Note: The following post was submitted by Angela Minicuci, HAPPO supporter and, as you will see, benefactor. A huge kudos and thanks to Nikki Stephan for playing a key role in this HAPPO success story.
I was one month away from graduating when I received the phone call that changed my future. The position I planned on beginning after graduation was gone because Michigan is in a severe recession and budget cuts eliminated my opportunity. I could wait around for a few months until the position was available again, or I could jump back into the job pool and start back at square one. I took the plunge.
December came, and I graduated. In January, I slept a lot. February came, and I began a paid internship that did not have the potential of becoming full time. The search continued.
I was doing everything I possibly could do to get my name out there. But the truth is, I’m young and my network is not yet big enough to spread my name high and low. Sure, I could tweet to my followers that I was still searching, but I had to be careful not to annoy people and lose connections. I could remind people, call, email, send letters (yes, handwritten letters), post things on Facebook, LinkedIn or job search sites, but I had to accept that I could not do it alone. The tides turned when Nikki Stephan contacted me about doing a post on her blog featuring me for #HAPPO. I had heard of Help a PR Pro Out but wasn’t sure how to get involved. This was my chance.
For one full day, a wonderfully written post about me and my qualifications was passed from person to person through social media. I cannot thank Nikki Stephan enough for her kind words and offer to help me. #HAPPO got the ball rolling. An organization hired me because they heard great things about me. But the best part is, they aren’t on a single social media network. Instead, they brought me on board to get them involved.
I think #HAPPO reminded those who knew me that I was still looking for a job, and it drew in those who had never heard my name before. The organization I now work for has nothing to do with social media or online networks directly, but I personally believe my resume would have never reached their desks if it weren’t for this event. I didn’t apply for the position. Instead, local professionals passed on my resume and they called me. #HAPPO served not only as a reminder that I was still out there, but also as a confidence builder. When you’re struggling to find a job, it’s very easy to get discouraged. Optimism is key when you’re trying to promote yourself.
I don’t think my story is conventional or normal, but it’s true. I’m now happily employed. I live in the Lansing, Mich. area, and if there are any PR hopefuls out there that would like my help, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve been in your shoes, and I can only hope to be as helpful to you as #HAPPO was to me.