Whether or not you can find work, you can be active within your industry. Before I started my new company, Pathos Social Media, I wanted to make sure that I was demonstrating my skills for prospective clients and/or employers. Nothing will kill your job search more than inactivity, because it makes you look out of touch!
Starting a personal project is an opportunity to be discoverable. In a world of products and services, folding and expanding at every moment, everything is more specific and more targeted. I believe every person can find success within their respective niche. In the old days, it was all about well-rounded, but now that jobs are hard to find, it’s more important to be better than everyone else at what you do. So, focus on your talents and refine them to a shining point. Doing whatever it is that you do well will spur others to talk about you.
Since I’m sure you will have a firm grasp on marketing yourself, the work you do with your personal project will attract attention to you. Personal projects are real manifestations of your talent. Moreover, they are great means of obtaining referrals, as you inspire and interact with others in your best light.
Once someone discovers your work and likes it, you have opportunity. Then it’s about who they know, what they offer, and how you can help each other succeed. Instead of an opportunity you have to mold yourself to, this one might just be built for you alone. Imagine, a list of job responsibilities built to draw upon your very best skills.
How Do I Show My Skills?
I’ll answer your question with another question — what are you passionate about?
Once you identify what you love, you can try to figure out how to improve or contribute to that using your signature skill set.
I started Project Lookup with the hope of increasing optimism, celebrating perspective, and connecting people. As a Social Media Marketer and geek, I believe in the power of networking. So frequently, I dream up ways to connect people to businesses they love, establish ethos, and create awareness, but without a ton of experience, I had to figure out a way to show clients I knew what I was doing. Moreover, I had to stay fresh on the latest Social Media Marketing strategies. Project Lookup is a guinea pig for me in many ways. I am passionate about the goals of the project, which satisfies me every day — especially as it grows in popularity. However, the biggest advantage is using Project Lookup as a model for more risky marketing ideas. Since this project is non-commercial, I don’t have to worry about it failing. In fact, I know that everything I do with it contributes in some small way to the community I love.
Find a Cause
Ultimately, people do business with people, not businesses. If you can find a way to demonstrate your humanity, it may benefit you in other ways. Think of all the entrepreneurial success stories — someone starts a project they believe in, people respond to their passion, the project becomes successful, and suddenly the job appears. Whether it be running your cause or duplicating your approach for someone else, you can find a way to succeed with your current talents, starting today.
Don’t wait for opportunity; make it come to you! Giving back may not pay the bills in the beginning, but it might be the visibility, inspiration, and practice you need to succeed later on. If nothing else, call it great karma.
About the Author: Andrew Grossman is a business owner and an active Social Media Marketing professional in Portland, OR. He has experience building brands, communities, and social campaigns for small businesses, as well as corporate entities. Andrew has a passion for search engine marketing and optimization, practicing both organic SEO and paid search advertising. In his free time, he writes for his professional blog, he writes guest posts for Undergrad Success , and he also advises social startup ventures, making community impact. Connect with Andrew on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter!