When I started the first meeting group of Neighbors-helping-Neighbors in River Edge Library back on January 27, 2011, it was very evident to me that working on a job search alone was not the best way to be able to be successful at it. And I learned from talking and networking with a lot of people I would see around town that there were many people that were in the same situation as me. As I got to know some of them, it was evident that these people all had very strong resumes, great work history, a solid education, and a strong desire and motivation to succeed at their Job search. It was not their fault they were not finding success.
As the economy and job market were in the most difficult position that it had ever been historically, and the number of jobs available were truly far below the people who needed them. The idea of a locally based group led by peers who were not career professionals seemed to make sense. I did talk to professionals for some guidance, and weekly meetings to create accountability was suggested buy several that I had asked for advice from. In the first few meetings we had a small group of members who were seasoned network meeting attendees, and they helped build the weekly meeting agenda. Each week this small group of people would help each other with suggestions, advice, honest feedback, networking ideas, and the support of all the members. This room filled of people all in the same situation needing a job, helping each other just proved to be providing that something extra that they all seemed to need to make a difference to assist with landing a job.
The benefit of this weekly group was the very strong support each member provided to everyone in the group, and that by attending these meetings there was a strong accountability to themselves and each member who would be in attendance. We are a pay-it-forward concept which means we expect members to give of themselves their advice, open their network to all in our group. We offer all our weekly meetings for free no cost and have a few expectations of every member in return for our efforts. We need everyone to be positive not only at meetings but in their own life, as our mission is to coach and help people to land jobs. We know that one must be positive at all times when working on this process. And we ask that all members accept the concepts, format and approach to our meetings of our group and take the steps to act on all information and advice provided by the members.
The program designed and followed has created an unprecedented success rate of helping members land jobs and contract work. We have learned that this success is when members attend weekly and implement all they learn from their peers at the weekly meeting. Each job seeker to be successful must own their job search and putting in time and effort far greater than what was necessary in the past, wen jobs were more plentiful. We are very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time, we know that we could not have accomplished any of this were it not for our facilitators, volunteer leaders and each and every member who has accepted our concept and apply it every day. We have aggressive expansion desires as we know what we do and what the strengths of this group are, that we can help anyone who is interested and motivated. Our success requires a constant member recruitment effort and the continuous training of volunteer leaders to lead our weekly meeting groups following our program. Our organization provides the platform for support, motivation, leadership, sharing of current job search skills, and creating networking opportunities.