‘I had to keep doing it for my family’— Joburg man’s desperate bid to find employment

2017-10-11 15:54
PHOTO: Facebook/ Craig Hardman

PHOTO: Facebook/ Craig Hardman

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As Craig Hardman approached the intersection – cardboard sign in hand – he thought he couldn’t possibly through with it but he knew he simply had no choice.

Unemployed and with no prospect of work, the 46-year-old had to do something to change his situation but little did he know that his desperate stand would make him go viral.

After 26 years working for a well-known company as a project manager, Craig came to work one day in April this year only to be told his services were no longer required.

He’d sensed something was up for a while.

Read more: ‘You don’t know why I’m fat’ – woman speaks out about her obesity

“Usually we’d receive updates on the status of our contracts every two weeks, but weeks turned into months and we hadn’t heard back so I knew I was in trouble,” he told YOU.

While waiting for the axe to fall he proactively began looking for another job. “I sent out an average of four to five CVs daily.”

“Then I received some good news. I was appointed project manager at a big company, and would start on 2 October. But a week before I was due to start, the project was postponed indefinitely.”

“By then my fiancé and I had used up all our savings and we’d already cut our household budget as much as we could. We haven't had meat in the house for the last two months,” he said.

This setback didn’t deter him. Craig continued to apply for job after job knowing he had to provide for his fiancé, their 15-month-old baby and his two children from a previous relationship.

After months of rejection, hope began to turn to despair and Craig came up with his idea to take his job search to the streets of Johannesburg.

He said that he woke up one day, went to Spar and bought a piece of cardboard to make a sign.

“I told my fiancé I’d decided to stand at the traffic light on the corner of Hendrik Potgieter and Fredenharry Roads to hand out my CV,” he recounted.

“Although my family were supportive, I can see that it broke their hearts to see me standing on the road with my sign.”

The first day was awful. Craig described the experience as humiliating.

‘It seemed to me that the guys handing out pamphlets managed to hand out more pamphlets than I did CVs.”

“On the second day, a driver called me over and I ran over excitedly, only to be asked for directions,” he said,

The father-of-three said he wanted to give up and not go back but he knew he had no choice.

“I was losing hope. But I had to keep doing it for my family. We needed to survive and this was a last resort to try and find a job.”

“On the third day, I went to the intersection a little earlier and a woman stopped and asked for my CV.”

“After that people kept stopping. That day alone I handed out more than 40 CVs,” he said.

Since then Craig has been fully booked for interviews and has received a lot of positive feedback even though he’s still waiting to be offered a job.

His solo campaign has even gone viral on social media and has also been contacted by people who have seen him online.

“Never in a million years did I think I would go viral.”

“I thought I might get a few likes and a comment or two, but the last time I counted I had around 14 000 shares which is approximately six million views.”

“Our phone have been going mad, with people asking for my CV, wishing me well and just calling to pray for us,” he said happily. “The kindness shown by family, friends and strangers has been overwhelming.”

Now Craig hopes to find stable employment so that he and his family can settle down again and know that they can make ends meet.

“I also intend to try to thank everyone personally that has helped us and to pay their kindness forward in any way that I can,” Craig said.

If you wish to contact Craig email him on crhardman@live.co.za

Read more on:    employment  |  real story

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