There’s no doubt that the economy is struggling and finding work can be extremely difficult. It’s even more difficult to find a job that you enjoy doing. Wouldn’t you like to be able to find a job that you enjoy or you really want in a tough economy?
It’s beyond apparent that social media is being used by companies to find new potential employees. Not to mention, social media by itself is a passion of many people out there; including myself.
So if I were to tell you the secret formula to land a job with one of the largest social media agencies, would you be interested in how to do that? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to cover. I did this myself and I think you should all know how to do it too.
How Can I Overcome The Tough Economic Times?
Yes, everyone is in a tough position and jobs are limited, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. You have to make your own life and you can’t let external factors affect you.
These factors are present in your life, but I’ve still managed to have 5 jobs (well paying) during a time where people can’t find work. The bottom line is…I don’t become a product of my environment and neither should you.
Social media has made it possible to connect with not only people who share the same passions as you, but even find the job of your dreams. It sounds cliche, but I was able to put this plan into action.
Believe it or not, working at a social media agency will teach you more than you can imagine, but more on that a little later.
The “Waiting Game” Is The Tough Part
I’ve posted cliche sayings on the blog quite often. Like you, I never believed most of them because most of the time it sounds like dead air. However, the saying, “good things come to those who wait” is true.
The dream job I landed back in 2010 was with a huge social media marketing agency, which has expanded from NY to San Francisco called Vaynermedia. The company was founded by AJ Vaynerchuk and his brother…the one and only Gary Vaynerchuk.
You might be wondering, how in the world did I get to work for these brilliant people? (Not to mention, when I was trying to work for the company, they weren’t really hiring and hadn’t expanded).
The answer is simple, but it involves dedication and holds true to beliefs that Gary and AJ believe in and that’s hustle. Another cliche saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is true too, but the problem is most people don’t have that drive. I sometimes wish I had the intelligence of some people I surround myself with because I would know exactly how to capitalize on their abilities.
I understand what my abilities are and that’s the ability to persevere and not quit until I reach the end goal; no matter how difficult or out of reach that goal may be.
Why Are You Referencing A Job You Had In 2010?
The answer to this question is simple too. Even though I don’t work there anymore, I still have an incredible amount of respect for Gary and AJ and still keep in touch with them. As a matter of fact, it’s because of them I realized my true passion. Also, the lessons I’m teaching in this post can be applied to ANY job you may want whether that be in social media or a different field.
I believe 2010 is a great place to reference because jobs were scarce like they are today, yet, as mentioned earlier…I didn’t become a product of my environment.
So how did being social make this all come to fruition?
Capitalize On Being Social
You probably think I’m going to give you tips on what everyone else does in this industry has done and that’s harpoon on Facebook and Twitter for landing the dream job at a social media agency. Well, I’m not.
I knew Gary was a busy guy and having followed him for a long time, I wanted to work for him and learn from him.
Although, the numbers caught up to Gary and I knew emailing him directly (even though he tries his hardest to get back to everyone) would be difficult, so I built up a relationship with his brother AJ.
It started back when I was an undergraduate in college. I emailed AJ asking if he had time to talk to him about my stresses in trying to get a job in a social media. He completely understood where I was coming from. We talked for about a half hour and then a month later I emailed him again.
You might think I was being pushy or over the top in asking advice from someone who’s a Co-Founder of a social media agency. Luckily, AJ was a good person.
You need to be personable with those in the position to possibly give you a job, but there was more than just being social that had to be done for AJ to completely take me seriously.
How was I social besides a phone call?
Well, I didn’t want to be a pain in the neck. People preach on the Internet that your “social efforts” can be associated to that annoying person who’s always talking about themselves. You don’t want to be that guy even when trying to find a job at a huge social media agency or with any other company.
When I emailed AJ, I told him that I understood Vaynermedia didn’t have any open positions, but wanted to know how often I should check back in with him to see if something was available. He told me to check in once a month and that’s what I did.
The social part comes with sending emails. As stated by marketers…email is still the best way to connect with people and I couldn’t agree more. Believe it or not, you’re marketing yourself when you want the job of your dreams and if you want it that bad, you need to go above and beyond. Although, your email can get lost if you seem like a spammer, so take the advice someone gives you when they say, “check in once a month.”
I was working a different job at the time while trying to get into Vaynermedia. I wanted to return back to NY where I’m from so bad that I wouldn’t quit. Being social isn’t just about being able to have a conversation…it’s about taking an interest in what others are doing. Gary always stated this and I took a true interest in what they were doing at Vaynermedia.
The 7 Month Wait And Email Exchange – Dedication Pays Off
I continued building my relationship with AJ to a point where I felt we became friends. It was more of me checking it to see how things were, how Vaynermedia was doing, and if I could join the team. More often than not, there wasn’t an opening, but AJ always encouraged me to keep trying.
Dedication. For those wondering…that’s how being social pays off. One random day, I emailed AJ yet again and he said, “can you come to NY so we can talk?” I almost fell out of my chair. I didn’t expect to hear this from him because I was becoming accustomed to the thing most people looking for a job are use to hearing – “there’s no positions available.”
So I booked a plane ticket, went to NY and talked with AJ. I didn’t get my hopes up, but he invited me to play football in Central Park that day. AJ and I are close in age and having built up a friendship and talking with each other in an online capacity, discussing things in person was the next important step.
I was still under the impression even while talking with him that there weren’t any positions available. So I asked him if he thought if I’d be able to work at Vaynermedia in the future. He said he definitely saw it as a strong possibility. That was a great sign and since he told me they were growing, I asked what should I tell my parents. Parents always want to know how things are going
AJ said, tell them you’re going to be an employee at Vaynermedia and give your two weeks notice to your current job!
Being Social, Being Human – That’s the name of the game
I was in stunned disbelief to the point I almost thought he was kidding. Did all that hard work, relationship building, dedication, and truly humanizing the desire I had to work for his company pay off? Yes, it did.
AJ had told me that the hustle and passion he saw was something he admired. Not to mention, I don’t know if it still holds true to this day, but I was the only employee at that time to have been hired without going through an interview process.
Although, I believe my interview process was the 7 – 9 emails I sent over the course of 7 months expressing my desire and interest to be a part of the team.
Many people have social media and connecting with people all wrong. The goal isn’t to figure out how THEY can help you grow, but how you can grow as an individual by showing who YOU REALLY ARE as a person.
Gary always talks about the humanization of business, I believe I “humanized” myself and this is what I think more people need to do with social media, being social, and finding the job they want overall.
Why Don’t You Work There Anymore And What Is The Lesson To Be Learned?
Ultimately, during my short period there, I didn’t realize I was a terrible writer and creating content is what a social media job entails. This is very important for anyone interested in working at a social media agency to understand.
At the end of the day, it was two friends who really wanted to work with one another and backed each other’s passions. Even though we parted ways, I learned more from Gary and AJ than I could anywhere else in 2010. This is where I explain, as promised from earlier in the post, what I learned…and how you can learn from this too!
- I thought I understood social media from following Gary online before working for him, but I knew nothing. There’s so much more to social media and the big secret that Gary taught me is it’s to give a shit about the person on the other end because as he says…”it’s a fucking human being.”
- I came to the realization that my true passion was web design – not working at a social media agency. Did I just blow your mind right there?
- I became humbled and found the desire to go back to school to better my skills as a coder.
- I’ve now had the opportunity to “cash in on my passion” for web design and I now design websites.
This Post Is Not For Me. It’s Meant To Show You What Being Social Really Is
I know I talked a lot about my experiences in this post, but it wasn’t to brag about myself. It’s to show how difficult it really is to get what you want in the social media space or connecting / engaging with the right people in general. Social media is saturated and connecting with people through email is difficult because well known people are getting pitched left and right.
The true individual to succeed is the person who displays that desire to not quit and go after it. Those are the people that companies, influencers, entrepreneurs, and other people want to connect / work with. While you may be promoting yourself…and they know that, your allowing yourself to be vulnerable and show who you are as a person.
It’s too often in social media that we don’t really get to know who people really are and those sitting behind a logo or username think they’re doing the right thing. The fact of the matter is you’re really just another fish in the sea by engaging in those practices alone. So stand out, take a chance, be vulnerable, and make yourself someone worth talking to. In Gary’s talks, he mentions that he loves the climb. If you don’t enjoy that, you’re not going to enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something like building your online presence or landing that job with one of the largest social media agencies.
Also, as an added bonus, if you don’t believe that my dedication paid off, Gary and I did an interview for my podcast not too long ago and when I thanked Gary for doing the interview, this is what he had to say: