Street grovelling leads to work for jobless Swede
David Landes · 7 Oct 2009, 15:47
Published: 07 Oct 2009 15:47 GMT+02:00
- Fewer redundancies at Swedish workplaces (28 Sep 09)
- Budget bill sees Sweden shedding more jobs (21 Sep 09)
- Youth unemployment doubles in Sweden (14 Aug 09)
Sometimes the toughest challenges in life can be overcome with the simplest of solutions, and after a month without work, Linus Billqvist from Hjärup outside of Lund in southern Sweden took matters into his own hands – literally.
Rather than spend more time booking informational interviews and sending off job applications, Billqvist instead decided to stand outside Lund’s central train station on a chilly Monday morning with a handmade sign.
“I’m so damn tired of being unemployed! Do you have a job? - Linus", read the sign, written with black marker on a piece of white poster board.
The sign also listed any of a number of jobs which the enterprising Billqvist felt he could perform, including manning a store counter and landscaping.
After graduating from high school in the spring of 2008, Billqvist started working for a landscaping firm. But as Sweden’s economy weakened over the last year, work become more and more sporadic until he was finally let go in early September.
Sick of living with his parents and having an empty wallet, Billqvist sent out a flurry of applications, but to no avail.
“I want to have my own apartment, build up my own life. But without a job that’s impossible,” he told the Sydsvenska Dagbladet newspaper.
He then come up with a plan inspired by a story he’d heard about a German man who’d been unfaithful to his wife and tried to make amends by standing by the side of the road holding up a sign confessing to his infidelity.
“It just popped into my head so I bought a sign and started scribbling,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Standing at the train station, sign in hand, Billqvist received stares from some passersby, and plaudits from others.
Much to his surprise, a number of people even took a copy of his CV or wrote down his phone number.
And in less than three hours, Billqvist had a job offer.
“I figured someone would probably bite, but I never thought I’d get a job on the first day,” he told Aftonbladet, adding that he had been prepared to stand at the station for a full week.
But on Tuesday afternoon, Billqvist instead found himself travelling over to Denmark for a job interview at the Hilton Hotel near Cophenhagen's Kastrup airport.
He is now set to start work setting up rooms for conferences and other events at the hotel.
And while he admits the position may not be his dream job, Billqvist is nevertheless happy to have found employment.
“For now I just want to have a a job, move away from home, and get an apartment. When all that is taken care up I can start to think about I really want,” he said.