I've just returned from four days of training on Geoje island in the southeast part of Korea. I was teaching presentation skills to employees of one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world. I learned about the opportunity because someone posted they were looking for someone with my qualifications in a private Facebook group that I joined.
Don't get me wrong, a lot of things needed to go right for this to happen. First, I needed to be qualified since they were looking for someone with a lot of experience teaching presentation skills; second, I needed to be available, which was tricky since there was less than one week's notice; and third (if we're being honest), I needed to be willing to work for less than I normally make since it was ultimately through a recruiter that facilitated the training program.
Why did I do it? Most of my experience is with government organizations and this was at a company so now I have experience in corporate training. Additionally, I am now on the recruiter's radar if other (better) jobs come up. I have also now "auditioned" for the shipbuilding company if they need someone again with my skills and qualifications. Finally, while the hourly rate isn't great, it isn't a bad chunk of change for four days of work and I had already planned and conducted similar workshops in the past so there wasn't a lot of prep required.
Getting back to SNSs, I have actually gotten several excellent opportunities by joining Facebook groups which focus on job posts for specific demographics (teachers, expats, even dads). There's something about being a member of smaller online communities that helps people feel closer to complete strangers. If you are looking for extra opportunities, whether they be freelance gigs or your next big career move, don't overlook smaller SNS groups where people are offering opportunities to people similar to themselves. Somewhat surprisingly, I've only had one employer contact me via LinkedIn. This was the SNS that was meant to be for professional networking only but the people in my network seem to use more for self-promotion that for headhunting or advertising jobs that match my interests and qualifications.
If you have a story (positive or negative) about networking via SNSs, please leave a comment on this post.