Reaching out to your network is often the best way to start building a new career. Casey Dudek landed a career in technical writing with WEO Media by connecting with friends of his father, and after a quick interview period he was offered a new job within a month and a half. Casey says the most difficult part of his job search journey was finding the motivation to stay productive and keep looking for new opportunities everyday. Read how Casey overcame this challenge and used additional networking tactics like informational interviews to find a great job.
What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?
WEO Media is an outsource digital marketing company. Most dental offices don’t have marketing directors and aren’t very concerned about their online presence, so WEO makes websites and videos for them. Technical writers – such as myself – write articles for those websites on subjects such as cavity prevention, dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, and so forth.
How long did it take you to find this job?
I moved back to Oregon in mid-December 2018 and started working for WEO Media in mid-February 2019, so my unemployment period was about a month and a half.
How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?
One of my dad’s friends was the sixth person to join WEO. He took me out to lunch to discuss the company then took me on a tour of the office and introduced me to almost everyone there. After an informal interview with the boss in a conference room filled with beanbag chairs, I was introduced to the editor and was given some preliminary assignments. The editor liked my writing and made me one of their independent writers. It was my network that got me this job.
What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?
The hardest part was simply motivating myself to not only spend enough time each day working on job searches but to spend time on productive activities where I could actually make progress. To overcome this, I offered myself a reward for every 5 hours I spent on job search related work each day.
What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?
Don’t just build your network, use it. Scour your connections looking for positions or industries that sound interesting, then reach out to those people for informational interviews to see if those jobs would be a good fit. I’m continuing to do this even now.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because it’s probably the first white collar job I’ve ever had. Most of my work history is blue collar – landscaping, custodial, food service, and odd jobs – and I promised myself that my next position would be an office job. And I kept my promise. In addition, I get to use my degree to do what I did in college – researching and writing – for pay.