Newspaper offers sign holder a job

By staff reporter

An unemployed woman who spent a week waving a placard on Victoria Avenue asking for work has got a job.

Sharla May starts at the Wanganui Chronicle on Monday as an advertising sales rep.

It's a full-time job, one of four Sharla was offered after her week-long stint on Wanganui's main street holding up the sign with her experience and phone number, asking for work. She stood on the street for 90 minutes every morning for a week.

Yesterday she was back on the corner of Victoria Avenue with Taupo Quay as a human billboard, telling of her success and thanking people for their support.

Miss May, 31, said she chose the Chronicle job because she had never worked in sales before and it was something different. "It's a fresh start. It's a new year, I've made a new start moving to Wanganui from Te Kuiti and this is something different. I'm really going to enjoy it."

She said standing on the corner for a week was worth it.

"I highly recommend it. It shows it works. And people should know, only one of the jobs I was offered was advertised."

Chronicle advertising manager Alison Hollard said the company was lucky to get Miss May and offering her a job was not a publicity stunt.

"We were up against rough competition for Sharla so we didn't muck around; we interviewed her last Thursday and offered her the job on Friday.

"A salary is too precious anyway, we wouldn't take that risk."

She had seen Miss May on the street with her sign on her first day out there and every day as it was on her route to work.

"I thought she was really courageous. I was talking to Bevan (Conley) the photographer that first morning in the newsroom and we were discussing getting a photo and I said 'let's get that girl a job'."

"It never dawned on me it would be us. A couple of days later I realised she might be right for a vacancy in our advertising team."

Miss May being new to advertising wasn't considered an obstacle.

"If she can promote herself like that she can turn her hand to selling advertising."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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