Use online tools to do what you want

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Maybe even use those tools to get the job you’ve always wanted.

There are currently over 5.2 million unemployed people in South Africa. What’s more is that the rate seems to be increasing every single year.

Have you ever thought it possible that you could get a job through a social networking site? Well, a barber, Clark Walker got his dream job at a New York shop through Instagram! He had been working as a barber at Ray’s Barber Shop, and found out how other barbers use the photo-sharing platform to communicate amongst themselves and customers. He began taking photos of his clients and sharing their post-haircut looks and soon he had a portfolio of images of his work at Ray’s on the site. After a year at Ray’s he moved on. He found out about his current place of work through a lecturer who used it as a case study of high-end work — so he followed their profile.

A year later, when he and his wife began finalising their trip east, he noticed the shop had posted a photo on Instagram along with the caption: ‘Now Hiring’. He commented on the photo to say he will be moving to the Big Apple soon and would love to work there. The shop responded by telling him to get in touch with them when he was in the city. Walker directed them to his Instagram feed to see his work, and the two barber managers at Ray’s liked his posts.

After moving to New York, he stopped at the shop to meet the staff, did a few tests and an informal interview, and he was in! “It was the easiest ‘interviewing’ process ever — it was essentially all through Instagram”, he says.

So when unemployment is this rife, how do you stand out from the crowd? Surely using the same old tactics just won’t work anymore. After reading an article on Business Insider some time back about creative and unconventional CV’s, I promptly decided to get rid of the traditional black and white A4 resumé and created something that is likely to make me stand apart from the rest. I wrote a blog post about myself on my site, and that format, unlike the one that relies heavily on bullet points, gave me ample space to tell my story with less limits. And after an internship application, I got shortlisted for an interview at Cerebra Communications a few weeks after applying. I was elated!

During a conversation with my potential colleagues, I was asked what my thought process was when I wrote the CV. I figured, when you venture out and try new things, you’re bound to have new results. Online tools give people the opportunity to practice (and prove) what they are passionate about.

If you’re a budding writer, for instance, create a blog site and get typing; if you want to be a television presenter or a keynote speaker, a YouTube channel might come in handy as your showreel; musician? SoundCloud allows for uploading and streaming of audio — it’ll also be easier to send a link of your profile to a head of Artists and Repertoire (A & R) at Sony Music. Even if that person is travelling extensively and is only available on their cell phone. Twitter.com is there for networking, reading amazing content and acquainting yourself with high-impact individuals.

There is always more than one way to arrive at a solution. The tools available offer possibilities to achieve what you want. In the past, having a portfolio meant waiting to get a job or an internship to begin piling up the experience in your field.

Generations / people behave differently, and the nature of distribution and environments we inhabit are changing . So the rules and assumptions made in the past century or so, as they were, are as well.

Re-adjust your perception, look at the world with a fresh pair of eyes and start acting differently.

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THEMBA JAY,

Communicate Your Genius