This is why you network

As you may know, I spent the last 2.5 years as an account manager at an advertising and marketing agency in St. Cloud, MN. Flint Group was my home, and I loved nearly every moment there. But unfortunately, as life in the agency world so often goes, my position was recently eliminated in some agency restructuring, and  I found myself thrust into the world of job hunting.

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From hourly refreshes of Indeed.com to numerous LinkedIn messages and dozens of resume and cover letter tweaks, I felt like a college senior again. After scheduling many interviews, I started to notice a common theme. Each interviewer I met with told me that they really want me to be interviewing them and their company as well… and I knew my pause was palpable. I tried to swallow this pit as I smiled and nodded, praising the companies and expressing my extreme interest with as much enthusiasm as I could, but my lack of excitement lingered.

Then one night, my phone beeped with a Facebook message, and when I opened it up and saw a name I recognized only professionally, I froze. It was the Executive Director of the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She had an opening for a marketing position, and had gotten my name through a mutual contact who knew I was facing the end of my time at Flint Group. Would I be interested in learning more?

I almost fainted with excitement.

Later that week, I scheduled an afternoon meeting with her, Julie, from the CVB, and it took me approximately 2.38 seconds to realize that my dreams were about to come true. 2 weeks later, I received a phone call. The job – Social Media & Marketing Specialist position at the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – was mine if I wanted it. And I never even had to apply for it.

Horiz Logo Clipped

Needless to say, I accepted the position immediately, and I’m currently in my fifth week of employment. The job is more than I could have ever hoped for, and while I’m qualified because of my skills, I really got the position because of who I know. So now, time for a shout-out to…

NET-FREAKIN’-WORKING

Through my time at Flint Group, I was fortunate to have the flexibility to go to numerous networking groups, stay very actively involved in the community, and meet a number of influential people in the St. Cloud business community. I built relationships with business owners, young professionals and everyone in between.

In my 2 weeks of “unemployment,” I received at least 4 other calls from people who I knew through networking groups who wanted to see if they could help. I was offered short-term positions, side jobs, references and more. And in the end, I technically didn’t even have to apply for my new position at the CVB – my name was referred by a mutual contact through a networking group. I would never have gotten this job without her referral.

The point I’m really trying to make here, is to never give up on your networking, because you never know how it will help you. Sure, I was always representing Flint Group at my networking events, hoping to drive sales, awareness, etc. But really, I was representing myself even more than I knew. Was I attending meetings to find a new job? No, not even a little. But because I’ve taken the time & effort to build relationships with other business professionals, I now have a network that I can rely on for more than just sales calls. And honestly, that feels pretty good.

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To sum it up, I’d like to thank all those in the St. Cloud Area who put their names on the line for me in the name of helping me find my next (absolutely amazing, dream) opportunity. You know who you are, and I cannot thank you enough for believing in me, supporting me, and proving to me that networking really does work.

And to the new group of amazing ladies I now get to call my coworkers, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel like one of the gang from day one. I’m so excited to see what the future holds for me at the St. Cloud Area CVB!

#EmilyFayeSays

 

 

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The gift that keeps on giving

If you know me at all personally, you know that I’m the type of person who spends more time cuddling with the dogs and cats at a party than conversing with other humans. I’m an animal freak. I literally kiss my cat goodnight every night, and my family dog is my best friend.

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So when I was contacted by a sprouting animal rescue organization in St. Cloud, MN, I was immediately interested. The best part? They were looking for someone to volunteer their time to manage their social media spaces. Um, yes, hello, where do I sign?

Thus begins my adventures with Grey Face Rescue & Retirement.

The only senior dog rescue in the state of Minnesota, Grey Face specializes in finding homes for dogs who are 7 years old or better and who are often faced with last-resort situations. We’ve saved a number of dogs off of 24 hour euthenasia lists, and turned shy, agressive pooches with unfortunate pasts into loving family dogs. We find hospice homes for dogs to live out their final days in. And we do it all thanks to the love, passion & drive of an amazing group of volunteers and foster families.

grey faces

Donating my time to Grey Face has been immensely rewarding on a number of levels. It’s an opportunity to help a startup. A startup that supports deserving old dogs. An opportunity to grow my social media skills. To meet other people with similar passions who I might not have otherwise met. A chance for me to expand my network. To learn about how non-profits work. To experiment with fundraising and event planning. I’m so thankful that I got involved with Grey Face, and I am excited to see this organization continue to grow.

It is in that spirit that I encourage you to find some way to donate your time. If you’re in the finance realm, find a nonprofit in need of some help with their incoming donations. If you’re a web developer, donate your time in improving someone deserving’s website who otherwise can’t afford it. If you’re in construction, consider donating your time to build or fix things for needy families. Charitable giving is not always about money. It’s about giving your time and skills – and that’s mutually beneficial.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and that you consider giving the gift of your time if you can. I promise, it will be a gift that keeps on giving.

P.S. Want to know more about Grey Face Rescue? Check out our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for regular updates. Want to be a foster or volunteer? Ask me how to get started!

#EmilyFayeSays