Laid off executive finally puts down the sandwich board

Remember Paul Nawrocki? He’s the executive who was laid off after 36 years in the toy industry, and who became somewhat famous a year and a half ago for walking around NYC in a suit with a sandwich board over his back and chest, reading, “Almost Homeless” and asking for interviews.

He finally found a job, after being out of work for TWO YEARS.

Yes, it took 25 months of trying and 99 weeks of unemployment benefits before he finally landed a job. He received a lot of notoriety back in December of ’08 for his creative approach to getting seen, but never did receive any viable job interviews. He and his wife had to declare bankruptcy, sign up for food stamps, and even go to food banks.

His new job isn’t anywhere near as prestigious or lucrative as his old one — he’s making about half as much as he used to, but he’s happy to be back at work in the toy industry. And the kicker? He met his future boss at an industry fair, not through any of the publicity he received from his high-profile career search.

Sadly, it seems my blog about his story in December ’08 was NOT what got him back on his feet. But I’m happy for him anyway.

And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect: Nawrocki was literally on the final week of unemployment benefits when the job offer came through, and he was able to start the following week.

Let’s hope that his story is an example of things turning around in this economy.

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