Sign Of The Times: Local Woman Tries Novel Approach In Job Search

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 24, 2012 Updated Dec 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- A woman in the Huntertown area, whose unemployment benefits are about to run out, is taking desperate measures to try to find work.

Christmas Eve, Natalie Zehr stays busy making sure all the holiday decorations are just right.

On her Christmas wish list this year, something you can't wrap and put under the tree.

What Natalie really needs this Christmas is a job.

The past six years she's had a couple good paying marketing positions.

Then in March, the most recent job she had was eliminated.

She thought it was only going to be a minor setback.

" I've been hitting it pretty hard trying to find work. I have the college degree, I have over six years of experience in the marketing field, and it's just been really tough, even to get a foot in the door," said Zehr.

" I try to do a lot of my job searching on Sundays, that's when most of the new jobs are kind of posted for the work."

Frequent visits to Career Builder and other job search sites helped her identify at least 25 jobs that she applied for, but every time it led to a rejection letter.

Her next move; take her message to the streets of Fort Wayne.

A friend created a sign that reads, " Marketing Professional For Hire."

On Wednesday, the day after Christmas, she plans to bundle up and have the sign in hand as she strolls back and forth near Glenbrook Mall.

" I mentioned it on Facebook and I was kind of jokingly saying, I think I might have to stand on the street corner with a sign to find a job, and my Facebook friends kind of came in and they said that's actually not a horrible idea," said Zehr.

" People have even said, you know, don't be surprised if somebody tries to throw you a little bit of money, and I said I won't take it. That's not why I'm there. I'm not looking for a handout, I'm looking for a career."

Indiana's unemployment rate has slowly fallen to 8 percent from a high in July 2009 of 10.8 percent.

But Natalie, who has two teenagers, isn't convinced we're out of the woods yet.

She knows there are a lot of people, like her, still trying to claw their way out of the unemployment hole.

And if it takes an unconventional approach to find work, well, she's ready to give it a shot.

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