Lohanny Santos turned her job search frustration into a viral sensation on TikTok, capturing the hearts and attention of millions worldwide. Maria Noyen’s article on Business Insider tells the story of how Santos, armed with dual degrees and a multilingual skill set, struggled to find work, leading to an overwhelming wave of support and job offers from the online community.

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Key Takeaways

  • Lohanny Santos shares a tearful video on TikTok, revealing her struggle to find even minimum-wage jobs despite having college degrees, which resonates with millions.
  • The viral video brings an unexpected surge of support, advice, and job offers from viewers, changing Santos’ prospects overnight.
  • Santos’ experience highlights how social media can transform personal challenges into opportunities through collective action and empathy.

Lohanny Santos’ story begins with a familiar challenge: the struggle to land a job in a tough market. Despite her qualifications, including degrees in communications and acting and fluency in three languages, she found herself unable to secure employment, leading to a moment of vulnerability shared with the world through TikTok.

Santos’ heartfelt video, where she discussed handing out resumes to coffee shops and the emotional toll of job hunting, struck a chord with viewers. The response was immediate and powerful, with the video quickly amassing over 23 million views. People from all walks of life reached out, not only to offer sympathy but tangible help in the form of job leads and career advice.

I was working as a nanny until I lost my job in November 2023,” Santos told Business Insider, outlining the beginning of her struggle. Transitioning from this point, she took a dual path of applying to corporate roles and aspiring towards a career as a full-time influencer on TikTok. But it didn’t generate enough income, and she wasn’t getting responses from her job applications. Three weeks into January, Santos was running out of money.

A Gen Z's Viral Job Hunt Sparks Massive Support
Image: Lohanny Santos’ TikTok

Reflecting on the dire situation, Santos said, “I had to have a reality check with myself.” This moment of self-realization led her to take a more traditional approach to job hunting: 

“I went around to different coffee shops with my résumé in hand, the same way I did when I was 16. That’s how I found my first job.”

Despite her education and drive, this attempt led to disappointment rather than opportunities, underscoring the harsh realities of job market challenges and the gap between expectations set by higher education and real-world outcomes.

“I was so upset and disappointed in myself because growing up, I was told that if I get an education, if I go to college, then I’ll be successful.”

A Turning Point: Offers and Opportunities

As the story of Lohanny Santos unfolded online, her honest expression of job search frustration quickly garnered an outpouring of support. Offers for jobs and networking opportunities began to flood in, marking a significant departure from the prior silence that met her job applications. This shift not only provided Santos with a glimmer of hope but also highlighted the power of social media to mobilize support and open doors that seemed firmly shut.

“Not only do I have a newfound platform, but besides the social media, I am getting emails from people offering me jobs, offering me opportunities, sending me direct referral links to their jobs for me to apply to it.”

This response was in sharp contrast to the silence that greeted her initial job applications, providing a glimmer of hope amidst her frustration.

The discussion around Santos’ plight also sparked a broader conversation on the challenges facing many job seekers today, regardless of their field of study. Criticism of her degree choices was met with stories of similar struggles from others, emphasizing the widespread nature of the issue:

“I’ve gotten so many emails and messages from people across my social-media platforms, people from around the world, telling me that they have higher education than I have and they themselves cannot find jobs.”

Nevertheless, Santos’ experience isn’t just a personal success story but also it’s a reflection of how community support and digital platforms can come together to make a real difference in people’s lives. Her initial fear of being perceived as lazy for not working was quickly dispelled by the outpouring of support, showing that vulnerability can lead to positive outcomes when shared with the right audience:

“I’ve been fearful of people thinking I’m lazy because I’m not working. Just because I’m not working doesn’t mean I’m not ready to work.”

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