REMEMBER SEAN MORONEY?
We first ran a story on the Balbriggan man just over a year ago.
A returned US emigrant, Sean had been walking the roadside during each morning rush-hour to look for work – hoping a business owner or manager would see his homemade sign, take a punt on him and ask him in for an interview.
“People did say to me it would be embarrassing standing at a roundabout with a sign,” Moroney told TheJournal.ie before Christmas of 2014.
In my opinion, it’s even more embarrassing going down to the Post Office to collect the dole. I’m embarrassed every time I go in there.
Sean had returned to his home town in north Dublin two years previously, after spending eight-and-a-half years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was employed by a moving company — working his way up from casual labourer to become manager of the firm.
He sent out “hundreds” of CVs in that two years, he said. The idea for the roadside campaign came to him as he lay awake one night pondering his future.
Almost instantly, the response was positive. Cars were beeping their horns in support from the first day, and people stopped to give him their cards.
After our initial article he received some “150, maybe 200″ calls, messages and emails in the following 24 hours. Just under half had offers or potential offers of work.
When we checked in with him again, in January of last year, things were looking better still for Sean – after five concrete job offers, he had taken up a sales job with Dundrum-based merchandising firm the Lites Group.
It’s a commission-based gig, but his manager was already singing his latest hire’s praises. A little more unexpectedly, Sean told us he was also working with MovieExtras.ie after they called him with an offer to sign him up for the next 12 months.
So – one year on from our last catch-up with Sean, how is he getting on?
Pretty well, you’ll be pleased to hear.
The 37-year-old is still working away with the Lites Group and with MovieExtras – and he’s even taken an acting course in the Dublin Central School of Acting (you can see him playing Thomas Clarke in a new 1916 play, ‘Nurse’, debuting in Skerries in the next few weeks).
He and his fiancé Yvonne will be tying the knot shortly, he says – and the pair welcomed a baby daughter, Jessica, just four months ago.
“If you like, I’m living the dream,” Sean says.
The day-job, he says, is “flying” (they’re making him team leader shortly) – and he’s been fitting background acting gigs around it.
I’ve been in all sorts of things from ads to dramas. I was a British soldier in Rebellion – I was in every episode.
His life couldn’t be more different, compared to just over a year ago, Sean says.
He reckons his time spent looking for a job helped boost his work ethic, adding he “wanted to prove points to everybody”.
The media coverage helped as he started the sales job too, he says.
You’d definitely have people saying – ‘ah, you’re the guy from the side of the road’ and that sort of thing. It certainly did no harm.