No Job? Wear It on Your Sleeve

Two women help the unemployed find work

As far too many people know these days, hunting for a job can be intense. Two women have channeled their pain into an innovative business that turns your jobless status into a badge of pride.

Barbara Bourn is an under-employed interior design sales rep, and Stephanie Aucoin lost her job in an accounting firm. But rather than sit around and cry about it, the two friends from Sarasota, Fla., decided to literally wear their hearts on their sleeves.

They created "I need a job" wristbands that tell the world, well, you need a job. For just $3, the unemployed can have one in bright yellow or hot pink with bold black letters that cry out, please hire me.

"We're just trying to help," Bourn told . "All the feedback is very gung-ho and very positive."

Each wristband is a new way of putting unemployed workers out there. As Sarah Hill, the spokeswoman for the Suncoast Workforce Board, which helps the unemployed find work, told the Bradenton Herald, the wristbands are a good way to market themselves.

“It’s a creative way to strike up a conversation. Networking in today’s economy is very important and a very big part of what job seekers should be doing,” Hill said .“It’s so competitive out there. Sending resumes to companies is not enough. It’s getting in front of people.”

The idea first began when Bourn stopped Aucoin from standing on the street corner with an unemployed t-shirt. She told Aucoin she didn’t think that was very smart.

“I pushed her (Aucoin) to come up with something, because she’s very creative,” Bourn told the Herald. “So she came up with this idea. Because we’re both hurting financially, we figure this was a way to help other people and ourselves at the same time.”

The wristbands have been helping their friends find jobs, and they hope it directs others to success.

For Aucoin, it led to a job as she stood in an elevator on her way to another job interview. A man standing next to her saw the bracelet and offered her an interview. But when the employer hired her and didn’t pay her, she became jobless once again.

Not to worry though. According to the Wall Street Journal , Bourn and Aucoin are working with a retail chain to possibly sell the bracelets in 37 locations.

To be a part of this growing trend among the unemployed, visit Bourn and Aucoin’s Web site at . You can buy a wristband of your own, plus get interview tips and job links -- everything the downsized worker needs.

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