect with people in a meaningful way. Don’t think about business cards; think about conversation.
For me, it’s also all about timing. Good timing has always been unpredictable for me, and this time was one of those perfect times.
With no desire to stay in New York, given I had no money or guaranteed long-term offers, I was on my last leg to find an excuse to give this “career-y thing” one more shot. At my lowest of lows, that’s when I got recruited by a good friend of mine whom I had met at a travel happy hour for the opening position of Digital Sales Planner at THE WEEK and mental_floss. We know each other pretty well and have exchanged many pro-tips, attended the same tech events, and even did some bike rides together (this is my version of “networking”). No application, no job description, no experience in sales required. The job was mine if I wanted it. Salary, benefits, and paid vacation were also on the table.
I of course accepted. For the first time in my professional career, I felt I had made the right adult decision. I finally could see a future for myself again and could regain confidence and challenge myself to accomplish better work. As Digital Sales Planner, I am able to take all of my digital media experience creating, managing, and measuring integrated advertising programs for publishing. It’s a new world for me, but I welcome the learning curve.
I thank every one who has followed my story and continues to follow my story no matter what successes and failures I go through along the way. I hope that I can inspire you to also find your own path and create a meaningful career, even if it takes longer than you want and requires you battle the same obstacles I had to. I welcome your comments (and congratulations) with open arms. Feel free to email me at my new address or ask a question or tweet me.
See you at the water cooler…