How to leverage your social presence to pivot your career: Chris Nepomuceno [MBA/09]
In 2015, Chris Nepomuceno [MBA /09] was given eight weeks to find a new job when his division at TD Bank Financial Group in Toronto was sold to another company. He felt like a failure and was at a point in his life where he wasn’t sure what his next career move should be, or what the end-goal was.
Nepomuceno sat down to think about what he wanted to do and wrote down one word: innovation. He had some experience in the field of innovation and was definitely not an expert, but he now had a clear path on where he wanted his career to go.
So how does one land a job in a completely unrelated field than all their previous experience?
Well, for a lot of young professionals, they keep their work life separated from their private life on social media; keeping all their accounts private.
Nepomuceno had a different idea. He thought of LinkedIn and Twitter as a tools to pivot the direction his career was going, and make the necessary connections in order to become a leader in the field of innovation and technology.
“Anyone can make a shift in their career,” says Nepomuceno, “I used social media to build on my own personal brand and become known in the field that I had no formal experience in.”
Nepomuceno did this by following and engaging with the influencers in the field of innovation on Twitter and LinkedIn; liking and commenting on their posts. He used relevant hashtags to become an active member in the online discussions taking place. He also used new connections on social media to get volunteer experience in the field of innovation on his resume.
When he recognized he would need project management experience, Nepomuceno took online courses offered by high-profile universities, like Columbia University, and added every course he took on LinkedIn.
“Change is hard and you have to be patient,” Nepomuceno explains, “This doesn’t happen overnight, you have to put in the work to get there.”
One of the best lessons from the Asper MBA program came from John McCallum: “His advice to us was ‘what drives your career is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’,” says Nepomuceno. “I found that sharing my activity in innovation on social media helped me define my brand to others who didn’t know me. This helped me network much more effectively when looking for my next role. Social media helped me control the narrative of my career.”
Currently, Nepomuceno worked his way up back up within TD to his role as a Business Management Specialist, where he manages innovative projects and helps solve problems using outside-the-box thinking. The first thing he’ll say when you ask about his work is that he loves his job. A lot.
“I’m told to figure it out on a daily basis. That’s what I had to do when my position was eliminated a few years ago, and that’s what I do now as a profession,” Says Nepomuceno.
Another part of Nepomuceno’s job includes making a difference for other innovators. He delivers Ideation Challenges with the TD Central Innovation Agency, where participants meet up to engage in a collaborative, design thinking competition to bring new ideas to innovate different parts of TD.
In his spare time, Nepomuceno is an active member of Ascend Canada, a non-profit whose mission is to enhance the presence, visibility and influence of current and future Pan-Asian business leaders. Also he helps lead Filipinos at TD, a group dedicated to raising awareness about Filipino talent in TD, and to supporting and developing high-performing and promotable employees for our Bank.
Nepomuceno offers this parting career advice to Asper alumni: “You own your brand and you control the narrative of your career. No one else does.”
So enroll in that course, volunteer for that opportunity, get social on social media and chase that dream.