I began following Theodora Blanchfield (@tblanchfield) on Twitter when I first joined the social networking site in August 2008. At the time, Theodora was a reporter for Legal Technology News, and I was focused on following people in the legal industry. Theodora eventually obtained a position as a social media specialist for a magazine company, but I continued to follow her because she published an interesting fitness blog, Losing Weight in the City (you can read Theodora’s fitness story here).
While I don’t read Theodora’s blog daily, I do pay attention to the headlines of her posts when she tweets them. This headline last week caught my attention:
My immediate response was, “oh no!” But, I was comforted after reading the post, and I think unemployed lawyers can learn at least three lessons from Theodora’s layoff story. Consider the following quotes from Theodora’s post:
“I have some freelance work lined up and lots of leads for both projects and positions.”
Lawyers can also freelance. I’ve referred to freelance lawyering as an option for laid-off lawyers in this past newsletter with resources for laid-off lawyers and in #LawJobChat No. 2 with Lisa Solomon, a veteran freelance lawyer. Refer to Lisa’s site for more information about the freelance lawyering process and tips for getting started.
“If you have or know of any job or project leads in NYC (or telecommuting), I’d love to hear about them.”
Theodora immediately reached out to her network asking for job and project leads. She shared her layoff story on her blog and sought help. Based on a subsequent post, many of Theodora’s loyal readers responded with tips and leads.
More importantly, Theodora cultivated a strong following over several years by blogging and using other social media sites consistently. Theodora’s efforts paid off on the day she was laid off because she had assembled a strong network to provide leads and encouragement.
“I also plan on blogging a lot more … partially because it’s such a good release.”
I mentioned in this video clip that one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sounding desperate. Note the tone of Theodora’s layoff story — it’s filled with positive thoughts and optimism. She doesn’t sound desperate at all.
Finally, as I suggest in my book, remember to follow people outside the legal industry on Twitter and other social networking sites. You’ll gain new ideas by following professionals in other industries who may be experiencing similar challenges.