Paying it forward

I’m hoping that the readers of this blog will help me find a job.

Not for me, though – I’m really hoping to help someone else. In this economy, there are plenty of deserving candidates. But I believe this person is really, REALLY deserving of all the job opportunities he can manage.

His name is Omar Gutierrez. You can read more about him in this Chicago Tribune story.  I don’t mean to put Omar on a pedestal, but his reaction to a bad situation that he witnessed is made completely of win and awesome.

When he saw a pizza delivery man (Steven Walker) get robbed in his neighborhood, he helped the victim. He provided details to the police.

Many people would have stopped right there (if they’d had the decency to be involved at all), but Omar went on to raise over $16,000 to buy the pizza delivery guy a new car (his car had been stolen and totaled in the robbery). SIXTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, people. That was enough to buy Mr. Walker a new car.

This was such an inspiring story to me on a personal level. We often feel that in such a big city, we’re all little satellites who orbit each other, but never interact. It seems so sad to say, but it’s true: Omar’s actions were unusual and out of the ordinary.

People have been thanking Omar (I’m sure it will be a looooooong time before he has to pay for a pizza) but here’s the thing: Omar was laid off at about the same time I was. He was just at the precipice of entering the field of architecture. Though he’s been working part-time at other gigs, I’m hoping that I can help Omar get a job as an architect or a related field. Or, at least get his foot in the door for an interview (God knows, that’s challenging enough in this economy).

If you’re in the career or human resources field and have some ideas for Omar, or if you work with an architect (or know a great company that could use Omar on its team), please contact Omar. As he said in a message to me, he’d be a great fit for “any potential jobs in graphic design, architecture or property management.”  He’s done so much for other people, and he deserves a chance to make his own dreams come true, too.

You can contact Omar on Twitter at “ogaguse” or at Gmail (using his Twitter handle You can also see Omar’s LinkedIn profile here.

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