After being let go from his job as a cashier, Peter's son, Terry McCarthy, heard his father's concerns and decided to share his story on LinkedIn.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 7, 2023. It has since been updated.
Peter Judge, 59, was tragically let go from his job as a cashier at the local WinCo Foods grocery store in Phoenix, leaving him “heartbroken.” Judge had been employed with the store for nearly four years, but had gone over his allotted number of sick days due to relying on public transportation for his commute, he was occasionally late for work. He had worked in retail for the past 30 years, even during the pandemic, and enjoyed interacting with customers. Judge was left feeling hopeless, worried about how he would manage his expenses.
Judge's son, Patrick McCarthy, 30, heard his father's concerns and decided to share his story on LinkedIn. McCarthy, who had also lost his job as a marketing manager at Coursera, had never heard of LinkedIn before and decided to write a post about his father. He shared a bit about his dad and explained that he wanted to support those who have been laid off and make them feel less alone.
After a piece exclusively reported by our sister site Upworthy, the post became successful and raised over $30,000 for Judge. McCarthy was surprised at all the support his father's story received and is grateful that people were willing to help. “People just want support,” he said. When Terry McCarthy posted on LinkedIn, seeking help for his dad, who had recently been laid off, he never imagined the response would be overwhelming. Hundreds of strangers reached out to offer assistance, with words of encouragement as well as potential job suggestions.
Terry's dad, Peter Judge, was stunned by the overwhelming response, exclaiming that he never saw it coming. Judge was further amazed by the fact that people not only offered to help in regards to the job search but also offered career advice, interview prep, résumé and cover letter reviews.
Terry was pleased to see his dad receive a wave of unexpected kindness, noting that his post was meant to harness humanity, vulnerability and empathy in the workplace. He believes that it is crucial to remember that we are all in this together. After 53 years of dedication, hard work and perseverance, Judge has finally completed his Doctoral degree—and now, he has a fresh perspective on life. "It's really powerful for him," remarked McCarthy, who is close to Judge.
Judge himself has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he has received since his story was shared. "What's happened in this past week has completely restored my faith in humanity," he said, adding that all the responses have moved him to tears.
Judge is now taking the time to carefully consider the job offers he has been given and will decide his next move with his son's help. "I'm not going to jump at something because it's offered to me," he said. "I want to make sure I have the capabilities to perform well for whoever I work for."
Judge has also created a LinkedIn profile in order to connect with more people and update them on his job-seeking journey. "If you have a chance to network, do it," he said, "because you have nothing to lose." Through this experience, Judge has learned an important lesson: "People do believe in people," he said. "It makes you want to go on and get out there."