SIGN ME UP: Jesse Wooldridge of Ballina was looking for work on Ballina Rd at Goonellabah yesterday.
SIGN ME UP: Jesse Wooldridge of Ballina was looking for work on Ballina Rd at Goonellabah yesterday. Cathy Adams

Desperate dad takes to street to access "hidden" job market

A DESPERATE dad has adopted a tried and true technique to find work which put to shame our comfy internet-age armchair and mouse method of job seeking.

After scouring local job websites and classifieds to no avail last week, recently unemployed father of five Jesse Wooldridge of Ballina took his search to a busy Goonellabah roundabout yesterday morning, setting up a placard appealing to passing drivers for a job.

Ten days ago Mr Wooldridge lost his position as a leading hand in a Ballina workshop, where he had worked for two-and-a-half years.

The devoted dad has three stepchildren, aged 13, 12 and 10, he has helped raise for eight years and two daughters aged three and nine weeks.

I try to stay positive and keep a smile on my face and assure my partner I will get a job and everything will be fine, and get everyone to bed, but then I sit there and come to tears myself

"To go home and tell my partner I've got no job, it was the worst thing in the world," Mr Wooldridge said.

"I try to stay positive and keep a smile on my face and assure my partner I will get a job and everything will be fine, and get everyone to bed, but then I sit there and come to tears myself."

In a lightbulb moment of desperation, Mr Wooldridge hatched the bold plan to station himself in front of the Bruxner Hwy roundabout at 6am yesterday.

"I decided to put my dignity and humility on the line for my family," he declared.

Three hours later the strategy already had results, with five people stopping to discuss potential job opportunities with him.

It is estimated that 80% of jobs are not advertised, because they are filled via word of mouth. In bypassing the internet, Mr Wooldridge was unlocking the so-called "hidden" job market.

"I can guarantee anyone who puts me on they won't regret it; I will work hard for my family," Mr Wooldridge said.

"I'm not after a handout, just a job.

"If there's no luck tonight, I'll come back tomorrow."



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