Minnesota Start Up Culture Roundtable
Jobs from the Fortune 500 Vol 11

Email From A 13 Year Old

Yesterday I received an email from a 13 year old boy young man that stopped me in my tracks. He is the son of a job seeker who listened to my series of presentations “Be Your Own Headhunter” about job search, LinkedIn and Social Media.

His father took my advice about doing a job search, how to network both online and in person and in a small way I was able to make an introduction through a friend of a friend on LinkedIn and that is how he got the offer and his job at the new firm.

What I did not know how to do was reply to this young man. I have been doing these types of presentations for eight years (last year using webinars was new to me). I teach people how I use these tools, what I would do if I were them and then rely on the attendees to translate to how they could do it.

There are a lot of success stories of the years and I have received the sweetest of messages but this one really got to me. In three short lines he made an impact on me and I wanted to say thank you to him.

But funny how a wind bag like me is always a loss for words when it comes to the emotional stuff.

So I decided rather than keep on thinking what to say I just started typing and came up with this reply:


You need to know that every time your father and I spoke he mentioned his family, how much he loves you all. I know this has been a difficult year but your father never quit and his new firm, they are lucky to have him.

I have so much respect for your father, he is a hero in my book. He is who all guys should be.

I sincerely appreciate the kind words but this is what I want you to do for me, in the coming days get some alone time with him, tell him what he means to you and that you love him. Then give him a hug, fist bump or whatever it is you do :)

Best Wishes to you.

Win Twins.


Last year around 1,900 job seekers attended in person or through the webinars these sessions. It is a labor of love. Always has been.

For those who read this blog frequently or follow me on Twitter you know I have been on a few rants lately.

The last being the State of the Union. What I am about to say is not political. This is not about the parties. It is about ineffective leadership coming from our President(s) and Congress.

Peak employment was 26 months ago and not until the other night is jobs going to be a focus in D.C. I find that, well, a lot of things most of which I will keep to myself.

Politicians are falling over themselves talking about how two million jobs were saved. How with the job bill will create another one to two million.

That is nice (sarcasm) but what about the estimated eight to twelve million that will still not be working? Do the math, if at the best of times the economy creates 200,000 jobs a month we are talking years, YEARS before we get back to where we were.

While I grant you, me and the government cannot make jobs magically appear we can help job seekers with the jobs that are out there. And there are many. It’s just that employers are hiding as best they can and worse, not getting back to people at all.

I have struggled for weeks with what do with these sessions this year. I cannot keep up the pace I set last year. Doing the sessions is easy but setting the schedule, creating slides, answering questions after is difficult while trying to my day job.

For 2010 I am going to go to go with a small fee ($50) for all the sessions and ask folks to pay what they can. Hopefully I can raise enough revenue to hire a full time marketing person that can help me do this.

For the Recruiter/HR, already employed professionals each session will also have a small fee attached to it and you will be asked to “pay for what you learn”. I can then take that revenue and put on some larger events here in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Finding free space is difficult let alone a venue that can host 100+ people.

I am going to spend the weekend updating slides and make a calendar of webinar events for February. You will see the schedule on the main page here by Saturday afternoon.

Anyone can do this. Help one person. Volunteer with a local group.

Do something.


Kristina E. Proctor

Thanks for the honesty. I've been following your blog and twitter feed for a few months now and it's worth the time. I appreciate everything you've done for job seekers.

I have been on the end of the line in the past few months when the employer just never calls or emails back. It's an insanely difficult time.

Jennifer McClure

Thanks for sharing this experience with us Paul! What a fantastic kid to take the time to send you the note - and your response to him is priceless. Keep doing good things. You're helping more people than you know!

Brad Hogenmiller

I've got to tell you Paul, reading a legitimately heartfelt post like this is refreshing.

So many in our industry are worried about generating content only to promote their position among the elite of online recruiting personalities. It's great to see the passion you have for helping people come through.

-Brad (@JavaSTL)

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