How a laid-off worker used TikTok to find a new job

  • Antrell Vining was fired from his job after a few months there, but quickly found a new job by networking on TikTok.
  • He said he made valuable connections after posting about his layoff and unemployment.
  • Vining said that “networking is super important, but it’s changing.”

Antrell Vining told Insider that last fall he “felt pretty secure” in his position as a project manager at a major bank, with executives discussing the strength of the company and the market.

He said the position was the “perfect job” for him because it aligns with his master’s degree in computer information systems and digital innovation, which he has since completed.

But after a phone call it was all over quickly.

He learned he was fired immediately after working for the bank for about four months. With no severance pay, he worried about his bills and student loans. His savings, he said, “were not large enough to allow me to survive month after month.”

“And at the same time, big tech companies started laying off right after I was fired,” Vining added, saying he thinks because of the competition, “I’ll never find a job.”

However, after sharing his experience of being fired on TikTok, where he has nearly 40,000 followers @TechByAntrell, he landed a new job. In one of the few videos about unemployment and layoffs, Vining told his followers he “just got laid off.”

“I get it. I get it,” he said in the video. “A lot of people are affected right now, but I didn’t think it would happen to me.”

The October video now has over 700 comments. He said he was “shocked by the outpouring of support”. Some of the comments on this video included potential job recommendations or networking opportunities.

“At first, I kind of didn’t take it seriously,” Vining said. “Because obviously, getting referrals or a job through TikTok sounds kind of crazy when you think about it. So I didn’t take any of it seriously at first. But then when I actually started following some of the people back so they could PM me and I had a chat with them, they were very, very serious about recommending me.”

Vining is now a consulting technical project manager after receiving a recommendation from someone who commented on one of his TikTok videos. He landed the role just about a month after his release in October. Now he says he has a job with a good work-life balance and good perks.

“Even though I had to go through that period of unemployment, it was all up to me to find something that was much better for me at the end of the day,” Vining said.

For Vining, losing his old job “wasn’t actually a too bad thing that happened.” He said “looking back, it was a good thing because now” he has a job “at a company that I love and the people are amazing.”

Vining isn’t the only one who has used videos or posts to find a new job after being laid off. Some have reached out to them about opportunities after creating LinkedIn posts. Others have also shared their layoff experiences in TikTok videos.

For example, former Meta employee Alejandra Hernandez shared the first day of her unemployment in a video in a tag-in-the-life format.

“This video got 800,000 views in just a few days,” Hernandez said in an Insider essay. “I realized that people wanted to learn more.”

“I think my videos also address the stigma of being fired and being unemployed,” Hernandez said. “We need to draw attention to this and realize that it’s not our fault.”

Hernandez and Vining are just two people who have used their TikTok accounts to talk about their unemployment.

“It’s kind of a trend right now where one person came up and was brave and said, ‘Hey, I got fired,’ and it empowered other people,” said career coach Erin McGoff. “That’s wonderful, because you shouldn’t be ashamed of layoffs.”

Vining later posted a video, which has now garnered over 300 comments, of how he landed a job after being fired. In this video he says he thinks “TikTok could be the new LinkedIn”. He said people seemed “shocked” by it.

“I felt like it was kind of necessary to tell people that I got a new job like that because, like I said, you wouldn’t believe that could happen, and it did,” he said Vining. “So I wanted people to realize the fact that your TikTok followers or connections you make through TikTok can be so valuable that you can literally get a new job. People really have your back and support you through the tough times and through the good times, surprisingly so.”

Vining emphasized that people who are laid off and are looking for work should think about networking.

“Networking is super important, but it’s changing,” Vining said. “The way people connect is changing.”

“A lot of things are virtual, so it’s a lot harder than it used to be to connect with people or make the connections you need to get a new job,” Vining said. “So I think you have to look at non-traditional ways to make those connections. And in my case, my non-traditional way of making a connection that led to a job was through TikTok.”

Have you recently been fired? Did you find a job through social media? Share your experiences with this reporter below [email protected].

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