How one man got a new career entirely through Instagram

one man new career instagram barbershop flickr mike barbiaz

Clark Walker went from  unhappy medical student in the West to satisfied barber in the West Village in two years, but he didn’t use a revamped resume or especially suave interviewing skills to transition into his new career.

He used Instagram.

According to Mashable, Walker scored himself a job at Fellow Barber by first studying the fashionable barber shop’s Instagram feed, memorizing their hairstyle aesthetic. He was living in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the time, and enrolled in a barber school. Walker created an Instagram account of his own to show off his growing repertoire of hairstyles.

@mckayfelt with the bald taper razor parted gents cut. #barber #raysbarbershop #slc

A post shared by J. Clark Walker (@jclarkwalker) on

Walker used hashtags like #barber and #pompadour to help users discover his account, and over time his following grew and he became more savvy at using the network, including interesting short narratives about each style. People took notice, and he gained over 1,400 followers.

Walker began working at a barber shop in Salt Lake City but dreamed of working at a higher-end shop in New York City. But with a newborn baby, he couldn’t just up and move without something in works. So he followed Fellow Barber on Instagram after hearing good things, and got in touch with them by commenting on a photo (I suppose now he could’ve used Instagram Direct to do that). With positive feedback on his feed, Walker and his family moved to New York, and after he stopped by Fellow Barber for an impromptu IRL meetup, he had the job.

Barbershop life remains the focus of Walker’s Instagram account, but now his pictures encapsulate a life that he was dreaming of living just a few years ago. Walker’s story underlines how crucial social networks can be for landing jobs and making connections, and that LinkedIn isn’t always the best option, especially if your work has a visual component.

Let's hang a tree from the roof. Call it a chandelier. #Fellowbarber #Williamsburg

A post shared by J. Clark Walker (@jclarkwalker) on

[Photo credit: Michael Babiarz, Flickr]