If you have a Twitter account, hopefully you've heard about @jJobAngels. For that matter, since I first started writing this post six months ago, if you're on Facebook or LinkedIn, JobAngels have begun their great work of helping others find jobs from those sites, as well. It started as a great idea: human compassion for others and an extremely motivated group of followers. This seems to be the right combination to begin a viral groundswell that is part pay-it -forward, part social media, and part hiring agency. Mark Stelzner, sower of the JobAngels seed, sent out a single, 122-character tweet
"[I} was thinking that if each of us helped just one person find a job, we could start making a dent in unemployment. You game?”
Mark describes in his blog the astounding events that followed:"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; [I] 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.
It has been eleven months since that original message, and in this relatively brief period of time, a movement has taken shape that is comprised of 12,300 followers on Twitter alone, and over 18,000 over Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. There have been 4,000+ Tweets alone, 12,526 group members on LinkedIn, and 3,867 fans on Facebook. The @jJobAngels crew has sent out over 500,000 JobAngel messages across a myriad of online platforms. JobAngels have donated their time, their networks, their expertise and their hearts to this grassroots initiative and the movement is just getting started."
JobAngels' mission is to facilitate a community in which all come together and commit to one single goal: "Help one person find gainful employment."
The JobAngels cause met approval in both the traditional and online media, has been featured in more than 200 TV broadcasts and in more than 30 top-tier newspapers and magazines, 700 blogs, and in numerous symposiums and conferences. Mark is the first to admit that he could not have done it on his own and attributes the success to his guardian angels who have gone well above the call of duty in the creation of JobAngels. The guardian angels include 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," Stelzner said. " I’d also like to thank Greg Grigoriou of VanPaul Design for creating the JobAngels logo on such short notice."
If you feel a compelling need to give back, to help others, or to just get involved with something greater than yourself, join the JobAngels. Thus far, more than 700 people have been employed through their association with the movement.