Gordon Swaby

7 Tips for unemployed Jamaicans (people)

I’ve been meaning to put these tips on my blog for a while, but I didn’t get around to it until now. These tips were originally tweets, but I thought that it would make more sense to have them on here (easier to reference and for posterity). So, without further ado. The tips:

1. “Networking” at parties is a joke. They’re usually large, loud and nobody’s going to pay any attention to you if they don’t already know you. Owen “Blakka” Ellis responded to this tweet with a line that I liked. “…Folks whispering in your ear, with liquor etc on their breath isn’t networking, it’s ‘not working‘ ”

2. If there’s somebody you want to meet and you have a mutual friend ask them to introduce you. If the person you’re asking thinks you’re a joke they’re not going to put their name on the line for you. You screw up, they look bad. If the person that’s doing the introduction isn’t respected by the person you want to be introduced to then…yeah.

3. Your online reputation matters. Trust me, it matters. Thankfully there are many tools at your disposal to showcase yourself, talents, services etc online. If you don’t have anything to showcase….well. A good starting point is a domain name that bears your name (e.g marcgayle.com, francinederby.com, shanakaybarnett.com, ryanmattis.com etc). A friend of mine, Kimroy Bailey has been doing a great job at this. Check out his blog, twitter page and facebook page for inspiration. If you’re looking for a job this is a great way to impress your potential employer. I inadvertently started working on my online reputation at 15 years old. This has paid off big time for me. Hint, do a google search for “Gordon Swaby” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

4. Volunteer your time and/or work for free. Great way to get some experience and meet new people. Among other benefits. (hint: Do some reading on The Rule of Reciprocity)

5. Try not to step on too many toes. “Too many” because you’re going to step on toes,  it’s inevitable.  ( I have a lot of stories about this, but that’s for some future blog post.)

6. It’s your duty to be aware of what is happening in the country (and other countries too) that you live in. Holding your own in a conversation is very important and first impressions matter. Keep informed.

7. And finally….READ. Read the Observer, read the Gleaner. Read tech blogs, read international news, read books etc. No better way to get smart [er].

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.


Lovingly made on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 at 6:13 pm. Filed under Jamaica/Politics, Personal.

  • http://twitter.com/SmittyRoyal Matthew

    In making a presentation to the 9th graders at my alma mater I too implored on them the importance of numbers 4, 6 and 7. I believe those are very important to self development and being better able to market oneself.

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      Glad you agree Matthew. Thanks for reading and remember to share.

  • Wendy-Ann Brissett

    Great Job Gordon, great advice :-). Although not everyone is techie savvy to do 3 though, it is important, because everyone can be googled now, and if some stupid thing on Facebook is the only thing that shows up then there goes your next opportunity to get a job…For instance, even responding to this blog should get me a google search pop up! lol

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      You’re welcome Wendy! You don’t have to be a techie. You could always do some reading ( It’s a new skill you can put on your resume if you’re willing to learn), you can ask a good friend or you can pay someone.

      Hahaha, and yeah, your comment is probably going to show up soon when your name is googled. 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/sajclarke Shannon Clarke

    Gordon, you’re MILES ahead of a bunch with point #1. While there are effective methods of networking (and it’s really no different from socializing), going to “networking events” or “conferences” are usually just good ways to chill-out and lime. Even if you make crucial connections in those places, it’s terribly difficult to have a meaningful discussion. You’ll have to follow-up with that person on a one-on-one which is when the REAL networking happens. The fable of “network, network, network” is a lie

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      Agree with you 100% Shannon. I could have added a lot more, but I think your two additional points are good to know. Thanks for contributing!

      • http://twitter.com/sajclarke Shannon Clarke

        No problem. I’m here laughing at the amount of typos I wrote there though! So much for commenting while coding in the middle of the night. Keep it up Gordon.

  • Marcia Forbes

    Gordon please ask Youth Link or Teen Age to publish this blog post. All those 15 to 30 years of age should read it. You are spot-on!!

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      That’s actually a good idea Marcia. I’m going to tweak the writing and send it to them. Thanks

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