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Underutilized ways to use ADJ in your career

You’re in ADJ (Austin Digital Jobs), and you’re seeing jobs, but are you using ALL of the features at your disposal?!

ADJ Austin Digital Jobs member

If you’re job hunting for a tech or marcom job in Austin, statistically speaking, you’re already in our Facebook Group, Austin Digital Jobs. But if you’re just popping in and out when you remember to, you’re missing out on a LOT.

Haven’t you ever wondered why there are so many people there that aren’t even job hunting? It has become more than one of Austin’s primary nuclei where people look for jobs, rather it has also become an ongoing tool in successful professionals’ toolboxes – let’s talk about what that means.

Use 01: The secret sauce of the job listings in ADJ

The first way people use ADJ to advance their careers is by scrolling the job listings in the Facebook Group. We have strict moderation policies and delete dozens of off-topic posts every day so the group remains laser-focused for you.

There is a secret sauce you might not have thought about, and that is when an employer posts in ADJ, it’s their personal account. A human.

It’s not like the job aggregation sites where there’s an apply button that chunks your application into a black abyss, no, you have an actual person at the company to contact, often the hiring manager themselves.

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ADJ is not a recruiter’s website and we do not profit in any way when someone is hired through our group, and they are not charged to post job listings – we’re not competing with them OR you, we’re neutral ground. You won’t find that anywhere else.

Use 02: It’s the best sounding board in the biz

I recently asked a question in a forum about a specific sustainable home building process, and the answers were all irrelevant to me. Most were answering from out of state and didn’t understand that we’re on rock, not swamp, or that earthquake proofing isn’t necessary here, or were insurance people trying to sell me something.

You get the gist.

When you have a career question, you want people that are not only in your sector, but in your geographic market that are having a shared experience with you. If you are asking a specific salary negotiation question, it’s not helpful if an MLMer in Canada answers.

You can always ask questions in ADJ so long as it’s not a veiled pitch or self promotion (we can always see through it, btw). Specificity and conciseness help get quality answers from people who have worn your shoes.

And if you ever want to ask a question anonymously, send a direct message to the Admin or if you prefer, send it to any Moderator you feel most comfortable with (all are listed here). We swear to keep your identity safe – the Admin (me, Lani Rosales) runs ops at a national news org, so protecting identities is part of the ol’ genetics.

Use 03: Networking (I know, bleh, but do it anyways)

Networking is one of the more elusive parts of job hunting AND advancing a career, so you really need to focus time and attention on this part – and ADJ can help.

There are a few approaches you can take:

  • Organic connections: Answer other peoples’ anonymous questions if you know the answer or have had experience, add memes to the meme thread on Mondays, and so forth – get involved, don’t just scroll. Tons of folks have connected this way and spent years helping each other along in their careers!

  • Friendy McFriendship time: On Fridays, we post a thread that invites people to answer an icebreaker, then decide if someone else looks like a cool friend. Then you become Facebook friends – this is an EASY one!

  • Offline networking events: Before COVID, we hosted quarterly recruiting mixers, and those will eventually come back when hiring is in full force, but for now, just head out to our monthly offline networking events. Big Ass Social Happy Hour has been around for 16 years and isn’t a weird jobs event in a cramped high school gym, no, it’s tech and marcom folks just chillin’ at a brewery with no speakers or agenda. It’s chill. Do it.

If networking is tough for you (anxiety, introversion, fatigue, what have you), there are tons of articles on the BASHH site to help you along. Why is there so much? Because we are socially anxious introverts with fatigue – we get it, so we’ve shared our survival tips for everyone to benefit from!

Use 04: Mentorship, mentorship, mentorship

We’ve long had a robust, successful mentorship program at ADJ, using the Facebook platform. In fact, Facebook reached out to us directly numerous times leading up to the launch of their feature and took many of our requests into account.

Then, they changed the feature and stripped most of what was useful, then without much warning they killed it altogether. Very helpful Zuck, such great businessing.

Regardless, we still have a behind-the-scenes program as we build out our own function (which will be INFINITELY better than Zuck’s flubbed attempt), just DM the group Admin if you’re looking for a mentor, or are ready to mentor it forward!

We’ll let you all know, loudly, when the new mentor program has launched, stay tuned!

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Use 05: Information gathering

If you think someone is born knowing Python, has two decades of experience, and is connected to every other tech professional in town, you’re wrong – it just feels that way to the rest of us.

Most people that have made it into leadership roles worked hard to get there, and WAIT, DON’T GO, this isn’t a “hustle & grind” bullshit seminar, swear, come back!

What I’m trying to say is that information gathering is a really important part of any successful career, and not everyone knows that ADJ is a fabulous shortcut.

One of the ways you can learn from others (besides reading every anonymous asks question ever) is to watch the weekly pep talks to hear what others have been through and how they made it through tough times into a better spot! A bunch of those videos can be found here – learn from them!

ADJ also has an email newsletter you can subscribe to for free, but don’t just subscribe, go through all of the archives – they’re chock full of data and articles that can guide you, and that’s the extra steps most folks fail to take (but not you, champ).

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Use 06: Inside jokes!

ADJ is one of the most insidey joke places in town, and it’s inevitable you’ll learn some new dialect.

For example, you’ll be called Boaty McBoatfaces, and not because we thought that was cool, but because we opened a poll and allowed shenanigans (here’s the whole story).

No matter how you use ADJ, don’t just scroll for jobs – it’s SO much more than that, and it’s all free to use. Hop to it, pal!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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