Jobs after 50: Digging Up Contract Work via Social Media
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It’s not always the easiest thing to get the job you want after 50. Working on contract gives you the flexibility to do what you love to do and in the time you want to do it. Social media offers a multitude of ways to put your name out there as an expert in your field. One such way is participating in discussion forums and other online social media interactions via updates, posts, and tweets.
Social media has strict written and unwritten rules against soliciting business. Nobody likes to be put on the spot by a salesperson or a job seeker when socializing with friends and colleagues. But it doesn’t hurt to talk about what you do and contribute to discussion topics you know a lot about.
For example, if you build websites for a living, it’s perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to participate in discussion forums where people are asking advice about building websites or hosting a blog or building a personal brand. After all, you may be able to offer a lot of valuable insight on those topics.
And during these exchanges, someone is likely to ask you how you know so much, and you can tell him. Then, when somebody in the forum realizes he’s over his head and needs to hire someone to redesign his site, whom do you think he’s going to want to work with? Someone he doesn’t know or someone who’s been offering guidance and answering his questions?
If you work on contract or have your own business and are looking to generate more projects, target a specific industry where you have experience.
This isn’t the time for a hard sell or even soft sell. When you’re contributing to an online forum, for example, on a LinkedIn group your goal should be to offer free advice in the hopes that participants in the group value you enough to approach you with an offer. If you cross the line into soliciting, you’re likely to earn yourself a bad reputation and perhaps even get ejected from the group or even the social media site.