Job Success Spotlight: Kathryn Janicek
Monday, December 5th, 2011
Picture it: 2008, during one of the lowest points of the recession. Kathryn Janicek had quit her job in Minnesota to move to Chicago. Though she had grown up in the area, she had been away for more than 14 years and had only a small local network–with very few of those in the highly competitive television industry.
Fast-forward 6 months. Kathryn bought a condo in Chicago, rented out her place in Minnesota (despite an extremely dismal housing and rental market), and got hired as supervising news producer at WGN-TV in Chicago. How did she do this? Two words: social networking. Read on for some of Kathryn’s tips on how she used Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find a great job in a city where she wasn’t even living:
1) She built a network FAST: By getting heavily involved with the three main social media sites, Kathryn quickly established industry connections in Chicago. Building a network this fast and from a different location simply would not have happened without these tools.
2) She reconnected with former colleagues: Kathryn was able to locate people she used to work with and put the word out that she was looking. This resulted in a friend calling the WGN hiring manager on her behalf – leading to an interview and ultimately an offer.
3) She created a strong brand: Proud to be from Chicago, Kathryn promotes the city at every opportunity. As one aspect of her brand, she’s seen as someone up to date on area activities – a strong selling point for Chicago news outlets looking for local stories.
It’s no question that social media helped Kathryn’s career, and she recommends staying conscious of the purpose of each site (i.e. LinkedIn is more professional than Facebook). This can help job seekers maintain a positive presence and also make the most of each network.
Kathryn Janicek is currently NBC-Chicago’s daypart manager/executive producer.
Will Tweet For Work
Sunday, September 26th, 2010
“Do I need to be on Twitter?” If I had a dollar for every time a coaching client asked me that… let’s just say Santa would be coming early this year.
The problem with this question is that it’s the wrong one to ask. Instead, ask yourself if you should understand Twitter and its implications in your line of business. The answer to that is easy. If you’re a marketer, OF COURSE you need to be familiar with a hot new marketing tool and how it impacts your industry. But tinkering with Twitter will not automatically:
- Decrease the length of your job search
- Increase your starting salary
- Provide endless hours of entertainment
- Reinforce your personal brand
- Eliminate the need for an integrated job search plan
- Make doing the ironing any more pleasant
Here’s my advice – take it or leave it:
- Sign up for a Twitter account if for no other reason than to experience how easy it is
- Seek out people tweeting about a topic that interests you: cars, sports, parenting, whatever
- Follow people who seem to be doing it well. You’ll know they’re good at it because you will enjoy reading their stream
- Engage. Share something, ask a question, confess to being a Twitter novice. Be human, be honest
- Pay attention to what brands are doing on Twitter so you can speak to it with confidence in an interview
- After 21 days, take your pulse. Are you having fun? Do you find it interesting? Or does that thought of logging in make want to do the ironing instead?
If after 21 days on Twitter you don’t enjoy it enough to keep it up then my answer is No, you do not need to be on Twitter. Because a poorly managed Twitter account is, in my opinion, worse than not having one at all.
I Found My Job On Twitter!
Sunday, October 25th, 2009
You’re not interested in what Brittney is wearing, where Oprah ate lunch or whether Ashton has more followers than CNN. No problem, I get it. But if you think Twitter is just colossal waste of time, think again.
People are finding jobs on Twitter. Real people like Susan Spaight Moorhead, VP of Account Management and Digital Strategy at Meyer & Wallis in Milwaukee. She may not be a celebrity, but this rock star brand strategist found value – and a job – on Twitter. Here’s her story:
Q: Susan, thanks for sharing your story with us. Let’s start with a little background on your career path and type of work you do.
I’ve been working in advertising agencies/marketing firms for nearly 20 years. I started in Account Management, then research and strategic planning, and got heavily into social media about a year ago. Now, as of one month ago, I’m VP of Account Management and Digital Strategy at Meyer & Wallis, a firm with offices in Milwaukee and Indianapolis. I don’t consider myself a social media “expert”; I am a strategist that also knows social.
Q. How did you find the job you have now?
Actually, it found me, mainly because I am very active on Twitter. I built a relationship on Twitter with a key executive at an interactive agency. That turned into drinks, which turned into an interview, which turned into a job offer that wasn’t quite right. But then, that same executive introduced me to a connection of his, also via Twitter, which turned into coffee, which turned into doing business together (he is a consultant), which turned into him recommending me for the job that I have now. It’s been quite the chain reaction.
Q. So many people are unsure how to engage on Twitter… how did you get your feet wet and start meeting like-minded Tweeps? Were you actively seeking a new job?
I was not at all actively seeking a new job. I found amazing tweeps mainly through seeing who friends and people that I consider thought leaders were following, and through #followfriday. I really cannot believe how much more connected I feel in my local marketing community than one year ago; it is absolutely amazing.
Q. What advice do you have for marketers interested in learning more about leveraging social media?
The best way to feel confident applying social media in your marketing/ communications plan is to first get comfortable using it yourself. I know it can be difficult to find the time, but it is most definitely worth finding 30 minutes a day to build your personal network while learning. Find and follow great people and actively initiate conversation. Ask people you respect who they recommend. Read, read, read. Start blogging if you are so inclined; that has been an incredible learning experience for me as well. And if you aren’t sure how to leverage social media, hire a great strategist ; )
Q. Any thoughts for job seekers on how to weave social networking into their search strategy?
In my experience, the best strategy is to weave social networking into your life before you need to search. But whether it is before your search or during, the most important thing is to put true value and equity into your relationships. Demonstrate that you really care and are not just networking superficially to try to get a job. Put some skin in the game, and keep it real.
Susan’s not alone. Recent Chicago transplant Chelsea Winkel found a great job at Duo Consulting on Twitter.
Let’s make a deal. Try it for 21 days and decide for yourself. If after three weeks you’re not convinced, at least you’ll know a bit more about what all the Twitter buzz is about, and what P. Diddy had for dinner.
Susan’s on Twitter @suespaight, Chelsea is @hirechelsea and I’m @simasays.