Getting a job is hard work, and Akina Brodeak was putting in the work.
But after returning to Arlington from Illinois and sending out scores of resumes for about a month, Brodeak concluded she was getting nowhere with her job search.
So on one sunny day in mid-August, Brodeak decided to flip the script and take her job search to the people.
She copied the examples of a man from California who stood outside with a sign advertising for employment and got multiple job offers and a woman from Boston who did the same thing. Brodeak said she researched the Boston woman on the Internet and found she was still working.
Brodeak held up signs for passing motorists on Lamar Street near Interstate 30 that said she was an amazing administrative assistant and she asked people to hire her. One sign read that she was a college grad.
Brodeak kept a stash of resumes nearby that people could pass out to their co-workers who made hiring decisions.
Brodeak accepted a job offer from the University of Texas Arlington where she will start as an administrative assistant on Monday.
“This is the one I wanted,” Brodeak said after receiving the job offer. “It’s really good for me because I want to continue my education and this is the perfect place to do that.”
Brodeak said she graduated from UT-Arlington in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications, but it had been hard to find work in her field of study. She took on internships with several companies which typically lead to jobs, but ultimately came up empty.
It took her seven years to get a four-year degree going to school at night, she said. But she said it was difficult to find a position in her field that would allow her to care for her 4-year-old daughter, Sasha. Brodeak said she tried hard to differentiate herself from her competitors, and took every internship she could.
After seeing the stories about her time in the sun, the people at UTA reached out to her, Brodeak said. Their attitude was like: “Why didn’t you come talk to us in the first place,” Brodeak said.
“When they called they said that they had to do something about this right now,” Brodeak said. “After the interview they told me that they saw the stories but that I won the interview on my own merit.”
Brodeak was contacted by the Lockheed Martin Career Development Center and officials with the university’s human resources department. After getting in contact with the human resources department Brodeak was encouraged to apply for jobs at the university. Brodeak applied for nine positions and was a perfect fit for an administrative assistant slot with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Enrollment and Student Services Unit, according to a university official.
Brodeak traveled to the Plainfield area of Illinois last week to pick up her husband, David, and their daughter. Her husband was not initially thrilled with his wife standing out on street corners advertising for a job, Brodeak said.
“But after I did it, he was like, “I’m proud of you honey,’” Brodeak said. “And you really can’t argue with success.”