- Antrell Vining was let go from his job after a few months there, but quickly found a new gig by networking on TikTok.
- He said he made valuable connections after posting about being let go and unemployed.
- Vining said that “networking is super important, but it’s changing.”
Antrell Vining told Insider that he “felt pretty secure” last fall in his position as a project manager at a major bank, with executives talking about the strength of the company and the market.
He said the role was the “perfect job” for him because it aligned with the master’s degree in computer information systems and digital innovation that he has since completed.
But it all quickly came to an end after one call.
He found out he was being let go immediately, after working for the bank for about four months. Without severance pay, he was worried about his bills and student loans. His savings, he said “wasn’t a substantial enough amount to allow me to survive for months on top of months.”
“And at the same time, right after I was laid off was when Big Tech companies started doing layoffs,” Vining added, saying he thought because of the competition, “I’m never going to find a job.”
However, after sharing his experience of being let go on TikTok, where he has almost 40,000 followers @TechByAntrell, he landed a new position. In one of a few videos about being unemployed and let go, 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 being affected right now, but I didn’t think this would happen to me.”
That October video now has over 700 comments. He said he was “shocked at the outpouring of support.” Some of the comments on that video included potential job referrals 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 insane when you kind of think about it. So I didn’t kind of take any of it seriously at first. But then, once I actually started following some of the people back so that they could DM me and I’m having conversations with them, they were very, very serious about giving me a referral.”
Vining is now a consultant technical project manager after getting a referral from someone who commented on one of his TikTok videos. He landed the role just about a month after his October layoff. Now, he said he’s in a job with good work-life balance and good perks.
“Even though I had to go through that period of time of being unemployed, it was all for me to end up finding something that was way better for me at the end of the day,” Vining said.
For Vining, losing his old job ended up “actually not too bad of a thing that happened.” He said that “looking back on it, it ended up being a good thing because now” he got a job “in a company that I love, and the people are amazing.”
Vining isn’t the only one who has used videos or posts to find new work after being laid off. Some have had people reach out to them about opportunities after creating LinkedIn posts. Others have also shared their layoff experience in TikTok videos.
For instance, former Meta employee Alejandra Hernandez, shared in a day-in-the-life format her first day of being unemployed in a video.
“That video got 800,000 views within a few days,” Hernandez said in an as-told-to essay from Insider. “I realized people wanted to learn more.”
“I think my videos also tackle the stigmas around being laid off and being unemployed,” Hernandez said. “We need to bring attention to this and recognize that it’s not our fault.”
Hernandez and Vining are just two people that have used their TikTok accounts to talk about being unemployed.
“It’s a bit of a trend right now, where one person came forward and was brave and said, ‘Hey, I got laid off,’ and it gave other people more power” to do the same, career coach Erin McGoff said. “It’s wonderful, because layoffs shouldn’t be something to be ashamed about.”
Vining later posted a video, which now has over 300 comments, of how he got a job after being laid off. In that video he says he thinks “TikTok might be the new LinkedIn.” He said people seemed “shocked” by this.
“I felt like it was kind of necessary to tell people that that’s how I got a new job because, like I said, you wouldn’t think that that could happen and it did,” Vining said. “So I kind of wanted people to be recognizing the fact that your TikTok following or connections that you make through TikTok can be valuable in such a way where you can literally get a new job. People really rally behind you and support you through tough times and through good times, surprisingly so.”
Vining emphasized people who are laid off and looking for work should think about networking.
“Networking is super important, but it’s changing,” Vining said. “The way that people are networking is changing.”
“A lot of things are virtual, and so connecting with people or making those connections that you need to find a new job is a lot harder than it used to be,” Vining said. “So I think you have to look at non-traditional ways of making those connections. And in my instance, my non-traditional way of making a connection that led to a job was through TikTok.”
Were you recently laid off? Did you find a job through social media? Share your experience with this reporter at email@example.com.