Our Great Recession 2.0: Sandwich Board Job Hunting Skip to main content

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Our Great Recession 2.0: Sandwich Board Job Hunting


If you’re reading this, odds are you’re considering bankruptcy. As such, you have a lot on your plate. Yet, what might make you feel a bit better about being bankruptcy bound is the knowledge that you’re not alone. Millions of average Americans just like you are facing desperate circumstances as they struggle to stay afloat in the wake of this decade’s Great Recession—facing foreclosure, job insecurity, and, of course, insolvency.  In the series, Our Great Recession 2.0, we’ll delve into some of the more unique stories of this decade’s unprecedented economic downturn, allowing you to see familiar faces and dire places people are going in order to handle the financial meltdown head-on.

In part three of this ongoing series, we meet Paul Nawrocki, best known as the “sandwich board job hunter.”

In 2008, amid a crumbling economy, Nawrocki took to Manhattan streets wearing a sign emblazoned with "almost homeless.” Shortly thereafter his mustached face could be seen on news channels like CNN and shadowed by photojournalists, followed by more than 100 television interviews.  Unwittingly, the laid-off toy company executive unwittingly became the face of out country’s economic troubles and a symbol for how even the mighty and well-connected could fall.

And fall he did. As The Huffington Post’s  Samantha Gross reported, “even though the attention faded, his troubles did not. Having the eyes of the world on him didn't land the then-59-year-old any viable job interviews. His wife was sick, and keeping his health care was a struggle. He began to decide between the doctors and the mortgage.”

Fortunately, the man who was once the face of the economic downturn may once again wield a “sign” that happier days are here again. That’s because last month, after collecting almost two year’s worth of unemployment, Nawrocki found a job. As The HuffPost reported, “He's not the only one. While unemployment remains high, the nation added 162,000 jobs last month – the first significant job growth since the downturn began. ‘It was good. It felt good," the Beacon, N.Y., resident told Gross of his first day back at an office – 25 months after he was asked to leave his old one. ‘It felt like all new again because it had been so long.’”

The bad news remains: two years of unemployment still dealt a tremendous blow to Nawrocki’s financial portfolio. He remains behind on his mortgages, and, after months of food stamps, food banks and relying on handouts from family, he and his wife were forced to declare bankruptcy.

Despite the ups and downs of Nawrocki’s experiences, his weeks of joblessness provide many lessons for many of the would-be employed. The former executive didn’t get his new job from his stint in the limelight, but rather “through old-fashioned networking. He went to a toy-industry fair, and a friend introduced him to the man who would become his boss. Nawrocki believes the tales of his sandwich-board days helped him land an interview. His paycheck is nearly half the size; he had made almost $100,000 a year. And his title is a little less grand. But the job still seems a wondrous, unlikely rescue – as though a hand had descended from the sky at the last possible moment. ‘I had reached the limit, the last week,’ he recounted. "And they called and had me start the next week. ... Through this whole experience it's been like that. We get right to the edge, and then ...’”

And then…for the long-time unemployed like Nawrocki, it’s all about re-finding our greatness during our own Great Recession.

Bankruptcy helped Paul Nawrocki. It can help you too. If you’ve been affected by the economy and are wondering how to get back on track, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond our own “Great Recession.”  The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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