Trina Boos of Lifecapture Interactive, a thriving web agency and one of our nine chosen entrepeneurs, writes about: Using Technology to Create a Job For Yourself
There are many ways to move up the corporate ladder, if that's what you want to do. Some of you might work long hours to close that next large contract. Others might register with some recruitment agencies around town and entrust them to find you the perfect opportunity. Some might try buying their boss coffee and a donut every morning hoping for that next promotion. My story is a little more unique. Let me share with you my path to success and how I used interactive media to network, thus creating a career path for myself that I could have never anticipated.
Currently, I am the New Business Development Manager / Interactive Strategist of Lifecapture Interactive. Please read on to see how technology got me to where I am.
While attending Sheridan College’s Advertising program, I became curious about finding a way to communicate with my peer students. Upon discovering Yahoo! Groups, I found the perfect opportunity to discuss the hilarious lecture from the previous day, to plan parties and distribute invitations online, to share pictures, to get homework help, etc. I called it “The Ad Lounge”. It was amateur looking; rather ugly to be honest. But it became hot … very quickly. Before graduation, the membership consisted of only Sheridan College students. After graduation, students from Advertising, Marketing and Design related programs across the GTA and outside began to join. Seneca, Durham, Centennial, George Brown, Fanshawe, the list goes on.
After seeing our membership grow at such a rapid rate, I saw huge potential to grow the membership even further and to introduce corporations to our growing online community. I began to contact HR Managers, Account Directors, Creative Directors, Presidents, at every agency I could find. People began to sign up. I’m not sure why, but they did. And they began referring others to it. A little viral campaign in itself, although at the time I had no idea what a viral campaign was. Slowly but surely The Ad Lounge had professionals posting jobs online, designers seeking constructive criticism for newly developed pieces; we had seniors and juniors communicating, career advice was offered, you name it. Anything was discussed, advertising related or not. And so my little “Ad” community was created.
The community became so tight that when someone suggested meeting for a beer, it seemed like a natural thing to do. We met at a local bar, expecting 15 members to show. To my complete surprise, 80-90 showed. The funny thing was, half of them were not even members. This proved the fact that word was spreading quickly. People were interested, and were actively seeking out an opportunity to network. At that meeting, someone proposed that we do the events monthly. Another person proposed that we produce a newsletter. Both ideas were acted on immediately. Volunteers began offering up their services and we were in action! The Ad Lounge produced many newsletters and our events consisted of a comedy night about Canadian advertising to a screening of the Cannes (advertising) reel, to highlighted industry speakers, to indie film screenings by ad professionals, etc. We had companies begging to sponsor us. One of our sponsors was a creative staffing firm, Creative Niche. After meeting with the Founder, she asked me to join her company. I realized that she “got it”. She, too, was a true entrepreneur at heart. After a year of working with her through The Ad Lounge, I accepted a position with her at Creative Niche.
My area of specialty became anything “New Business” related, and anything “Web” related from a staffing capacity. After earning my stripes there as one of the top producers at the company, I moved on for a new challenge. After 2 weeks at Lifecapture Interactive as their “New Business Development Manager / Interactive Strategist”, I am happy to say that The Ad Lounge has taken me in the right direction. I was sad to put an end to The Ad Lounge last year, after realizing that working a full time job and then working until 3am on The Ad Lounge wasn’t working anymore. However, I am forever thankful for my little community. And, I am forever thankful for the opportunities that have presented themselves to me since then. An archive of the VERY old site can be seen here: www.hellohello.bz/archive
If you have any inspiring stories to share on how you found work by networking online, please share them!