An Irish emigrant who returned home after years in the US has been swamped by job offers after his story of begging for a job with a sign on the side of the road was published by the media.
Sean Moroney returned to his home town of Balbriggan two years ago after living in Cambridge, Massachusetts for eight-and-a-half years.
“I wanted to settle down at home, so I came back… I didn’t realise it was as bad as it was,” the 36-year-old told TheJournal.ie.
“Coming back to Ireland is probably the sorriest thing I’ve ever done… It was a rude awakening.”
In the US, Moroney was employed by a moving company, having worked his way up from casual laborer to become manager of the firm. When he returned to Ireland, he sent out ‘hundreds’ of resumes and completed a a FÁS course in business management.
He says the idea for his roadside campaign came to him as he lay awake one night.
He said it was embarrassing “for around the first hour,” but he added “it feels great to be doing something”
“People did say to me it would be embarrassing standing at roundabout with a sign.
“In my opinion, it’s even more embarrassing going down to the Post Office to collect the dole. I’m embarrassed every time I go in there.”
He said he has gotten support from people driving by.
“People have been great… A lot of cars have been beeping at me. People have been stopping and giving their cards, saying if anything came up they’d call me.
“They’ve even been dropping off coffee, believer it or not. A lot of people have texted too — saying ‘hang in there’… One said ‘you’ve balls of steel.'
He said he was willing to do any type of work, -full or part-time, “within reason.”
“I’m a hard worker — a genuine, honest, hardworking guy. Before this, I’ve never been out of work in my life.”
After his story was published by TheJournal.ie, Moroney received “150, maybe 200″ calls, messages and emails in 24 hours, with texts coming until 2am.
Just under half of the people who contacted him had offers or potential offers of work for him, with offers covering everything from sales and marketing, to farming.
“One farmer — an elderly man in Limerick — rang me and said he was looking for someone to look after his farm… There was a whole range of things, really.
Moroney already has two “really positive” interviews lined up for next week— one with a major local employer, the other with a multi-national firm based further away. Both are customer-focused roles.
Although he originally planned a two-week roadside campaign, Moroney says: “I don’t think I’ll be doing the second week though, now that so many people have been in touch.”