Mullumbimby resident Greg O’Brien said lots of people have offered him support in his search for work.
Mullumbimby resident Greg O’Brien said lots of people have offered him support in his search for work. Jem Wilson

Greg shows signs of getting work

AFTER a fruitless two-month search for work, Greg O'Brien, 51, of Mullumbimby has taken matters into his own hands.

Mr O'Brien has been standing on busy Argyle St for the past week beside a homemade sign that says 'Looking for work, can do anything'.

"The internet and even newspaper applications just weren't working for me and I figured that people like a visual. They like to see you and I had this old sign in the shed," Mr O'Brien explained.

"I'm not the first person to have done it I'm sure, but it just came to me and I thought what harm can it do?"

So far 21 people have stopped to talk to him and he's had "two or three quite strong possibilities" come his way.

In fact, the first person to stop and talk to Mr O'Brien offered him some short-term work.

"They have some maintenance work around their small property but everyone that has stopped has taken my number and they've been supportive."

And while he is willing to consider all offers, he said what he really wants is long-term work

"It's one thing to get a couple of days here and there but that can peter out, so I'll be back here in a month if that happens.

"As the sign says, I can do anything, but it doesn't mean that I will do anything. But look, I'm good with numbers. I'm good with words. I'm good with people. I'm a good salesman and I can think laterally."

Mr O'Brien has experience in hotel management, administration and mining. Recently he worked as a blaster in the mines but he is keen to stay in Mullumbimby where he has friends, family and mortgage repayments to meet.

"The reason I'm on the edge of Mullum is I want to stay," he said.

"All my friends and family are here - my life is here and I want to keep my house."

Many people would be reluctant to take to the streets looking for work and Mr O'Brien said "you've got to be motivated".

"I'm not good at sitting around. I don't want to be inactive and this gets you out, gets you occupied and gets you money as well so it's a win-win."

He said life is about putting yourself out there and using your own initiative.

"As far as my motivation is concerned it's like golf. If you get the ball on the green it might go in the hole, but you've got to take the shot," Mr O'Brien said.

It seems Mr O'Brien's mixture of initiative and friendliness has struck a chord with Mullumbimby residents.

"For all those people that have tooted and given me the thumbs up and just waved and smiled - a thousand thank-yous to all of them - especially the very kind lady who stopped just to give me some kind words and a hug."

If you have a job offer, phone Mr O'Brien on 0431 049 933.

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