Just for a snippet of my background: before university, my life revolved around chess. I represented Wales playing in competitions all over the world. I even played in the chess equivalent of the Olympics called the Olympiad, and I was the youngest player ever to be selected (at that time!). For me, I didn’t see chess as a career, however, I have never lost my passion for the game. During my university course, (Digital Arts & Technology) I still related some projects to chess, including my final year project and dissertation.
Quite often I’ve stared at my LinkedIn reading various articles about careers, dream jobs, starting a multi-million-pound business at age 20. I won’t lie a part of me gets jealous. I read stories about circumstances where people just fall into their dream role, and I think “yeah right as if that just happens”. Well, the tables have turned, as I am now one of those stories! (Sadly not yet the multimillion-pound business one! ;D)
Coming to the end of my degree I felt a bit lost. What job should I go into? What path do I take? Should I do a Graduate Scheme?… That’s when I heard about LinkedIn.
To be honest, I was sceptical about LinkedIn as a student, but what’s the worst that could happen?! At first, I didn’t really get it, I connected with some peers, like the odd post, but I never used it to its full potential (I’m still learning now!). That was until 2 years ago when I commented on a LinkedIn post. Never did I realise that that post/comment would be the start of my career:
After commenting on the above post, Dave sent me a message and I went for a meeting. He mentioned the reason for inviting me to the meeting was because he was interested in what I had made for my final year project (here is my other LinkedIn post that led to the invite of this meeting):
Dave also mentioned how his team were preparing for an event in Qatar, and that they were currently recruiting for a chess expert role for their online Mindsports platform. I left the meeting very curious and very excited, as a techy chess-related role was perfect for me! I knew I was no chess Grandmaster, but I had nothing to lose in applying.
The rest is a bit fuzzy, but long story short, that meeting led to a phone call from Dave saying “I know you haven’t quite got the experience, but I’d like to offer you the role and see how it goes.”
What!? A techy chess role. I never even thought that was even a role potential for me (near my location). Of course, I accepted, and within 2 weeks the next offer was” Would you like to help out the team at the event in Qatar?”. People who knew me could not believe it either. A techy chess role with travel to events. Even writing this post it still feels unbelievable!
TLDR: Sharing my experiences and skills on LinkedIn has led me to the career I have today. To all those out there who were lost like me, why not give LinkedIn a try? As you never know, the person reading your post could begin your future career…
Have you tried LinkedIn? What advice would you share? What platforms have helped you find a job? #TellYourStory with MyNeedToLive
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