Jumping into the work life isn’t a pleasant experience for everybody. While some find their dream job right away, lots of Millennials find themselves trapped in a field they realize does not fit them.
Many dream about changing course in their careers to find the right role, but it’s hard to take that next step and make the move, especially with financial and life responsibilities.
Sometimes, the smallest steps have the biggest impact. Taking action doesn’t mean quitting a job, but doing something new and taking a leap of faith.
That’s what happened to Laura Chetcuti. The 25-year-old content marketing and community manager became a LinkedIn celebrity overnight, and that led her to landing her dream job.
In a previous article, she explained us how to build a killer LinkedIn profile and today, the LinkedIn sensation tells us a about herself and shares a wealth of insightful advices for Millennials.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where you are from, your professional background and how did you become interested in content marketing?
I’m originally from a little village in North Yorkshire, in England, but I now live in Central London. After leaving university with a degree in Fashion Design in 2013, I was unsure of my career path because, frankly, I didn’t enjoy fashion very much. I spent much time looking at generic graduate schemes and entry-level administration jobs. In all honesty, I just needed to earn some money. I fell into a job in recruitment in Leeds, but I knew early on this was not the career path for me. In search of change, I stumbled across a senior resourcing role in London with my current company, Edge Global Media Group, and got the job. After seven months of resourcing, it’s fair to say I just found it boring. There was no challenge in it, and I felt like my creative side was screaming to break out after almost two years in a recruitment based role.
I became interested in content marketing by total accident. I wrote a personal blog (I don’t know what possessed me now) and found I really enjoyed it. Writing came so naturally, and people seemed to take pleasure in reading my posts too. In July 2015, I wrote a tongue in cheek article called “LinkedIn The Professional Dating Site”. I shared it on LinkedIn, as I had done every other post, and it spiraled out of control! Before I became immersed in the world of content, I was clueless about what worked to get shares and likes. I didn’t share it for that reason, but obviously now I realize that it was extremely topical, plus a subject that many people are aware of but don’t speak of. The directors of my company noticed the blog, asked me if I wanted to take on a new content role, and here I am!
How did you become a LinkedIn celebrity and reference?
It’s honestly the weirdest thing. I was first approached about the award last summer while I was on holiday in Istanbul. I thought it was a joke when I first received it, or just a spam ‘you’ve won this’ email. So I didn’t really think much of it at the time. It stated that I’d won a place on LinkedIn’s Power Profiles list 2015 for my contributions to Marketing & Advertising on the platform. I had only officially been in my content role a month at this stage and was still trialling different articles to see what would work. It came off the back of the success of my LinkedIn blog post as this raised my following on LinkedIn significantly. I was then approached again in November 2015, with an invite to LinkedIn’s offices in January, so off I went in January to pick up my award and ate a slice of giant LinkedIn cake! I still have no clue how my photo has amassed 140,000 likes and 13,000 odd comments, but it has been amazing. My follower count has grown significantly (+77%) and it’s opened up a whole world of opportunity for me.
Changing career and building a new personal brand is challenging. What advice would you give to someone who’s into this situation?
The best advice I can give anyone, taking this only from my own experience, is to expect nothing. It sounds crazy, but the most unexpected things can be born out of nothing and that really is what happened. I never realized I had a talent for writing. I always enjoyed it, but I never would have thought that’s what I’d do as a career. Everything else just fell into place after that. My follower base continued to grow and still continues to grow rapidly today, and that helps. People always say that my work is really relatable. I write like a human, not like a robot, and I never try too hard. I find that if you’re trying too hard with writing it comes across as awkward for a reader. Don’t do it if it’s not natural. Work hard, but if you work hard at something you’re good at, you don’t need to try hard. I’d say patience too. If you sat in a job you hate, change it. It might take a while, or you might find your dream career super quick, but either way, don’t stress about it.
Is LinkedIn really important for professionals?
LinkedIn is highly important for professionals. Whilst it has its faults (there are posts that I see, which I’m sure should be on Facebook not LinkedIn!), it is a rare opportunity to network with other professionals in your space in a world where, much of the time, it is virtually impossible to meet face to face with other like-minded business people. It is a major recruitment tool as well, so if your profile is well optimized, let the opportunities come to you. If you look good for a role, a recruiter somewhere will find you and approach you. It’s a great place for both active and passive talent, although nowadays it is said that there is no such thing as passive talent anymore. I kind of agree with that in a way. If a good opportunity comes your way and you’re smart, you’re going to take it.