[NOTE - The demographics in this post were updated on June 5, 2009]
This is the longest time between posts in the history of our little blog. If you’re thinking, “This is an outrage!”, I agree completely. So who is to blame for this travesty, this lapse in judgment, this abandonment of an HR community whose path is asunder without the wisdom and guidance of our Zen-like posts? I want names!!
Victims of the empty RSS feed, I present you with the cause of our radio silence – JobAngels.
What is this JobAngels thingÂ and how did it begin?
Rumor has it that my crackling cornflakes whispered an idea to me on the morning of January 29th. It was apparently hard to decipher over their milk-drowned voices, but eventually I could make out their message – “help people find jobs”. Their whole-grained wisdom spread to the world and all were saved. (End scene) Wow. So inspirational!
The real story is this. I was eating breakfast and thinking about the economy. We were in the throws of aÂ debilitatingÂ week of job loss announcements and things looked to be worsening in all sectors. I had been spending a bit of time on Twitter and had accumulated about 700 followers, a large percentage of whom are experts and professionals in the HR sector. So I wondered, what if each of those followers helped just one person find a job? Could we actually make a difference? Here’s the original Tweet:
“Was thinking that if each of us helped just 1 person find a job, we could start making a dent in unemployment. You game?â€
Where did the name come from?
The response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Within several minutes, the discussion evolved to the use of a hashtag to help those in need locate those willing to help on Twitter. But what to call it? A few ideas floated around and then I sent this message on a whim:
“Wish we could come up with a site/plan to link all this positive energy to. How’s #jobangels sound? â€
And thus JobAngels was born. It was literally that simple. This was not rocket science and there was no divine intervention. It was one simple idea that somehow tapped into people’s desire to stop being victims to a seemingly endless stream ofÂ angst, depression and relentless negativity. When faced with hundreds of thousands of job losses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. But if the idea is for you to simply aid one person – a friend, a family member, a colleague or a complete stranger – that somehow not only seems possible, it seems probable.
How have people responded?
It has been four months since that original message, and in that time, a movement has begun. In this short period, over 18,000 JobAngels have already assembled across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Over 500,000 JobAngel messages have been sent across a myriad of online platforms. Angels have donated their time, their networks, their expertise and their hearts to this grassroots initiative (and we are just getting started).
Let me be clear about one thing. JobAngels is not my movement, but it has changed my life. I am blown away by everyday people deciding to step up and aid those in need of employment. This is a chance to truly impact someone’s life and it is amazing to watch the goodwill grow at a time when it’s tempting to thrust your head in the sand.
Please join us if you haven’t already. I’m humbled to be part of this initiative and look forward to hearing your stories of success in the weeks and months to come. Thanks to those of you who have joined thus far and remember, just one Angel can make a world of difference.
NOTE: Five “Guardian Angels” have gone well beyond the call of duty in helping JobAngels become a reality. A warm and heartfelt thanks to Mark Cummuta, Chris Connolly,Â Deirdre Honner, Charee Klimek and Chris Bailey. Our current and future success would not be possible without theirÂ generosity and commitment to this cause. I’d also like to thank Greg Grigoriou of VanPaul Design for creating the JobAngels logo on such short notice. Â Coming soon -Â JobAngels.org.