Jamie, me, and the value of connectivity

 Zoe Anstey photo
Zoe Anstey
5min read

This crazy time of being locked away has got me reflecting on how lucky we are to be digitally connected and how I've seen this community in action.

Nowadays online presence is what holds communities together and allows us to feel part of a wider conversation no matter where we are in the world. It’s crazy if you take a step back and really think about it!

Without an online presence I wouldn’t be where I am today, right now in life. Let me tell you the story about me and Jamie.

Before I joined 11:FS, I had just got married and left my old job with nothing else in the mix. When I came down from the hype of my honeymoon I was on the hunt for a new opportunity to make a difference in a company. I looked. I looked some more. My recruiter looked for me but nothing stood out or excited me. Despair ensued.

My husband was of course sympathetic and decided to use his LinkedIn network bloated with recruiters and candidates (being a recruiter himself at the time) to see if anyone could help me bag my next gig. To me, the post just made me blush and the likelihood of something coming from it was minimal. I continued my active search.

A day or so later I was contacted by one David M. Brear, CEO of 11:FS asking if I was interested in a chat about an EA role he was hiring for. Woah! Two weeks later we hit it off in an interview and I was mapping out my new commute to join the fintech revolution. Now comes the interesting part... let’s backtrack a little.

For me the lesson was that digital connectivity isn’t just another life admin task to keep on top of

A few things happened after my husband posted that message:

1. It was seen by 40,000 people.

2. Around the same time Mr Brear also posted a job ad for a new assistant to join his company.

3. Somewhere, somehow, a guy called Jamie logged onto LinkedIn and whilst scrolling through his homepage noticed both these posts stacked up.

Now Jamie didn’t know my husband, nor did he really know David. But Jamie, being a bloody nice guy, tagged David in the post:

The rest is history :)

Insanely happy in my role and I feel as if I’ve found where I am meant to be. As 11:FS grew and evolved from a scrappy startup with 30 people in a WeWork to its teenage years with over 100 Elevens, my role grew alongside it. Today, I now find myself working alongside David as his Business Manager in a company of more than 190 talented and brilliant people. Thanks, Jamie.

For me the lesson was that digital connectivity isn’t just another life admin task to keep on top of. It can seem daunting, or further down your to-do list, but as I know from personal experience it’s the key to unlocking a tremendous network that can help individuals and their businesses succeed on an ongoing basis.

It’s true my story is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the potential of riding the online social wave, but aside from Jamie being a bloody nice guy, both David and my husband had one thing in common: they added value to their communities which in turn earned them public support.

Take the time to... interact with the people “around” you because you may be less lonely than you think

I’ve been at 11:FS for over two years now and I am more than well-versed in knowing what opportunities can arise from being a valued member of online communities. As a company, we produce a plethora of content and insights that we share with the world, bringing awareness to our vision of changing the fabric of financial services for the benefit of underserved and overcharged customers. We’ve spent a lot of time honing our brand tone of voice and our passion and aggressive sense of drive to make things happen emulates with more people than we could ever have hoped for.

We give openly and, more importantly, have no expectations of receiving. It’s heartwarming to see that whenever we really do need our community they are there for us without question. Jamie didn’t have to reach out, but it was the respect he had for David and my husband's online presence that gave him the impetus.

During this time where business planning is inadvertently changing and our personal lifestyles have taken a hit, it’s ever more important that we remember how lucky we are to have a digital life. One that allows us to feel connected and make a difference without having to even leave our homes.

Take the time to build a network and interact with the people “around” you because you may be less lonely than you think. Twenty million people are less lonely if you are active on Linkedin ;)

As for Jamie, well funnily enough he now works with us too :).

 Zoe Anstey
About the author

Zoe Anstey

Zoe works as business manager to Group CEO David Brear, handling his day to day workflow as well as helping drive projects across all of the firm's service lines.