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CHELMSFORD: Debi's job search is sign of the times

By This is Essex  |  Posted: July 23, 2009

<P>JOB SEEKER: Debi Wendes advertises herself in Chelmsford High Street in a bid to find work. ec 160709 67</P>

JOB SEEKER: Debi Wendes advertises herself in Chelmsford High Street in a bid to find work. ec 160709 67

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DISILLUSIONED by the recession, unemployed Debi Wendes is taking matters into her own hands and is touting her skills to potential employers on the High Street.

The 50-year-old from Chelmsford has resorted to drastic measures and – dressed to impress and armed with an eye-catching sign – is spending two hours in the town centre every lunchtime in a bid to impress potential suitors.

And she refuses to stop until she receives a respectable offer.

She told the Chronicle: "I couldn't sit at home any longer doing nothing, so I decided to get into the High Street and try something different to be noticed.

"I feel it shows any potential employers that I have the drive and determination to get back into work and hopefully someone will give me a chance."

But Debi is just a drop in the ocean of Chelmsford's soaring unemployed.

The latest figures released last week reveal 3,025 people in the borough are without jobs – surprisingly down by 67 from last month although the unemployment rate is still at its worst since the mid-90s.

Debi's story is a clear indication that the recession is far from over, with it reducing people to desperate measures in order to get their careers back on track. The former administrator and customer services worker has been out of a job since January and despite a few temporary positions has failed to find secure, full-time employment.

She is currently working part-time at Fast Signs on Victoria Road, but her contract ended last Friday and she is desperate to find a job as soon as possible.

Fast Signs created some striking banners to help Debi's innovative cause and although she convinced some local companies, including Chandlers, to put them up, the council took them down.

Every morning Debi, who has a 27-year-old son, religiously searches job websites, but despite having the experience and potential, no agency is willing to take her on.

"My CV is good, but If I don't tick all the boxes I won't even be considered," she said.

Understandably, she's decided enough is enough and has ditched the recruitment agencies in favour of a more direct approach.

She told the Chronicle her ideal job would be to work as an account manager, since she has lots of experience in this field having been made redundant from her £21,800-a-year post at an electronics company along with 21 other staff.

But being a "good problem solver" and with good interview techniques and sales qualifications, she welcomes anything that comes her way, she added.

To contact Debi regarding a job offer call 07532 177183 or e-mail her at debi.wendes@live.co.uk

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