Here’s a story of small steps on social media that led to big things on my right path, a new job in a new country. Twitter made a dream come true: It got me the job that moved me from NYC to London. It can make an opportunity happen for you, too.
I loved London from the time I first visited; from family vacations to my trips with friends in college. It was the ‘80s when I came on my own the first time, and I decided then that I wanted to live here. Plus, all my favourite bands hailed from the British Isles. Between The Clash, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, the V&A, the Underground, that adorable chef with the Yorkshire accent, dancing at Leicester Square discos, friendly cab drivers, and high tea -- what was not to love?
Fast-forward more than 20 years and my dream came true – without directly trying.
The difference in those decades was that the world shrank and the Internet grew. Social media became a thing. Twitter, my favorite network for business and fandom (confession: My highest likes are #Poldark!), is so amazing because it’s so open. No borders: Everyone is accessible, and you are accessible to everyone.
Here’s the play-by-play on how my dream to live and work in London happened:
Round 1: I had a blog on my consulting website, so I applied for a press credential to cover Advertising Week’s conference in September 2014. I attended a newsworthy panel discussion that happened to be in my area of expertise: digital sports. I went home and wrote up this opinion piece and tweeted it.
Round 2: The next day a journalist from FOX Business News tweeted to me that he’d like to interview me for a story he was writing on that topic. He tweeted his story, which fueled the conversation got more attention for my original story.
Round 3: I checked out everyone who interacted in the Twitter discussion of my story, whether it was liking their tweets, replying to a comment or following them. I saw that three tweeters were in London. Since I was going there in 12 days to see Caro Emerald at The 02 Arena, I direct-messaged them to meet over a coffee.
Round 4: Two of the three agreed to meet – a head-hunter who led the digital practice at an international search firm and the founder of a digital consultancy in Shoreditch. I got to talk about my experience and how I’d like to work in London.
Round 5: The founder of that consultancy offered me a job. I moved to London in April 2015, six months after I wrote that blog story.
It’s easy to look back now and see the perfectly formed string of events – online and offline – that led to meet my future boss, but, at the time, it seemed like serendipity. Now I believe the Universe was conspiring on my behalf, as it is yours. More on that here.
This wasn’t a deliberate strategy and I didn’t pull all the strings, but all the building blocks were in place: The website. The blog. The content. The tweet. The interview. The online conversations. The offline conversations. The job offer. My passion.
1) Create a platform where you can be visible and
2) Participate by joining in conversation and sharing insights.
3) Take it offline.
I’ve learned a rather unremarkable yet important lesson: Do the obvious.
It's time to stop waiting for that sign to show you the way. Sometimes it’s just about the practicality of putting one foot in front of another. Such small steps may not look like they’re leading anywhere big at the time, but later – as you look back – a logical story may shape up to show that they were small signs leading you all along.
I came to London, danced and sang to Caro, and met my new boss. What a wonderful intro to my life in the UK!
Liza Horan is a DrivenWoman Group Leader and Digital Strategy Consultant. Learn how social media can help your dreams come true by joining Liza on 2 Nov. for DrivenWoman’s Social Media Workshop. You’ll create your own social media strategy and learn how to manage it in just 10 minutes a day. Liza is launching DrivenWoman Lifeworking groups in Edinburgh, where she now lives.