It was the Friday before Thanksgiving when David Atkins received a call that changed his future.
Like more than two million people this year, Atkins lost his job as a technical operations manager for an Internet company. His last day will be Dec. 31.
Atkins' company shrank its work force by about half. During this recessionary period, employee cutbacks are the norm, but unlike those laid off eight years ago when the technology bubble burst, this new crew of job seekers are using social media to move on with their careers.
SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS FOR THE UNEMPLOYED
For Atkins, a two-year company veteran whose firm is assisting its employees in finding new career opportunities, embracing the Web and what it has to offer made his transition less stressful. The MIT and Seattle University graduate turned to three social media tools to start networking: Twitter, LinkedIn and Blitztime.
These sites put a new spin on old job search methods, increasing contacts while saving users the shoe leather and glad handing job seekers have traditionally relied on.
For instance, on Twitter, users define what they’re doing in 140 words or less, broadcasting their answer, commonly referred to as a tweet, to the Twitter universe in order to attract responses. Relationships from personal comments can then translate to lunch meetings to discuss career opportunities or can give individuals a spotlight in the increasingly crowded unemployment field. Famed startup king and online editor Guy Kawasaki has more than 37,000 folks that follow his tweets.
Over on LinkedIn users can find a mix of employments listings organized in ways that provide job seekers with opportunities to demonstrate their skill set to new groups. Blitztime brings social networking to your phone. The site offers “speed networking” that works as a connector by creating conference calls with likeminded careerists.