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I'm very happy to share our members' success stories with you when we can. Since we presented Peggy's story as our first profiled success story of Neighbors-helping-Neighbors USA we now have 411 and today we present Todd W. Hamilton's story. (Peggy, our first success profile here on Aol Jobs, has volunteered to be the Neighbors-helping-Neighbors USA success story reporter.)

Update : Todd W. Hamilton Neighbors-helping-Neighbors USA - Success Story # 386 he was given this job lead by Ken a facilitator, member and 50+ Baby Boomer, Ken is now NhN success # 410.

Clearly Paying it Forward works !

Todd Hamilton's journey to landing his new job took him longer than it did to complete his Communications and Journalism degree from New Jersey's Ramapo College. A 2009 magna cum laude graduate with an impressive dean's list record, Todd sought to find work in his chosen field. He freelanced on exciting projects that included research, editing and writing to build a portfolio.
Todd Hamilton

An internship at Red Letter Press allowed him to hone those skills as he collaborated on "The Little Green Golf Book" and a St. Louis Cardinals "Team Trivia" book. Additionally, he blogged for a CBS website. All the while, Todd was "under-employed" at Trader Joe's. He never thought when he joined their employ in 2009 it would take so long to find a job in the field he hoped to build a career in. Trader Joe's gave him a chance to learn valuable customer service skills and the opportunity to train other employees, creating a foundation for a strong work ethic. Had retail been Todd's chosen path, he could have pursued a management track and was often recognized with raises.

Todd's Update :

So update on the Todd story He found the job was not a great fit and has left. This too is not uncommon as every company and job has a fit factor, and if the fit is not right it is not good for either of the parties. He has returned to his old job at Trader Joes.

> Find a retail job

Todd's true desire was to find a job that would allow him to expand on his degree.

A newspaper article about NhN caught Todd's interest and he attended meetings in three Bergen County, New Jersey towns: Bergenfield, Oradell and River Edge.

"The flexibility of the varied meetings at all different hours so close to home fit my work schedule and allowed me to meet great members who helped me stay focused on my ultimate career path," he recalls. Todd acknowledges that more experienced members shared their strategies to guide him along. He persisted in networking with them and ultimately, a fellow NhN member and facilitator leader of NhN Wayne, Ken Lang, gave him the lead for what would become his new job.

This week, Todd began his new job as a Marketing Associate- Client Relations Liaison. He credits the welcome and acceptance he found within NhN.

> Find a job as a marketing associate

"I was not the typical member, coming out of school so soon. But I advise people in their 20's to consider what an extremely valuable resource NHN is," Todd says. "It is free and for a younger person that does not have a long career to reflect back on, without a larger network and limited experience, the market is more challenging than I ever imagined. NhN has the commitment by its members to help each other."

Todd aspires to continue to help the group and is committed to his role. "I know I will work with my new employer to see what skills I need to do the job well and am willing to continue my education if need be."

Todd completed three interviews with the company, including a working interview. He is excited to embark on his new endeavor. He spent 32 hours a week working before and had kept Sundays as his free-time. He devoted eight hours weekly to job hunting, two hours to NhN meetings, and two hours for networking. Occasionally, he fit in a basketball game or two to stay active.

Todd looks forward to devoting the days ahead to his new job at Holdcom, a digital media production company. He is leaving Trader Joe's on great terms and hopes his story of persistence is encouraging to others. Todd is grateful to Ken and all the members who mentored him.

"My hope is that someone takes a serious look at what John has created and finds a way to compensate him for this program – what he does is amazing and I was lucky to be a part of it," Todd adds.

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