I have a confession to make: I judged people who use Twitter. I thought people who tweeted were raging narcissists with poor grammar. Oh, you tweet? Yeah, I just stopped taking you seriously. That was the old me – before I quit my job and moved to a new city.
Get to Know Your City
A funny thing happens when you’re the new kid in town and have no job. First, you spend a lot of time in coffee shops. Second, you open up to the value of social media. Four months ago I joined Twitter, and I’m glad I did.
During my second week in the city, my car got a flat tire, and I found myself in a rough neighborhood. Like bullet-casings-in-the-street kind of rough (damn you, GPS). Long story short, after I tweeted about my plight, I got a text from an acquaintance with the name and number of a reliable auto mechanic nearby.
Not only have I found a mechanic, but a fantastic sushi place, discounted train tickets and free networking events. Using Twitter to aggregate job posts and city news saved me time and money. Because let’s face it, who has time to check 40 different sites for that kind of information?
Sometimes a surge of desperation comes over me when I meet new people. I go into speed dating mode like I have two minutes to win them over. (Look, I can turn this cocktail napkin into a swan! Please like me!) Nobody likes a Desperate Debbie. I needed to leverage my network better so I turned to Twitter.
I followed people who lived in the city and engaged the influencers and those active in the social scene. If they mentioned an affinity for cupcakes or craft beer, I clicked “follow.” Simply letting people know I’m new to town opened up doors. Followers whom I had never met contacted me with the names of people they suggested I meet. Those people introduced me to more people and so on.
Find a Job
Few things suck more than being unemployed. Just like everyone else does when it’s time to find a job, I dusted off the old LinkedIn account and shouted to the world, Hire me! But I knew that wasn’t enough. You see, in my line of work—marketing and PR, social media is a big deal. You need to have a voice, and you need to shout a little louder than everyone else.
I jumped on any piece of industry news or trending topic I could find. I followed recruiters, company VPs and media sources. I even put in my Twitter bio that I was looking for a job. And then a cool thing happened. People reached out to me with advice, and in a few cases, freelance work. A well-known news contributor asked me to pitch blog topics after I tweeted an article of hers.
The point is that you never know who’s listening (or reading in this case) so why not put yourself out there? I’m not suggesting you fire off any ‘ole tweet like “I just barfed up fish tacos.” Best to keep those to yourself. Please. The point is to tweet relevant messages that align with your goals and engage with people who can help you. Because guess what? Moving to a new city is scary. You need all the help you can get. Put the power of social media to use.
Have you used Twitter or other social media to help you settle in to a new town? Any big success stories? Or horror stories? Do tell!!!
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