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Job Seekers: Do You Have The Ted Factor?

By now I think most of us are familiar with the latest You Tube sensation that is “Ted Williams.” If you have managed to dodge this story to date here is a quick summary– Ted was a homeless “Wolverine” look alike who had been living on the streets of Columbus, Ohio for the last 10 years. He is a recovering drug and alcohol addict and has recently found faith in God. He panhandled and held a sign stating that he had a “Golden Voice”. A video of him and his amazing voice went viral on You Tube and got over 10 million views. The result…..instant fame in the US and multiple job offers including a job offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers (Cleveland’s NBA Basketball Team) and even an offer to be the new voice of Kraft’s Macaroni and cheese.  What an amazing stroke of luck Ted had and what a wonderful positive story to kick start 2011 I thought. However, on reflection was this amazing story all down to luck? Maybe not.

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Here are 4 ways Ted Williams created his own luck and ultimately kick started his career.

  1. He had a USP (Unique Selling Point) and he knew what it was. Ted knew he had a great voice and used it to survive on the streets when pan handing for money. Ultimately that very USP helped him move from homeless to star in 48 hours. As a job seeker do you know your USP? What value can you offer an employer? Ask yourself do you promote your Unique Selling Point(s) enough when targeting employment?
  2. He believed in himself and in his ability. He knew he had a really great voice and never doubted his ability despite 10 years on the streets of Ohio.  As a job seeker one must always remember that you have the same valuable skills and ability to do a job that you had when you were employed. Constantly remind yourself of the benefits you can bring to your future employer.
  3. He had support. Ted Williams’s support in recent months had come from his new found faith in religion. I think as job seekers it is vital that we have a strong, loving and supportive network of friends and family around us during our job search.  Resist the temptation to cut yourself off from family and friends during your time of unemployment and instead reach out for support.
  4. He kept going, even when all seemed lost. I can only imagine the abuse and negativity Ted had thrown at him during his 10 hard years on the street, but he kept going. Even in the “now famous” video on You Tube, one thing that struck me about Ted was his smile. He came across quite calm and was not aggressive in anyway. It is vital that we smile and stay positive as job seekers and make an effort not to become defensive or even aggressive during our job search. No matter how difficult our situation is we must keep going….After all what would have become of these 3 people if they gave up?

Michael Jordan – Cut from his High School Basketball team.

Thomas Edison – Told by his teacher he was too stupid to learn anything.

Walt Disney – Fired from a Newspaper because he lacked imagination.

So to all the job seekers out there: believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who care about you and never ever give up. You could be the next success story. May 2011 be your year!

Greg is a Social Media trainer and workshop facilitator with the Digital Marketing Institute. He has also delivered lectures and short courses for leading organisations including SureSkills, and The Michael Smurfit Business School. Greg also works with the Ahain Group as a Social Business Consultant. He believes that in order to make social media work for your business you must have a clear business goal, a clearly defined strategy and make sure that everything you do is measureable. Specialities include: Social Media Training | Personal Branding |Social Business Consultancy | Social Strategy Workshops | Interview Techniques | Psychometric Profiling | LinkedIn Training | Facebook Training | Twitter Training | Blogging | Online Video and You Tube Training | Emerging Social Media (Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Google+ etc.) More information at: and

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  • Nice one Greg.nAlso, Albert Einstein was thought of as a dumb child in grade school, he was rejected by the other children in his class, and was even told to be unable to have a decent career…

  • Robin Shepperson

    I remember seeing this story a month or so ago, I think it was massively touching and heart warming. I think it’s important to note to ones-self that when times likes this occur, it’s not a case of having lost everything or at least what you had, but more so having it all to win back. I believe the fire in the belly stems from that ethos.

  • Hi Greg, Ted’s is such a great story and as you say a great reminder to us all that’s it’s never too late. “He believed in himself and in his ability” that’s a great point Greg and one that I hadn’t thought of until now but you are right of course. It would have been all too easy for him to doubt his talent because of his situation but he didn’t. Inspiring stuff!

  • Brilliant article. You managed to come up with a great way to share hope with everyone. It’s never too late to pursue our dreams. Thanks, you made my day!

  • What a great story. When this broke, I felt there is good in this world, and felt it wholeheartedly. But the way you use it in your post here Greg, should provide a good standing point for job seekers. nnThere are only no jobs out there if we decide there are no jobs out there. It does injustice to those actively looking for work, those being offered positions and and those already working.

  • Scott R. Davis

    Excellent post on the job search. Thanks for sharing those invaluable insights for the job search. I also love to write and I have a blog at http://www.scottrdavis.blogspot.comnPlease check it out and feel free to pass it along to others as well.

  • Brilliant post Greg and lots of great messages to be taken from it. Like most geniuses Einstein faced rejection down, Ted faced his demon addiction down and won. nnI hear people say all the time there are no jobs out there, there are, however they might not be in their current choice range so they don’t consider them.

  • Anonymous

    Laura that comment has now made my day…..amazing how positivity can spread;)

  • Anonymous

    Lovely statement Robin. No prizes for guessing you natural Poetic ability;)

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate your comment Mairead and am touched you liked the post. As Henry Ford famously said – “Whether you think you can or thnk you can’t….You’re right” (slightly modernised). Often the easy way out is to think we can’t.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes good old Einstein. There are many many examples…I don’t think anyone has made it through life yet without overcoming a few doubters and critics along the way.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you liked the post Niall. Appreciate the comment:)

  • Anonymous

    Nicely put Elaine. Very often the media as well as individual negativity smothers that flicker of light that is hope for other job seekers.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Scott.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you liked the article Jodi

  •  An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you must write
    much more on this topic, it may well not be a taboo subject but
    typically folks are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next.

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