Sometimes what seems like a run-of-the-mill Facebook post makes an unexpected impact on someone else’s life. A grandmother’s day is brightened by seeing pictures of her grandchildren playing in the surf. A daily inspirational quote gives someone the encouragement they need to make a big change in their lives. A comment about needing a vacation sets off the planning for a girls’ weekend.
In the case of Alyce Ornella, her Facebook post was what inspired her friend, Jennifer Benham, to apply for a new career with WOU. She and Jennifer met at Spindleworks in Brunswick, Maine, an art studio for adults with intellectual disabilities. Both were artist mentors—Jennifer helped with fabric and fiber art upstairs while Alyce assisted artists with video and filmmaking downstairs. Although they were a floor apart, the community was tight—both literally and figuratively—which made it easy for the two to form a bond.
Alyce left Spindleworks a few years after Jennifer did and for the same reason—to care for her child. When she was ready to rejoin the workforce, Alyce was perusing jobs online one evening and came across a job developer position at WOU. The position was everything she was looking for: she could work remotely, set her schedule around her responsibilities at home, and her past experience dovetailed nicely with the role. She recalls, “It was a Saturday night, but I was so excited that I whipped together a cover letter and sent it in at 11:00 p.m. with my resume.” Alyce received an offer to join the company and has been there since the spring of 2016.
Once at WOU, Alyce occasionally posted messages on Facebook about how much she enjoyed her career. At one point, she posted about an opening for a job developer, which caught Jennifer’s eye. She decided to check into this company that brought Alyce so much joy and realized that she might actually be interested in joining the company herself. She contacted Alyce, and the two had several discussions before Jennifer decided to give it a shot. She’s now been with WOU since January 2017 and is so thankful that Alyce posted about the position that day because, as she says, “Community is the fabric that keeps us together; when we reach out, wonderful things can happen.”
Besides the reward of working with her friend again from the power of connectivity, Alyce finds the real benefit is being able to build a stronger team. She says, “Jennifer’s added so much, and we are lucky to be able to reap the rewards of her being here.”
Social media is just one more way to put the power of connectivity to work for you.