Losing a job is never easy. The financial strain, uncertainty, and stress that come with it can be overwhelming. Not to mention the fear and anxiety of not knowing what comes next.
So when Peter Judge, 59, found himself caught up in the recent wave of layoffs sweeping across the country he was understandably “heartbroken” and scared.
Peter, who has spent his lifetime in the service industry, had been working as a cashier at a WinCo Foods in Phoenix, Arizona for the past four years. He loved his job, and he was good at it. But suddenly, it was gone.
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Single and living paycheck to paycheck, it was a devastating blow.
To compound the stress of losing his job, the world has changed a lot in the last few years when it comes to finding a job. It’s a world Peter knows very little about.
That’s where his son, 30-year-old Patrick McCarthy comes in.
When Patrick heard his dad’s news, he could definitely relate. Having lost his own job as a marketing manager for Coursera just a month prior, he understood the crushing weight of uncertainty and loss. He wanted to do something to help.
So, he decided to bring his dad into the digital age.
The LinkedIn Post That Made Magic Happen
Patrick turned to the online networking platform LinkedIn. He hoped to find some support for his dad and maybe a job lead or two. What he ended up finding was magic.
He shared a heartfelt post on LinkedIn, explaining how his father had lost his job and how much he loves working with people, dedicating most of his career to serving others.
“This is Pete. He’s my dad,” the post began. “He’s been in the service industry for most of his professional career. Walgreens, Fry’s, Winco. He loves his customers. He loves being the reason people come back. He loves seeing customers seek out his lane for check-ins and updates. He said to me, ‘I’m good at this stuff.’”
“Most of his professional stints have lasted 10+ years. As anyone would be, he’s shocked. Overwhelmed. Scared. Emotional,” the post continued. “His network is not like mine. He doesn’t even really know how to make his next move. But I know whoever is reading this and this LinkedIn community can make magic happen.”
The Response to the LinkedIn Post Was Incredible
To Patrick’s surprise, the post received an overwhelming response. In just over a week it garnered nearly 20K reactions, 800 comments, and 600 shares.
Turns out a lot of people could relate to Peter’s situation and wanted to help.
Commenters came out in droves to offer support, encouragement, and even employment opportunities, including executives with Southwest Airlines and Tyson Foods.
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Others offered pro bono help with career coaching, interview prep, and résumé and cover letter reviews.
Even LinkedIn stopped by to show its support, commenting “Pete sounds like a top-tier employee! ???? Keep us posted as he progresses on his journey, as well as any tips or insights either of you learn along the way – it may help those in a similar situation.”
Peter couldn’t believe it. “I never saw any of this coming,” he told the Washington Post. “This has raised my spirits like you don’t even know.”
He said it even went so far as to restore his faith in humanity.
The Power of Community
With the help of his son, Peter created his own LinkedIn profile and is currently sorting through his options, taking time to find the perfect fit.
He also expressed his gratitude for all of the support he’s received. “I would like to thank all of you for the overwhelming support, suggestions and offers,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “My son Patrick is guiding me on this journey. I’m still learning the ropes of LinkedIn, so bear with me.”
While he may still be learning how to use LinkedIn, one thing he does know for sure is the power of community and family in helping you get through difficult times. Just knowing that he has so many people supporting him has given Peter a much-needed boost of confidence: “People do believe in people. It makes you want to go on and get out there.”
Social media can often bring out the worst in people, but it also has the power to bring out the best.
When someone needed it most, an online community stepped up and came together in heartwarming solidarity. It just goes to prove that when used for good, social media can do what it was initially meant to do: connect people and create positive change.