It takes a certain dedication to stand on the cold, windy corner of Howitt and Gillies streets from 7.30am each morning, traffic whirling past, holding a placard that says ‘EMPLOY ME’.
That’s exactly what Amanda Witkowski has been doing for the past week, as she desperately tries to find work in Ballarat, having moved here recently from the central coast of NSW with her mother.
Looking for better employment opportunities, the proudly Ballarat-born Witkowski says that since moving here in January, she’s been disappointed so often in her job search she’s resorted to self-advertising on the roadside.
“I have tried everything else,” the 26-year-old says.
“I have gone cold-canvassing with resumes: people take them but don’t do anything with them. I’ve never received any calls back, although I’ve been promised.
“Online you’re no-one: you’re a resume or an email that can be deleted. You can’t prove you’re a loyal person, that you’re determined – and I’m determined. I want to work.”
Having worked and qualified in diversional therapy and in business and retail management, Witkowski says shes willing to take on any kind of work, day or night.
“I’ve worked in resorts; I’ve worked in reptile parks,” she says.
“I’ve been here six weeks. My mum just managed to get a job and we did a little happy dance around the lounge room, but no-one’s given me any work. No-one gets back to me.”
Witkowski says there are hazards to advertising her telephone number on the roadside.
“I’ve been prank-called, people call and don’t say anything. I think they want to see me pull out my phone and answer.” Witkowski wipes away a tear.
“It’s very hard. I just want to be able to go to work.”