Patrick Hoagland of Phoenix was down on his luck after getting laid off from his job as a forklift operator at a metal recycling company. He filled out applications online and handed out résumés to local businesses, but he wasn't getting any responses.
He decided he needed to do something different and decided to stand on a streetcorner with a sign.
"I had only been unemployed a few weeks, but it was very unexpected and I needed to figure something out fast," Hoagland, 30, wrote in an email. "I at first laughed and thought that was silly, but I kept thinking about it. I figured, why not?! There are millions of people in Phoenix driving around, someone might hire me."
He printed out 200 copies of his résumé and hit the streets in search of work last week. Melissa DiGianfilippo saw him while she was driving through Phoenix.
"I was impressed with Patrick because it was 110° outside and what I saw was really unexpected," DiGianfilippo wrote in an email. "He was standing on the side of the road with a sign and a stack of resumes and a huge smile on his face."
DiGianfilippo owns a marketing and PR agency and was impressed by his creativity, so she grabbed a copy of his résumé. She realized that his experience was not a fit for her agency but decided to post his résumé on social media to see whether someone in her network could help him.
What happened next surprised both Hoagland and DiGianfilippo.
Hoagland received thousands of messages from businesses, contractors, recruiters and even people just wishing him luck -- not to mention more job offers than he could have ever expected.
"I was definitely hoping he would get some good job leads out of the post, but I definitely did not anticipate it blowing up in the way it did!," DiGianfilippo said. "The post on LinkedIn is what really has taken off the most, generating thousands and thousands of re-shares, reactions, and likes. I also posted it as an Instagram story which got a ton of engagements and people wanting to reach out to him, on Facebook and on Twitter. I am so amazed by how many people re-shared the post because they really wanted to be a part of a positive story."
After combing through all the offers, Hoagland ultimately decided on Flatline Concrete Grinding in Phoenix. He met owner Kerry Burkhart and immediately knew that her company was the right fit for him.
"I think in general this is a good reminder for people that it takes just a few minutes sometimes out of your day to really change someone's life or make their day better," DiGianfilippo said.
Hoagland and DiGianfilippo have kept in touch, and he updated her throughout his journey. DiGianfilippo easily could have driven past and not taken action, but she's glad that she did, and Hoagland could not be more thankful for it.
"She has been so great, she didn't need to help me, but she did and it has changed my life," he said. "I am so grateful for her."