Unemployed Taking Their Pleas to the Sidewalks, Highways

April 20, 2009 06:00 PM
by Cara McDonough
A 37-year-old Connecticut woman looking to get hired has rented a billboard, joining the ranks of creative job seekers doing just about anything to find employment.

‘Hire Me!’

Pasha Stocking, who was laid off in June from a marketing job, has rented a full-size billboard along Interstate 95 in Bridgeport, Conn. Her message is simple: “Hire Me!” the billboard says, followed by the words “Unemployed and Seeking Employment,” along with a picture of Stocking and the URL for her Web site, where her resume is posted. According to a hit meter on her site, it has had more than 50,000 visitors.

Stocking, who is a single mother, said she has tried everything to get a job. "It's really frustrating when you're trying to so hard and you're not getting calls back,” she said to Connecticut CBS affiliate WFSB.

She isn’t commenting on how much the billboard costs, but according to Lamar Advertising, which owns the billboard, it costs about $7,000 per month to rent a 14-foot-by-48-foot billboard. Stocking said she is using money she has been saving to buy a home.
Stocking told reporters that she got her idea from a Milwaukee man who did the same thing. Indeed, Mark Hauer put a similar ad on a billboard in March, and signed a contract to keep it up for a month, WISN reports.

Hauer, who is married and has three children, said the billboard has led to several interviews, but that people have also contacted him to say, “Wow, I'm inspired by your story.” His last job was assisting U.S. troops in Iraq in a detainee camp.

Hauer’s Web site
encourages interested employers to contact him, as well as follow his journey on Twitter.

The billboards could be part of a growing trend of creativity in job seeking as unemployment continues to grow. Indianapolis resident and engineer David Dallecarbonare, who has been out of work since January, donned a sandwich board with the words “HIRE ME” printed across the top in March. He said he didn’t do it out of desperation; instead, the idea is “to market myself and step outside the box, and sending out resumes is just not doing it.”

Related topic: Finding a job in tough times

Finding a job can seem impossible in a weak economy. In February, the nation's unemployment rate soared to 8.1 percent, the highest it has been in 25 years.

But career experts say it can be done. For instance, Sherri Edwards, owner of Resource Maximizer, a career consulting firm, says that anyone who has lost their job should allow themselves some time to deal with the aftershock, but not too much. It’s important to set an absolute “start date” for the job hunt, not more than two weeks away.

And Nicholas Nigro, author of “No Job? No Prob!: How to Pay Your Bills, Feed Your Mind, and Have a Blast When You’re Out of Work,” told The New York Times that keeping a healthy mindset is vital to surviving a job loss. He advises viewing unemployment as a “mere life pothole.”

Reference: Career Web guides


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