In the first post of this duo, The power of networking…1, I gave a brief introduction to the benefits and process of networking. Today, as promised, we follow up with an extraordinary story of how social media networking has impacted the life of Paul Weston. Here is his story…

SoMe plus Unemployment equals…the world…

I am a 34 year old married father of 2 lovely little boys. A month ago, life was sweet, happy as a pig in the doo doo! Since the end of February 2010, I have been unemployed. I worked as a Senior Estimator (Head of Pre-Contracts) for an interior fit-out contractor. Basically carrying out commercial and high end residential refurbishments and fit-outs.

The first day of not getting up at 5am, having a shower, getting dressed, driving to work, going through emails, making coffee, waiting for the rest of guys to get in, dealing with my daily work life and routine, really fricking sucked! I will not lie to you, I hated it. The second day was entirely different; I got my backside into gear, I had to, I hate sitting around doing nothing at the best of times, even on holiday, sitting by a pool isn’t my thing! I needed to get a job.

I have a blog Weston007, I have a twitter account @PaulWeston33 and I have a LinkedIn account. And so I used them. And, as it turned out, I used them quote well!!,

I updated my blog with how I am unemployed and my emotions etc Chin Up Old Boy and “tweeted” it to my network of buddies on Twitter, some of them “re-tweeted it”, and then it got “re-tweeted” again, and so on. I was then advised to update the blog again and tell everyone what my strengths were and with a CV link (Dusted myself down lets crack on ). Within a few days it had gone a little crazy, even the BBC picked up on my plight and offered me an interview live on the radio… Social media gone crazy part 1 as you can see I kept updating my blogs as things were happening, and then the actual radio interview Yes madam I am the man off the radio, social media gone crazy part ii, my story caused them a few issues with their updates as they’d never had such a huge interest in a story before!

The response I had following and during those few days was incredible. Lots of messages of good will, and the like. How people had been unemployed and their thoughts were with me. How inspirational my story was to others. Requests to use my blog in workshops, potential work in Alice Springs, Dubai, and obviously over here. But you know what hit me the most? What I found extremely emotional about the whole thing? People I “virtually” knew were fighting my corner. They were helping me. That’s amazing..right?

Now this is Social Media at it’s most powerful…. I am still unemployed, but I have interviews on the horizon, I have been on the radio, I have some great friends within my Social Media network, both in the UK and further afield, and I am being asked to talk about my experience at SoMe Networking events. Oh, and I am probably going back on the radio once I get a job…just to finish the story of course…..and now I am linking the whole thing in with a wonderful charity for EACH called the Tree House Appeal a new Children’s Hospice in Ipswich, please take some time to click the link and help if you can!

I have had a telephone interview on Tuesday 23rd March, a 2nd interview follows that on the 26th. I have an interview today, Wednesday 24th March at 11:00am…maybe as you are reading this…?! And possibly another lined up for Thursday morning (TBA). But all of these have come from using SoMe and my networking!! Fact!!

So, if you don’t maximise your Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook accounts, then perhaps you should!!

I’d like to thank Paul for providing this guest post for my blog & to wish him the very best in his job search. Paul is a great person so if you don’t already, follow him on Twitter @PaulWeston33.

Paul’s latest blog post The final countdown is well worth a read.