How JobAngels (And You) Have Changed My Life

Posted By on Feb 9, 2009


[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 thing 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 a debilitating 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?”

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? :)”

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 of 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.

JobAngelsPlease 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, Deirdre Honner, Charee Klimek and Chris Bailey. Our current and future success would not be possible without their 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.  Coming soon - JobAngels.org.

39 Comments

  1. I have missed your posts but it was for a worthy cause so it’s ok. :) I’m so pleased that job angels is so popular, so fast. In the end, I think people want to do something and be useful. It’s important to try and make a difference when times are this hard.

    Post a Reply
  2. Mark, I was already a fan of your work, and this project just confirms my judgment. In fact, you’ve been so successful in spreading the word, I joined JobAngels and just realized today that you started it! Let’s keep paying it forward, and I hope I can truly help.

    Post a Reply
  3. Jobangels is a great concept. We all need to give to the people in our community in any way we can. In this day an age of double digit unemployment we need to rely on each other for support.

    It’s all about Karma. The more we help others the more love will come into our lives.

    Post a Reply
  4. My husband and I are both out of work. I was looking through the job section of the St Petersburg Times this morning and came across your article, I had to look it up online. It seems each week it is getting harder to find work.
    What a great concept!

    Linda Dworkin

    Post a Reply
  5. I can’t believe I am just learning of Job Angels. I read of its existence in the 3/24/09 Career Journal of the Wall Street Journal. I am so glad to have found you. I’m ready and willing to help where and how I can. Feel free to contact me to let me know what I can do. I’m off now to register for JobAngels on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook! Way to go! I hope God has many blessing for each of the individuals committed to this org.

    Post a Reply
  6. Wow! You say this is not a divine idea? Where have you been? It’s BRILLIANT!
    What about those people who are in business and need a hand? My husband sells a new form of health insurance that costs a lot less than what is on the market. From what I have seen it is a well organized, solidly based business. The premis is to stay well and to catch problems before they become overwhelming.
    My husband needs an angel, but he is willing to be one as well since he is just starting in this business.
    You might wonder why I am not working. I had a brain tumor that left me with a few nicks and dings…nothing unbearable. I write. I’m good. At the moment I am writing for a charitablle foundation…very rewarding to the spirit but puts little on the table. My interest is ethics, in particular what has created the mess our world is in at the moment. There just might be someone out there who wants something written about. Well, I’m available.
    May JobAngels soar…not just on one wing but on two.

    XOE

    Post a Reply
  7. My husband and I have a small photography business that has been struggling for nearly 2 years and is all but done, due largely to the economy. No one wants to spend on things that aren’t necessary and pictures are not as necessary as other things. We both sought out other “main” jobs, keeping the photography going only as a side business, when things started getting bad. I have nearly 19 years of administrative experience and, after working somewhere else unhappily for nearly a year, found a better job with a local oil & gas company about 6 months ago. On the date of my 6 month anniversary (3/13/09) with the new job, I was laid off. It has been frustrating, to say the least, even in such a short time since the lay-off, because we were already living paycheck-to-paycheck. Tonight, as we watched the news, your website was talked about and I had to check it out. What you are trying to do is simply awesome!! Thank you for your efforts!!

    Post a Reply
  8. All of this sounds great. But, how does one log in to find a job??

    Post a Reply
  9. I present you with a challenge. I am a septuagenarian who is able and willing
    to assist persons in their non Internet world. Call it: Life Support. Quick on my feet and agile of mind, I can assist in making a new residence into a home. Help organize. Write long overdue notes. Read and discuss with physically challenged or lonely. Compose letters that sound as if they came from you (because I listen to how you speak). House sit for friendly animals. Take trips with elderly, etc. etc. etc. What do you think? Is there I now live in Pittsburgh but will be moving toward the East Coast. Is there a Market for this? I want to work. I need to work to augment a pittance from SS. …or I could do all of the above on the net by way of giving advice coming from an experienced base of knowledge and a heavy dose of creativity. Is there a Market for this? Great references.
    Nickname: Moss
    412.860.0011

    Post a Reply
  10. I just heard about this organization from a contact on Newsvine. My husband and I have recently relocated to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and I have been unemployed for 6 months! I have a Masters degree in communication, and Tuscaloosa doesn’t seem to have a lot a lot of job opportunities. We moved here and I didn’t know a SOUL! To “recruit” my husband, his future (and now current) employer promised there would be a strong network of company wives to help me get settled in a new city and career. Well, there wasn’t a SINGLE phone call! I just don’t know where to look here in Tuscaloosa!

    Job Angels seems like a great idea, but you need an internet based webpage to really make it grow. There is an increasing backlash about privacy issues with Facebook so I don’t use it. I’m a former communications professor, and we are always talking about having too much personal information on a facebook page. And twitter is a new trend that people are still debating its merits over. The internet is here to stay and will last long after twitter fads come and go. There are many people who REALLY need jobs in all fields and use their email support entirely. Twitter is just so impractical for so many people. Why create an organization that is only available to a certain few insteaf of the potential for everybody? I know hundreds of people, very computer savvy and well-educated, and not a single one uses Twitter – -in fact, people are tiring of the very idea of this indulgent fad. How can you open this up to the people who need it?

    Post a Reply
  11. So, re: above from Martha. I need a coach as to how to get started. I need an objective opinion about the merits of the idea. Anyone?

    Post a Reply
  12. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and thoughts. This has been quite the journey and although we’re pleased with our initial results, we still have a long way to go.

    @Bob – Go to http://www.jobangels.org to link to the three social networks where we currently have a presence. We are not a job board, but instead we attempt to connect those in need with those willing to help. Contact me at mark.stelzner@jobangels.org if you get stuck.

    @Martha C. Wood – I really love your idea! :) One of our core beliefs is that localization and community are key, and I have to imagine that there are a number of individuals who would benefit tremendously from the litany of personal services you’ve described. In terms of marketing, one initial thought would be to partner with local care facilities and to have them retain you for your value-added services. If you went the online route, your target would be the adult caregiver who requires supplemental resources (i.e., could you aggregate 100s of like-minded individuals across the country and offer this as a service). Just a few initial thoughts off the cuff, but I think this is something people do need.

    @Michele – I agree with most everything you’ve stated. We are in the throws of developing JobAngels.org into a secure site to facilitate connections between job seekers and Job Angels. I disagree with the “fad” of Twitter, but do agree that JobAngels needs to be available to everyone, thus our desire to take the service offline via localization at some point in the future. In terms of tools, my suggestion would be that you join our LinkedIn group as a start. The URL is http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1789016 and once there, sort through our ~3,000 members and see if you can find connections in your geography and/or field of expertise. Good luck!

    Post a Reply
  13. Thanks for “Paying It Forward”. I love what you do. I’ve planned “Pay it forward” job networking events since June 2008 and had my first event in August 2008.

    Thanks for volunteering your time to helping people out. Sometimes we get rewarded not in money, but in the hope we give to people. Make it happen and hopefully we can do thing together.

    Please reach out to me and my group at http://www.PinkSlipMixers.com.

    Edwin Duterte
    PinkSlipMixers.com

    Post a Reply
  14. Oh! how the Internet needed Angels. Thanks for your presence on the Internet. May the Universe smile on your activities. This one small person does.

    Post a Reply
  15. Dear Mark,

    I just wanted to thank you again for creating JobAngels! Alison Doyle kindly introduced me to it (on LinkedIn) and I’ve since joined both the LinkedIn and Twitter groups. I love the concept of one person reaching out to another person and am happy to use my career counseling experience to help our group members. Please do not hesitate to let me know how I may help. I try to review the tweets and LinkedIn group updates regularly, but am happy to help in any other way I may.

    With my warmest wishes,

    Shahrzad

    Post a Reply
  16. windows/ Unix Computer Engineer email, implementation management
    Seek position 17yrs consulting, full time
    ecannon94@gmail.com

    Post a Reply
  17. This is great! It dovetails with my project:
    http://www.redefining-unemployment.net/

    Basically, the idea is that with so many people unemployed right now there is an unprecedented amount of talent and opportunity out there. If we connect we can help each other put our skills to use, and create new, more sustainable ways of doing business. I’d love to blog about what you’re doing. I’ll read more of your blog first!
    -Joy

    Post a Reply
  18. Gosh! This is all about finding our talent(s). Entitlements are passe’. Let us find our talents and offer them for remuneration. It’s what makes the World go around. What a great endeavor: to make the World go around.

    Post a Reply
  19. @edwin duterte – Thank you Edwin and I’d love to learn more about your Pink Slip Parties. Drop me an email to mark.stelzner@jobangels.org to discuss.

    @Martha C. Wood – Wonderful comments and thoughts yet again Martha. Thank you!

    @Shahrzad Arasteh – Thank you for your kind words and offer Shahrzad. You can absolutely help by continuing to participate actively on our LinkedIn Group and providing whatever advice/guidance you can. I appreciate the selfless gesture and wish you well.

    @ed – Hi Ed. We are not recruiters or a job board, so please go to http://www.jobangels.org to link to one (or all) of our three networks. The idea is for you to connect with people who may be able to help. Good luck!

    @redefiningjoy – I agree with what you’ve said regarding unprecedented talent in the market and leveraging personal/professional connectivity. And let us know once your blog post is live as I’d love to read it. Thanks Joy. :)

    Post a Reply
  20. I am trying to help two young talented individuals find part-time positions in Toronto. Both of them have excellent computer skills, excellent customer service skills and are honest and punctual individuals with a lot of intergrity.

    Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

    Keep up the outstanding work!

    I read about your mission and work in last Saturday’s Globe and Mail on my flight back from L.A. to Montreal.

    Post a Reply
  21. There are two adults who have also approached me about full time jobs. One is a tool and die maker and the other has excellent skills with computers and a lot of experience in the service industry, telecommunications, etc.

    I would appreciate if you are able to send me a link for them to connect with your Toronto chapter.

    All the best.

    Firoz

    Post a Reply
  22. Just when I thought I was computer “saavy” up comes Twitter… How do I ask for an angel?? I am a senior HR looking for job leads in Florida where I reside. Last I heard FlA is now number one in unemployment and competition for every position is horrendous. I would be happy to share any leads I come across with someone, But I would like to know how to post a request for help. Thank you so much for Job Angels, everyone needs an Angel!

    Post a Reply
  23. @Jackie – Thanks for your message. I’d suggest you check out http://www.jobangels.org and follow the links from our landing page for step-by-step instructions. Moreover, I’d suggest you personally network with Sharlyn Lauby (www.hrbartender.com) as she is extremely involved with all things HR in the state of Florida. Best of luck to you!

    Post a Reply
  24. Wow. Where have I been while all this was going on on twitter? It’s an awesome concept, and you are an awesome person! I often get so frustrated when truly talented people cannot find work or keep their business afloat because they don’t have the necessary networking or marketing skills. Not having the skills myself, I’ve always felt powerless to help them, but now I can refer them to JobAngels! Thanks for being such an inspiration, Mark! When I grow up, I wanna be just like you!! :-)

    Post a Reply
  25. @Linda (3dots) – Be careful what you wish for Linda! :) Seriously though, thank you for the kind words and support. We welcome you and anyone else who may need help to join us. Take care and be well!

    Post a Reply
  26. Job Angels is like searching for sea shells at the ocean early in the morning. Shells of all kinds present. Shells in varying stages of their being. …but if you keep hunting, your heart soars and you know you have found the shell to keep. It will always be meaningful. You may come back tomorrow to finish searching. Sometimes, I look a Job Angels and think: blah, blah, blah. But! then a word or a word or two or the whole paragraph starts the brain engine. Stay on your journey. Stay with us Job Angels. You are a repository of surprises, encouragement, and practical content.

    Post a Reply
  27. You know for decades I always knew where jobs were and constantly focused on helping people that I didn’t even know link up with good positions in good companies. I just did it naturally. It seemed like the right thing to do. One of the results of that was that I was always in demand. Great opportunities just showed up for me. When I “got too busy” to do that, the opportunities dried up. I think you’ve really hit on something special and the simpleness of it will make it HUGE and so many people will be helped and so many lives changed. Thanks for making it happen!!!

    Post a Reply
  28. @Mark Stacey – I think you’ve touched on a very important point. Namely, the fact that this goodwill does pay dividends in the long run. A lot of people only “work” their network when they need something. I believe the secret sauce is consistent communications and a somewhat selfless attitude. And as you’ve stated, the results of being “always in demand” speak for themselves. Thanks for all you have done (and continue to do) Mark. We appreciate your support!

    Post a Reply
  29. If you are receiving SSA disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) and want to work, visit this web site for free job placement services nationwide: http://www.rewardsforworking.net. The program is called “Ticket to Work”. For more info, see http://www.ssa.gov/work and look for Ticket to Work.

    If you want to work for SSA as a customer service representative or other position, SSA is hiring hundreds of people nationwide who have disabilities. You do not have to compete with others for these jobs – they are reserved for people with disabilities. Contact http://www.rewardsforworking.net for details.

    For tips on resumes, interviewing, and to find a job, visit http://www.gettinghired.com
    Try this great job search engine: http://www.indeed.com – it cuts across hundreds of job banks and finds all the jobs in your area. Good luck to everyone seeking a job!

    Post a Reply
  30. Good Evening my new Angles, after reading all the notes, I feel that I have found a people who can really help me find a job. I was working at the Home Depot Corp office as an Administrative Assistant for 4 years, when in Feb 2009, I was let go. My world came to a stop and I was alone, with no income, no idea what I was going to do and how would I keep my home. I have no one to help support me, and just keep God in my life to help me go on. In my search for a job, I have come across jobs that are not meant for me, but I do know others who may be a fit, so I send it on in the hope that it will work for them and in turn they will help me. We all need each other and if we give back just to one person, we give more than they had before. With peace and blessings to all, Anita

    Post a Reply
  31. Good Evening my new Angles, after reading all the notes, I feel that I have found a people who can really help me find a job. I was working at the Home Depot Corp office as an Administrative Assistant for 4 years, when in Feb 2009, I was let go. My world came to a stop and I was alone, with no income, no idea what I was going to do and how would I keep my home. I have no one to help support me, and just keep God in my life to help me go on. In my search for a job, I have come across jobs that are not meant for me, but I do know others who may be a fit, so I send it on in the hope that it will work for them and in turn they will help me. We all need each other and if we give back just to one person, we give more than they had before. With peace and blessings to all, Anita

    Post a Reply
  32. Been lassoed by life for the moment but for anyone who read my words above, get in touch with me. August may find me free. Let’s make star bursts all over American
    in s single moment with my -Life Support- idea. Let us call it: Quotidian Pro (Everyday professional support). Moss Wood

    Post a Reply
  33. Ive been checking out JobAngels, Pimp This Bum, and considering starting a street paper to help the homeless here in Fort Worth, Texas I am blown away by the number of people in this world who still care about others I thought we / they were a dying breed.

    As a person living in a mission trying to rebuild my life I am filled with hope and confidence that I can and will do this and I will crawl out of this hole.

    Post a Reply
  34. Thank you for such a nice and useful information shared here. This might be useful for the job seekers. Do you heard about http://cloudjobs.net. I used it to find a good job in the computing field. They are the No:1 online source for the job seekers in the Cloud computing, SaaS, and virtualization.

    Post a Reply
  35. A sincere thank you for being here Job Angels. You appeared at a much needed time.
    I am an ARDMS certified Ultrasound Technologist and am presently looking for a position in a medical clinic or hospital in Colorado.
    I have 15 years of experience in Ultrasound.

    Post a Reply
  36. JobAngels – to help people find job, is a great idea. Hope you’ve grown bigger in the past two years.

    Do continue to do the good work.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much for your comment. We are about a week away from announcing the next generation of JobAngels and I think you’ll be pleased by what you see.

      Post a Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Find a new job or hire someone on Twitter with JobAngels | jasonbroaddus.com - [...] can read more about it here. If you’re looking to hire someone or looking for work (I am currently, …
  2. HRM Today - Blog Archive » It starts with one - [...] crazy, Mark, and some “guardian angels”, pushed forward with the idea by setting up Job Angels. Read [...]
  3. Silver Linings | Corporate Eye - [...] with people who need help–and partly a mission to create awareness and provide hope. Stelzner explains on his blog: …
  4. JobAngels And The Potential Of Social Media | Gravit8 Social Relationship Marketing - [...] with both hands. For me, this opportunity takes the form of JobAngels. It all started with just one tweet …
  5. Bailey WorkPlay :: Work Experience Design » Blog Archive » JobAngels And The Potential Of Social Media - [...] with both hands. For me, this opportunity takes the form of JobAngels. It all started with just one tweet …
  6. Don’t Miss Out | HR whY? - [...] founder of Job Angels, a grassroots organization aimed at helping people find gainful employment.  Check out this blog post …
  7. The HR Whisperer | Don’t Miss Out – from HR whY - [...] founder of Job Angels, a grassroots organization aimed at helping people find gainful employment.  Check out this blog post …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>