Every night, before I go to bed, I visit Kijiji on my iPhone. I broadly set the category to “cameras, camcorders” and hit “Search”. This gives me all the listings in the category and I go through each one until I hit posts from the previous night. I do this because you never really know what you’ll find or realize what you need until you see it listed.
Like a GoPro I bought, which then landed me a job at AcuityAds.
Networking Even When You’re Not Supposed To
A little background though, AcuityAds is a RTB platform powered by machine learning technology to help advertisers target their digital consumers through online display, video, and mobile campaigns. Turns out, the seller was a Sr. Director there.
But how did I go from buying a GoPro to working at AcuityAds though? Well, being too kind of a seller, she handed me her business card, so that in case something was wrong with the GoPro, I could essentially “return” it. I would’ve never intended to do so – you go in with that risk buying secondhand. Prior to exchanging the goods, we had a quick chat about the work she did and what AcuityAds was – I was completely oblivious to the online advertising world, so a lot of what she said went in one ear and out the other.
It wasn’t until I got home that I decided to Google the company, strictly because I thought their logo looked pretty interesting. Going through their site, I had to also Google a lot of the terminology that was being used – programmatic advertising, Facebook Exchange, demand side platforms, etc.
I would’ve never imagined myself even thinking about any of what I was reading, but the more I read about it, the more interesting it got. It combined geeky algorithms, website publishers (something I am myself), and the Web. I wanted in.
That night, I emailed her back. To sum it up, I thanked her for the GoPro again, expressed my interest in what AcuityAds does, that I was open to entry level/internship positions, and then attached my resume. The next morning she responded to let me know that one of the departments were actually hiring and connected me with them, which led to an interview the next day.
Seize Every Opportunity
I got the internship in the end, but anything past getting an interview is up to your own abilities. This article was about how I got there. In essence, if you’re job searching, take risks and don’t let any opportunity slip. I made my own opportunity because I decided there was more to gain than lose – which is usually the case for most things. Stop over exaggerating the negative outcomes in your mind and just do it. Allow yourself to fail because only thinking about failing means you’re standing still, actually failing means you’re learning which direction to head.
- Follow-up with professionals you meet, but don’t just try and get something from them, I always give and wait (not ask) to get in return. Giving in this sense can be sending them app recommendations you may have discussed as a reminder and simplifying their search efforts. Basically, don’t try and milk any relationship, build a connection and the opportunities will follow.
- Even easier, connect with local professionals you admire through Twitter, and ask them out for a coffee.
- Find reason to meet others individually, whether it’s Tinder, Kijiji, or at a Meetup – personally, I find the key is to make the interaction independent, compared to a school event where 30 other students are also trying to network.
Remember, especially with anything I say, that everyone’s situation is different. Don’t take each point like it’s a how to guide, make your own points out of it. No article told me to follow-up with sellers for a job, but they did convince me that it doesn’t hurt to try.
To finish, here are some great articles with tips and tricks:
- Networking for Introverts
“Create a comfortable environment for yourself. Learn about the individual in advance and think through the ways you can help them and vice versa.”
- Networking Tips: Go From Awkward to Awesome
“Do what you say you will do. You are done. You went to the event, worked the room because you had a plan, and you executed on that plan. Sure, you were a little nervous before every new encounter, but it got easier as the night progressed. Now, it’s time to act. Take up your new connection’s offer to help. People attend events because they are social opportunities to meet new business connections, share their platform, and learn new things. The rules of dating do not apply. Don’t wait; follow-up promptly. Be persistent while also being respectful of your new connection’s time.”
- Take Your Networking to the Next Level: Build Actual Relationships
“Building a strong, useful professional relationship with a new contact doesn’t happen overnight, but a job seeker who is out of work needs to find a job quickly — which can lead to a conundrum. Relationship building does take time (especially if you are not particularly good at it), but it is ultimately the most effective way to find a job. By not creating professional networks or relationships, your job search will take that much longer.”
- Out-of-the-Box Approaches to the Job Search (That Actually Work)
“Network in unexpected places — and always keep an ear to the ground. It can be worthwhile to put out feelers among friends, acquaintances, connections and family members when looking for a new job. Networking is one of the best ways to find a job for which you are truly a solid fit (and referrals are one of the most reliable and important sources employers depend upon for hiring). Sometimes, you can even sneak a little networking into unlikely scenarios.”