(Photo Credit: Museum Maven/Flickr)
In today's mobile age, times are changing -- and people like Clark Walker have found Instagram to be paramount to landing that dream job. A few years ago, Walker was in med school when he realized it just wasn't for him -- so he dropped out and entered a barber school in Salt Lake City, Utah. He discovered that other barbers were using Instagram to connect and build a portfolio of their work, sharing pictures of clients with hashtags such as #barber, #shave, and #pompadour to get noticed by others in the industry.
Of course, Walker was not only a rookie in the business, but also to the social network. His first posts only garnered a few likes and few, if any, comments. That didn't derail his dreams of success. When he graduated school, he started to work at Ray's Barber Shop in Utah -- and continuing to Insta his clients, adding a short bio about them and tagging them as well (if they had an account.)
After a year of working at Ray's, Walker was ready to move on up. He had planned to move out of Utah with his wife and newborn at some point, and now that he had some experience under his belt, now seemed like the perfect time. As he told Mashable, "I was kind of maxed out on what I could learn there. I wanted to move to a new environment," he says. "I have a sister-in-law who lives in New York and cuts hair for a living, and she got us thinking about moving, for real."
That's when he remembered Fellow Barber, a high-end barbershop in West Village in NYC. After doing some research, he started following them on Instagram. At one point, he noticed the shop had posting a photo with an enticing caption: "Now Hiring." Walker immediately commented on the photo and said he was moving to New York soon and was interested in working there; they responded right away and said to get in touch when he was in town. To continue the conversation, Walker pointed them to his Instagram feed, which contained all of his work from the past year; Fellow Barber then began liking and commenting on his photos.
Once Walker arrived in New York, he stopped by Fellow Barber. Since he had already established a strong relationship with the shop via Instagram, all it took was a few test haircuts and an informal job interview to secure the job. As he told Mashable, "It was crazy moving to New York almost entirely off a social media tip. But I'm so happy. This shop, the city -- it's really my dream job."
Clearly, Instagram is not just a social network to share pictures of your lunch (much to our parents' surprise.) In today's quickly evolving age of mobile and social media, using it creatively could be that difference in whether or not you make the connections and develop a portfolio that ultimately lands you that dream job -- or if you're just starting out, that crucial foot in the door.
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