Our best to you Jason

After reading Jason Mollica’s announcement of being let go I knew there wasn’t a lot I could do for him, but I could still do something. There are many of us who look to Jason as a mentor and respected leader in the public relations industry, not to mention a friend.

What makes Jason’s reach unique is how he has met people and then grown his relationships. The majority of us connected with Jason through social media, but these relationships have grown well beyond 140 characters and blog comments. He is the first to offer advice, comment on blog posts and share a thought out #FF.

I wanted to write a blog post as Jason determines the next part of his journey. After brainstorming with Britten Wolf, we determined the primary goal was showing Jason he has our support. The enthusiasm I received from contributors was truly moving.

Our best to you Jason.

Jason Mollica is someone I truly admire. An active participant in the u30pro community, frequent contributor to PR Breakfast Club and chief blogger at One Guy’s Journey, Jason has taught me a lot about life, career and everything in between. He’s someone you can always count on him to be the first to retweet your blog posts, challenge your thinking or lend advice when needed. So, when I heard about his layoff, I was shocked. As a great communicator, professional and person, I know that this setback is a blessing in disguise. I’m confident that Jason will succeed in this next phase of his career. I’m happy to endorse and support him in his next endeavor.

Thanks for all you’ve done buddy, and good luck in the future!
–    Britten Wolf

There are two things that impress me about Jason and that are reflected in his work in the industry: his optimism and ethics. He is someone who embraces new challenges, analyzes the negative with a glass half full, and never loses integrity. This is rare in a person, but those rare qualities are what assure me that he will succeed in his future endeavors. But despite Jason’s amazing qualities, his taste in sports teams is still terrible. 😉
–    Jackie Lampugnano

 I initially “met” Jason through the robust PR community on Twitter, a little over a year ago. He quickly became an amazing mentor and friend to me. He continues to thoroughly impress me day in and day out with his sharp PR insights, extensive social media expertise, and his outstanding communication skills. He is one of the nicest PR pros I’ve ever known. I don’t know how he does it, but he is always around to listen and give honest feedback whenever I need it. I would highly recommend Jason if you are in need of any PR or social media consulting. 
–    Jessica Malnik

I know Jason through Twitter. We connected on #u30pro and have been close ever since. Jason is someone I hope to be like in my career. Besides being smart and driven, he helps anyone and everyone he can. I’m truly blessed to call him a friend.
–    Kimberly Lucio

Jason Mollica is the type of PR professional that I strive to be – understanding, insightful and knowledgeable in numerous areas of the field. Not only is he a rockstar in a professional way, but Jason truly cares about the people around him, and in turn, shifts that mentality to his work. In the social space, he is always willing to lend a helping hand and is the first to volunteer when someone needs something. Jason is the type of person that is infectious, not only in his personality, but his thought leadership/smarts as well. Anyone would be lucky to have him at their company.
–    Lauren Fernandez

Jason has helped me as a student with career advice and resume advice. He especially helped me through a through personal difficulties and career transitions. He has always been extremely supportive. He also volunteered to talk to my PRSSA Chapter about the job hunt and social media. He helped students in my Chapter and even gave out his contact information so he could help them further. I thank him for everything he has done for me and my Chapter.
–    Lauren Gray

Jason has been one of my biggest cheerleaders over the past two years, as I’ve made the transition from student to PR professional. He has read, commented on and re-tweeted more of my blog posts than I can recall; he wrote me a letter of recommendation when I was vying for a local public relations award; he has sent me encouraging emails, tweets and facebook messages as I’ve sought to better myself and my young career — and he has masterfully embraced the role of a true mentor and friend, even though we’ve never personally met each other. Jason has proven time and time again that social media is powerful if the right people use it in the right way to genuinely connect with each other and form relationships. He is not just an intelligent PR/social media professional — he is someone you should know because of his strong character. I am a better person for knowing him.
–    Lauren Novo

Jason represents a collective community of people who encouraged and motivated me to be where I am today. He isn’t family. I haven’t known him since high school. We don’t go “way back”. And that’s the beauty of it. Jason and I stumbled across each other online a couple years ago, and ever since, have supported and encouraged one another toward greatness. Asking for nothing in return, Jason is inspiring in a selfless way that can’t help but have you pay it forward.

As Jason embarks into the next step of his life, you don’t need to worry about him. You don’t need to check in and see if he’s okay. He’ll be just fine. Doing what he does day in and day out. Making things happen. Because that, in a nutshell, is what Jason does. Cheers buddy!
–    Matt Cheuvront

I consider Jason Mollica to be a very good friend of mine. We connected on Twitter a couple of years ago, and have gotten to know each other pretty well in that time. He is a consummate professional with fresh ideas and perspectives that put his clients in the forefront of their audiences’ minds. Even more than that, he is an industry leader, always willing to provide time and effort to those who request it from him. I would recommend working with him to anyone because knowing him has been one of the greatest pleasures I’ve had during my time on Twitter.
–    Matt LaCasse

During blogging’s “Be My Guest” month, I sought a guest poster. I have a smallish blog without much circulation (compared to the BIG bloggers), but Jason jumped in without a moment’s hesitation and wrote a kick-butt guest post for me. A lot of his own words in that post are pertinent to this situation, such as:  “Stumped about what you can do, no matter how small, for others? Just listen. Maybe someone just needs a few moments to vent or ask your opinion. Sit down and just open your ears. It goes a long way… believe me.”
–    Paula Kriger

Jason and I have never met in person. Yet, he is always willing to offer advice and suggestions, as well as listen to me vent. Jason has great ideas and the experience to back them up. I can’t wait to see the great things he’ll do.
–    Rachel Esterline

From #PRStudChat to #HAPPO to #TweetDrive, it is easy to see Jason’s passion for social media and for using social media to build relationships and help others. He is quick to volunteer his time and talents to help others and his encouragement and positive attitude have had a great impact on many young PR professionals. It is not surprising to see the wave of support for Jason as he begins a new chapter in his career and I look forward to cheering him on as he takes the next step in his journey. 
–    Valerie Simon

I have a lot of respect for Jason as a comms professional and human being. If you read his blog posts or interact with him on Twitter, you know he has such a wonderfully balanced view of the world and is always able to find the positives in any situation. Even though we’ve never met ‘in the flesh’, I’m very proud to call Jason a friend…all the way from London.
–    Adam Vincenzini


Jason is eloquent, smart, and down to earth, and I’ve been so fortunate to know him for almost a year and a half now. Back in May of 2010, Jason wrote a guest post for my blog titled “The Patience Principle” in which he says “What I am telling you to do is take things one step at a time…sometimes what it takes to be patient is stepping back for a few minutes.” As a college grad 5 days before Jason wrote this post (and 4 days before I started my full time job), it hit home. My life was moving a mile a minute and I barely had time to breath, let alone be patient. Yet Jason’s timeless advice was exactly what I needed to hear, at exactly the right time. I know everyone in this space looks to Jason as a mentor and a good friend. I know we can all agree Twitter and social media would not be the same without Jason Mollica. I am so fortunate to know Jason and am ecstatic to see his next steps.
–    Sam Ogborn

I’ve got a TweetDeck group for people like Jason – It’s not for big talkers or “elite” social media personalities. It’s for people that know how to get stuff done, question the status quo, and want to learn through conversation that skips BS and meaningless buzz. Jason has an incredibly realistic outlook on his industry and I appreciate that he doesn’t get worked up about shiny objects. More than just conversation and sharing, Jason’s blog is an infinite source of wisdom on industry and life. When we’re looking for weekly top blog posts for the u30pro digest, One Guy’s Journey is the first place I look. Whether I find the right kind of life experience post for the digest or not, I get sucked in to all of the recent posts by Jason.
–    Scott Hale

I place a great deal of importance on first impressions – both when I meet people and in how I present myself during these meetings. I believe they are remembered and I know I can name my top first impressions. Jason falls in that category.

After connecting on Twitter he immediately sent me a direct message offering his help on anything. I was honestly taken aback… I felt like a nobody – why did I receive such a great message? That’s the person Jason is – he sees the person you can become. And I find myself following in his “pay it forward footsteps,” sharing DMs with new followers to see how I can help as well. Thanks for showing me the way, Jason.
–    Stephanie Florence

Every time I’ve needed help or had a question on anything related to social media, PR, jobs, or just life in general, Jason has always jumped at the chance to help me out. He’s shared so much valuable advice and information with me, which has made me a better professional. He is one of the most kind, helpful people I know, and I am so grateful and glad to call him a friend.
–    Stephanie Majercik

From #PRStudChat to #HAPPO to #TweetDrive, it is easy to see Jason’s passion for social media and for using social media to build relationships and help others. He is quick to volunteer his time and talents to help others and his encouragement and positive attitude have had a great impact on many young PR professionals. It is not surprising to see the wave of support for Jason as he begins a new chapter in his career and I look forward to cheering him on as he takes the next step in his journey.
–    Valerie Simon


Britten Wolf has become a great friend after meeting through Twitter and maintaining weekly calls about PR, social media and how to best take over the world one day. We cannot recall the first time we discussed the opportunity for a guest post, but I’m excited the day has finally arrived. My conversations with Britten bring new perspective to my everyday and leave me motivated to push on in this thing they call the real world.

The world has changed. Cable television, the internet and smartphones have transformed the way we live and do business. Today’s world moves fast. We, as millennials, have been raised in the fast lane and totally immersed in this technology since we were born.

We helped our parents, the baby boomers, set the time on their VCRs, showed them how to use email and explained to them that Twitter is more than a place to tell people what you are doing. They have had to adapt and learn to use this new technology. This technology has come into their lives at an alarming rate, bringing a learning curve and skepticism for it.

New technology brings new expectations. We expect we will never get lost because of the GPS in our cars. We expect that we will never be out of contact because our smartphones connect us to anyone with our phone number, email address or Twitter handle. We expect everything to move as fast as a Google search, but it doesn’t.

There have been numerous articles, from a variety of sources including CNN and the Harvard Business Review, pointing out the differences between the millennials and the baby boomers. The common thread between them seems to be millennials’ sense of entitlement. How we feel that we deserve things we have not earned. How we expect employers to cater to our needs. How we expect the perfect job.

Frankly, it’s bullshit.

First, let’s take a step back and look at how we were raised. From day one, our parents told us that we could be whatever we wanted to be. Games rewarded participants, not winners. Our parents said that good grades would get us into a good college, and a good college would get us a good job. In the system that raised us, the sky was the limit. They conditioned failure out of us.

Now, let’s fast-forward to the real world. Let’s look at today’s expectations and look at what employers expect from us. They want the same today as they wanted from our parents before us. Do more with less. Do more for less. Work longer hours than ever before. These expectations aren’t new to the workforce, but we are.

Hit face-first with the harsh realities of the real world, we are quick to find that the jobs we were lead to believe we’d have, aren’t there. There are fewer jobs than ever before and the competition for those jobs is fierce. This game only rewards winners; there is no prize for second-place. Because of this, thousands of us college-educated millennials are under-employed or sit without a job, gamed by the system that raised us.

A lucky few of us make the cut. We’ve worked non-paid internships and started careers at a reduced-rate, just to get into the game. Employers want more for less, and we understand that. It’s Business 101. Employers expect us to work long hours. We can do that too. We are enthusiastic, optimistic and ready to work, energized by the fact that we have a job.

With our smartphones, laptops and iPads, we can work from anywhere and at any time. We are always online, reading, researching and learning as much as we can. We are reaching out, connecting and networking with friends, peers and experts. These new connections give us new ways of learning and enable us to gain knowledge faster than ever before. This knowledge coupled with technology empowers us to make change.

Change not only our industries, but change our lives and change the world.

To bring about this change, we feel entitled to use tools like the internet and social media at work. It is our lifeline to our connections and the world’s knowledge. We’re always on, so we feel entitled to start later than 8am, because we are working far longer than when quitting time rolls around at 5pm. Our educational system taught us that everyone has a valuable opinion and we should work as a team. So we feel entitled to have opinions and to speak up with them. Examples like these are endless, but the bottom line is that our entitlement stems from how we were raised.

We were raised in today’s technology. We were raised in a system without failure. We were raised to think we are valued.

But, we cannot blame technology, the economy or a system for where we are today.

We have to blame ourselves, both millennials and baby boomers alike.

As millennials, we need to wake up. We have been living a lie for the past twenty plus years. There are no guarantees of jobs after college or even jobs at all. Don’t blame your parents. They couldn’t foresee where we are today. During their time, the sky was the limit and it’s what they instilled into us. That optimism is still there, and we can still change the world. It’s just going to be longer and harder than ever before.

Baby Boomers need to accept reality. We, as millennials, are just as they were at this age: young, eager and at times, reckless. They need to capitalize on our technological savvy, invigorate themselves with our fresh ideas and renew themselves with our optimism. They also need to be prepared to pay us for it. We can be just as loyal and hard working as the generations before us. There will be some catering and some concessions, but this isn’t millennial entitlement, it’s progress.

Britten is a public relations and social media professional, somewhere in Middle America. He is the editor of DED Music blog and loves Manchester United FC, pints of Guinness and his friends. Find him on Twitter at @brittenwolf.

This student always said ‘Peace out states’

Meet my friend Sarah. As seen on CNN Money. Yep, she’s that cool. Sarah wasn’t finding a teaching position in the U.S. so what did she do? She said ‘Peace out states’ and headed to a country where she knew one person. Hello bravery!

Sarah will be teaching literature in Kuwait for a two-year commitment. She’s someone we always knew would find her way to a teaching opportunity abroad – she lives for new cultures, people and experiences. And because of that I consider her a “student always.”

What I’ve learned from Sarah:

  • You can’t let the situation define you. If life isn’t playing out as you had hoped, don’t give in. Create the situation you imagined.
  • Technology takes away the distance. (Through Facebook, email and text messages I feel like we’ve talked our standard amount for the last week.)
  • Jump into the unknown. Forget a comfort zone. Your experience and confidence in your abilities will help you land on your feet.

I’m excited to follow Sarah’s adventure over the next two years and looking forward to sharing a guest post from her soon.

What have you learned from time abroad? Could you pick up and move to another country like this fearless gal?


So, you’ve got your master’s degree!


I hope you enjoy this guest post from a very good friend, Andy Herren. Andy is the type of person who walked around a campus of 40,000 students and knew 9 out of 10 people he passed on the street. Not only was he a contributor to the University of Illinois newspaper, he is the person who can drum up 30+ responses to a Facebook status — I wanted to give him a new outlet to share his writing. Here goes…


“So, you’ve got your master’s degree!  What’s next?”  Oh,  those dreaded words.  Don’t worry if you’ve spouted them to me (as a good 95 percent of those in my life have); it is nice to know that people care about my future even if I have no idea what it holds.  I’ll admit what nearly everyone who has just left college behind is thinking:  the real world kinda sucks.  Looking for jobs is stressful, not being able to get drunk four nights a week is a major buzz kill (albeit a responsible buzz kill), and moving back in with mom and dad isn’t what anyone envisions for themselves as a college graduate.  However, I feel as though life as a new grad is very exciting.  The world is yours for the taking, and as long as you’ve got the ambition nothing is impossible.  Also, having a solid base of friends is essential to life as a post grad (and life in general, actually).  I’d now like to take some time to do one of my favorite activities:  talk about myself.  Let’s start at the beginning…

I’m going to take you back to August of 2005, when a petrified only child who had never done laundry before was dumped at the substance free dorm of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by a devastated, crying mother and an impatient, frustrated father (he had been dealing with my weepy mom all afternoon).  If you haven’t guessed already, the student in question is yours truly, and to be quite honest, I almost transferred from U of I after a few months.  Living in the substance free dorm (Snyder Hall, for anyone wondering) yielded meeting VERY FEW social people, and I was used to being able to meet and greet with panache.  Unless you’re an engineer who wants straight A pluses (and if you are, I mean no disrespect), nearly anyone who attends college will admit that finding a solid base of friends is essential to being happy and successful in such a foreign environment, and this element was glaringly missing from my college experience.  Well, by October of 2005 everything changed when I met the dude who eventually became my best friend of college.  All of a sudden I had a partner in crime, and we established a social network that expanded across all of campus.  We would go on “Dorm Tours” every night, leaving after dinner and typically arriving back home around 2:30am.  On these tours, we would end up traveling all over the University to visit floors of our friends.  Freshman year went from one of the loneliest times of my life to one of the most exciting, and all it took was establishing some solid connections. 

The action of making connections occurred similarly my sophomore year as well.  On Open Doors Night in Allen Hall I struck up a conversation with the guy who turned out to be my other best friend of college, thus proving that connections can be made in even the hokiest of settings.  I also would take advantage of meeting people in classes, usually sitting back for a few weeks, gauging who was worth establishing contact with, and making my move towards friendship.  Doing this also resulted in lasting relationships that I maintain this very day. 

Undergrad passed by in a blur of Corona and research papers, and soon it was time to decide what was next.  The first semester of my senior year I was taking two classes in the Communication department, and I fell in love.  I talked to the professors of these classes, who urged me to apply for my master’s in Communication at U of I.  I applied, got in, and instantly had the next two years of my life figured out.  I still remember all of my friends freaking out about employment while I was just getting drunk because I had solidified a solid two-year base for myself after graduation.

I started graduate school in the fall of 2009, and all of a sudden it felt like 2005 again.  My core of friends had all graduated, and I was back…without any of them.  Even though I was in the same physical location I still felt a sense of loneliness at losing so many people I really cared about.  Thus, I made it my goal to be proactive and get to know the people in my program.  Soon, myself and the eight other people in the Communication master’s program were great friends, and I can say with confidence that I plan to keep in touch with all of them.  The other interaction that I truly valued about my time in graduate school was the time I spent with my students.  You see, in the Communication program graduate students are made TAs for classes, and I taught courses in public speaking and paper writing.  My students’ success motivated me to yearn towards being the best teacher I could possibly be, and watching all of them progress throughout our time together is still one of the best memories I will have of all of my time at U of I.  The two years I spent getting my master’s passed as quickly as undergrad, and now I find myself writing this guest blog entry for (the lovely) Stephanie Florence.  So, you’re all probably wondering (that is if you’ve reached this point…sorry, I’m long-winded):  what’s next?

My future plans, as of right now, include taking improvisation classes at Second City in Chicago, applying to USC film school, applying to teach community college near my house, applying for communications jobs in Chicago, and playing with my dog a lot.  I’ve also been frequenting the gym due to immense amounts of free time.   Yes, I am currently unemployed, but the extreme optimist in me says to hold out a bit and keep taking risks.  Sure, film school will cost me six figures of debt if I get in, but it would put me on a path towards a life that I have dreamed about since I was young.  Yeah, taking improv classes isn’t the most professional thing to do after getting your master’s degree, but I’ve always wanted to try my hand at comedy, so why not now?  Life is short, and for the moment being I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and stuck doing something I dislike.  The more practical part of me, however, is screaming, “GET A JOB, YOU BUM!  Do you want to be homeless one day?!”  The fact that I have very little money definitely is a huge incentive to try and join the work force. 

So, the moral of the story:  I can’t stress enough how important it is to make connections in whatever situation your find yourself.  Be it during your freshman year of college or your first year in the work force, I say “Go!  Get out there and meet people!”  Having people to talk to and confide in is a true (and free!) pleasure in life.  I actually heard about Second City and USC through friends who know me and thought I would love what each institution has to offer, and if you’re looking for a job it never hurts to have a foundation of people who have your back and will go to bat for you.  Also, if you’re recently graduated, friends are the perfect people to complain about unemployment with.  Take it from someone with first-hand experience. 

Update: Congrats to Andy on landing a Speech teaching gig at a local community college!

Making post-graduation YOUR time

I’m thrilled to have Jason Mollica provide the VERY FIRST guest post on my blog. My first offer to guest post came from Jason and I felt it only fitting to do the same. We connected through a tweet, but I’ve grown to consider him a mentor in not only my career, but in life. In today’s contribution, Jason shares advice for how to handle setbacks during your journey to the top.


Graduation from college can be an exciting and stressful time. There are no more classes, but now you are prepared to take the next step. If you have a job, you have started on that “real world” path. But there are going to be bumps in the road, whether it is two weeks or two months from now. You need to focus your energies and create your own moment. Try these on for size. These are three things I try to do when I hit bumps in the road.


Step back

We get so immersed in wanting to get that next job or get that first job, we lose sight of the plan. Step away from the hunt for an hour or a day and clear your head. A healthy perspective on your hunt will help make you more focused and more positive.


Make an Opportunity

One of the more important aspects of a job search or even job improvement is seizing an opportunity. What may appear as an insignificant moment, may just be a chance to shine. Never pass up a chance to show what you’ve got. When it comes to the job hunt, follow a prospective employer on Twitter. You just never know when a Tweet could end up being a job.


Envision success

The only way to succeed is if you see yourself on top. This doesn’t mean you have to be cocky, but being confident in your abilities goes a long way to how you carry yourself in personally and professionally. What is your plan? Do you even have one? If not, write down five objectives you would like to see yourself reach. Another good resource (if you are a PR minded person) is the Public Relations Society of America. They offer valuable webinars that can often assist you.


The late Herb Brooks once told his 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team that, “This is your time. Now take it!”  Take what Coach Brooks said and make it happen.


Connect with Jason at oneguysjourney.wordpress.com and on Twitter at @JasMollica. You’ll be glad you did.

Don’t take the first offer

During graduation season I wanted to offer a piece of advice students might not hearing often: you don’t have to take the first offer.


If I took my first offer I would have been a club promoter. A great job for many, but for a girl who prefers jeans and converse sneakers to a mini skirt and stilettos, not so much. After hearing several no’s and nothing at all’s I started to worry. A degree from a top university and three internships was apparently not enough. I was convinced I needed to leave college with a position in hand. After all that hard work, what would I have to show for it?


Fortunately, at just the right time, I met the Senior Vice President of JSH&A Public Relations and was offered at internship. Looking back on my mindset I’ve realized I had it all wrong. Go after the position because it’s the right one for you, not just because you need one.


Competition for jobs and internships is very tough. I’ve said it before: if you walk across the stage this May without a clue as to what is next, it’s okay.


Seek challenges.

Forget about other people’s perception of you.

Keep learning… and the pieces will fall into place.