Find This Woman A Job, Get $1,000

Know someone who’s hiring? It might be worth $1,000 to you. An unemployed woman in Texas is going to new lengths, offering the cash as a reward for finding her a steady job.

“It’s based on if I get a job offer,” the 51-year-old out-of work financial analyst explains. “I figure the worst case scenario, I’ll give them my first paycheck. Literally. That’s better than going another year like this.”

The $1,000 comes from a combination of her own savings and a gift from her friend.

She decided to offer the reward after 15 months of fruitless searching: “I was just sitting there thinking ‘Money talks. Money really talks.'”

The job-seeker has run through her $50,000 in savings and her unemployment benefits run out this month. “I don’t have anything left,” she said. “I sold my mineral rights on my land.”

Unemployed woman offers $1,000 reward for new job [WFAA]


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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This is a pretty creative idea, but what happens when a potential employer finds her name on the internet after the interview and doesn’t want to make a job offer because she outsourced her job hunt?

    Also, help me out fellow Consumerists…this woman had $50,000 in savings and blew through it in 15 months. What could have been doing with her money where $50,000 wouldn’t last a year and a half? I wish I had $50,000 in savings.

    • Im Just Saying says:

      That was my thought as well. 50k on it’s own, ok. Unemployment on it’s own, ok. But 50k plus unemployment? Methinks this is as much a spending issue as it is an income issue.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        Mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, food, toiletries, electric/gas, water/sewer, phone, car payment, car insurance, gas money, internet, health insurance (or even worse – no health insurance and paying for appointments and prescriptions out of pocket), plus if she doesn’t want to ruin her credit – she may have some credit card payments or student loans to make.

    • dp05 says:

      It does seem a bit ridiculous to have blown through that much in a single year…but I guess you can’t draw conclusions about spending habits without knowing the whole story. When times get tough, bad stuff seems to like to pile on, so maybe she had some emergency home repairs, car problems, unexpected hospital visits, etc. that has drained her savings. Maybe she’s been spending in hopes of improving her job prospects (i.e., buying new clothes).

      • dp05 says:

        That should be an e.g., not i.e. (IIRC)

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        If she had used it to pay all her consumer debt down to zero, for example, I doubt people would be so critical.

    • RandomHookup says:

      I don’t think the employer would care that she paid someone for a job lead (not unlike using a headhunter to help in your search) though the boss may not like the publicity.

    • dorianh49 says:

      I dunno? Mortgage: $1750/mo., property taxes: $250/mo., homeowner’s insurance: $50/mo., utilities: $500/mo., groceries: $400/mo., gasoline: $60/mo., auto insurance: $75/mo. We’re looking at almost $50K right there. I’m sure there’s some other necessities that others can think of. Maybe she paid off some debt, maybe she has a car payment, maybe she has a higher mortgage, maybe she paid for airfare for job interviews in other states, maybe she has kids?

      • RandomHookup says:

        Maybe health insurance?

        • Brunette Bookworm says:

          Good point, even with the COBRA subsidy the stimulus package created, it could have cost a lot for her. If she had $50,000 saved then she must have made more than that. People say to have 6 – 12 months of expenses saved but she’s been out of work longer than that. A friend of mine is out of work not too far from this woman. She’s in a similar field, she was an accounting manager, and has been out of work for a while now, too. It’s hard finding a job.

      • mergatroy6 says:

        $250 a month in property taxes? where? I’m paying over $800 a month.

        • Draygonia says:

          I will call bull unless you either own a business or you own too much land. My parents own 2 businesses in Minnesota and they only pay around 5k per year. This is with at least 2 acres of land in one of the highest cost regions in the US.

          Try Again.

          • chrisexv6 says:

            Minnesota != the northeast

            I pay 500.00/month in property taxes and I dont own too much land, too much house, etc. I also get to pay 200.00/yr local taxes on each of my vehicles.

            Surprise! There are different cost of living conditions all over this great country.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              Wow, I can’t imagine paying that much in property taxes. I pay about $900/year in property taxes and my mortgage is $460/month.

              • Willow16 says:

                Now over $8,000/year in property taxes for a 1,600 sq ft cape cod on a 50′ x 110′ lot.

            • nbs2 says:

              Agreed. I pay $550 a month and that was after the reassessment dropped it from nearly $700/month. We have 7000 sq ft.

          • grrrarrrg says:

            . Minnesota… “one of the highest cost regions in the US.”

            5k per year? that’s less than what i pay for 1 condo in the bay area!

          • Gtmac says:

            There are may towns in NJ where property taxes for an average home will run you 8-12k per year.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            she did mention selling mineral rights to her land. maybe there’s a lot of land?

            • leihei says:

              We have gas drilling here in the Dallas-Ft Worth area and several companies bought up the mineral rights to people’s property several years ago. It wasn’t just people with land, it was also people living in the suburbs in a average-sized single family home on a standard 120×120 lot (or whatever size those smaller yards the new houses have.

          • zjgz says:

            Wow, you must know a lot about this woman’s financial situation since you are judging it so much…

        • leihei says:

          I live in the Dallas area. On a 35 year old 1250 sq ft home my yearly property taxes are $1,839.12. So, about 153/month.

          • pot_roast says:

            I’m near Fort Worth and we’re paying $1,900 for the ISD alone… total is about $2,800/yr for the property taxes. Northwest ISD = ‘spensive.

          • AnthonyC says:

            On Long Island, the taxes would be ~6 times higher that that on a similarly-sized home in many places.

            But she’s in Texas, so probably not relevant.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      I doubt employers care if she outsources her job hunt…though maybe she should have used the money to do that before now. Headhunters can help people find jobs that aren’t always advertised.

    • myrna_minkoff says:

      $50k, with no other money coming in, would cover my mortgage, property taxes, food and utilities for about a year and a half with very little left over.

      Throw in car insurance & gas, health insurance and one or two unavoidable emergencies (new roof, new furnace, major medical expense) you could easily blow through it in about a year. If she has kids, even less time.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        She’s 51, so I doubt she has dependents in the way of children. Unless she’s going out all the time, not having a job (and only one job interview) pretty much means you’re not going anywhere.

        That leaves health insurance (COBRA is a moneyhole), car insurance (which, at her age, if she has a good driving record, shouldn’t be that much and should have already been budgeted in), and I guess any major and unavoidable emergencies.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Okay, I take it back. Maybe she has a teenager, cause now that I think about it, I have friends whose parents were well into their 50s by the time all of us rolled around to the ripe old age of 17.

          • myrna_minkoff says:

            Are you kidding? She could easily have a 10 year old. (She could also have younger stepchildren/adopted kids.) People don’t automatically become infertile when they hit 35.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              I read the article again, and I really don’t think she has any kids at all. She says, “I have really thought, maybe it would be a relief to be on the streets with my just dog because the worrying of it” – if she had kids, I would think that they would have been mentioned.

              • kujospam says:

                Not sure if she has kids or not, but I have a couple of friends that were told they could never have kids and so had sex all the time with their husbands without protection. Well both of them in their 40’s had kids. They were completely shocked as was I, one of them went on to have another kid.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          She’s 51, so I doubt she has dependents in the way of children.

          I know a lot of people (myself included) who didn’t have kids until the age of 30. Burning through $50k is definitely a lot of money but depending on when she lost her job, she may not have been eligible for the COBRA subsidies. A family policy could easily run her between $10-$15k/year to maintain.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Yeah, I was thinking about young children, in which case she couldn’t tell them to help out by getting a job.

    • Judah says:

      50K, Texas, 15 months, assume no pets, no emergencies

      Mortgage — $1000/month – 15K
      Car Insurance/Gas — $500/month — 7.5K
      Health Insurance (you are unemployed and 51) — 1K/month — 15K
      Food — 500/month (includes eating out, looking for job) — 7.5K
      Heating/Air Conditioning/Electricity/Phone/Water/Internet — 1K/month = 15K

      That’s 60K right there, gotta believe she’s getting something from unemployment too.

      • Capta76 says:

        wow, that’s a lot more than I’ve been spending… and I though SoCal was expensive

      • Mewf says:

        1k a month for utilities…?

        • Verdant Pine Trees says:

          It’s Texas. I have paid as much as $400 for air conditioning in one month and that’s with a programmable thermostat that can be turned up when we’re out, shopping around for a cheap rate, and a reasonably small ranch house. Rates with companies like Reliant can be even higher.

          My husband has coworkers with two-story homes and flat out McMansions (which are cheap) who are certainly paying $900 and $1000 for energy in the hot months.

          Also, our house cost less than $120,000 but with property and school taxes I still pay over $1100 a month for my mortgage in this wonderful state.

          My guess is that as a fellow Texan, she probably has a gigantic truck she’s paying for, too.

      • sonneillon says:

        Car insurance and gas costs are ridiculous. I put 22k miles a year on my car as a property inspector with 2 tickets and an accident on my record with comprehensive and collision coverage and I don’t pay 500 bucks a month. Your getting screwed. With my ridiculous millage and poor driving, my insurance and gas cost 380. You must drive a gas guzzler.
        Really though. I know poor people in Texas and they do a 1000 dollar mortgage with a room mate and their other costs put their personal yearly costs at about 25k a person. And I’ve heard if your creative you can do it at 15k, but it sucks. You’d be surprised how cheap you can live if things become desperate. I could bring my total expenses down to 100 bucks a month in the Northern Virginia area if I had to but that is an unacceptable standard of living.

    • aloria says:

      My monthly expenses, bare minimum that I can get away with without having debt collectors come after me or starving, are about $2756*. Add to that the medications that I’d have to pay for out of pocket since I’d no longer have insurance (or COBRA, take your pick,) and I could easily burn through $50k in 15 months.

      *This is below my means with my current salary. No idea if a financial analyst makes a comparable amount, though.

  2. Winston says:

    I can offer her 2. Sadly, they’d only last about 15 minutes each.

  3. Smashville says:

    How do you blow through 50 grand and unemployment in a year when you’ve supposedly cut back on everything – as she did?

  4. montusama says:

    She is looking and keeping busy which I like. The real question is how do you go through 50k (along with an additional 10k from unemployment) in 15 months? I’m not familiar with the cost of living in the Dallas/Fort Worth but I don’t imagine it would be THAT high.

    • freelunch says:

      in DFW, it all depends on where you live… though it doesn’t help that many folks in the area do not cook for themselves, and instead eat out or hit up the casual quick food joints that are everywhere in the metroplex.

      that said, $50k is a lot to blow through, but a decent house payment + property taxes can eat through a lot of money. I could stretch $50k out a little longer than she did, but I wouldn’t make it to 2 years unless I sold my house and switched to an apartment or much smaller house.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Yeah, housing and health insurance is definitely a big expense. There are a lot of people with $1,000/month mortgages and/or $1,000/month health insurance policies.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          $1,000 a month is a lot? I pay more than that in rent in DC! Either the job market in Dallas sucks or I should look into moving somewhere cheaper. Too bad I really like where I live…

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I currently pay $460/month for my 20 year mortgage. I also used to live in DC (Capitol Hill), where I paid about $2,500/month for a tiny row house right on the border of the slum.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              Capitol Hill is insanely expensive. It would never be worth living there, I don’t think. I live outside DC, on the Virginia side, but my rent is definitely not as low as $1,000.

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        Yeah it also said she sold her mineral rights, so I was thinking she may have quite a bit of land associated, with likely ups her mortgage and property taxes. I don’t know enough about the property values and taxes around Dallas to comment further.

        In any case, I have no problem believing that even if she cut back she could easily blow through that much in 15 months. If she had debts she incurred when her job seemed stable she’d still have to pay that off, on top of all her monthly expenses. Plus, there are always emergencies.

  5. freelunch says:

    makes good sense….

    after all – many head hunters that I know will pay $1000 referal fees…

  6. pantheonoutcast says:

    Is anyone else concerned that a *financial analyst* ran through $50K in savings and however much more in unemployment benefits in 15 months?

    From the article:

    “She hasn’t bought clothes or perfume in two years.” Yeah, me neither. So what the hell did she spend $50K + on?

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      as mentioned by myself and others:

      Mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, food, toiletries, electric/gas, water/sewer, phone, car payment, car insurance, gas money, internet, health insurance (or even worse – no health insurance and paying for appointments and prescriptions out of pocket [mine would be a total of $1000 a month without insurance]), plus if she doesn’t want to ruin her credit – she may have some credit card payments or student loans to make.
      Plus she has a dog… so add dog food and possible vet bills into that.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      also, last summer when I was unemployed, so was half my friends and family. So we all helped each other. I wasn’t on unemployment benefits, so I ended up selling a lot of my stuff to get by. But if my aunt or my dad needed money for food, I would find a way to give them some of the money I made. And sometimes I had to ask them for money to eat as well.
      She could also have unemployed relatives that she could be helping out too.

    • VermilionSparrow says:

      Texas unemployment benefits are some of the lowest in the country: the maximum benefit allowed by law is $378 every 2 weeks, scaled according to your income in the 5 previous employed quarters (as little as $57 for minimum-wage employees). According to the video, she’s received $10,206 and has $789 remaining, which is either 3 payments of $263 (contradicting the “her unemployment runs out in 2 weeks” as stated) or $10,995 is the legal maximum and she’s hitting the time limit cap instead (FYI, in Texas the time limit is variable as well, 10-26 weeks, again depending on your employment history–obviously this has been extended due to the current economic situation).

      Also, from the shots of her land, she lives reasonably far out in the country, which means she’s spending a fair amount on gas and car insurance, aside from whatever she’s spending on food, utilities, mortgage, etc.

      Incidentally, my mother is in a similar situation, also near Dallas, 51, with accounting and executive assistant jobs on her resume… The difference is that while she’s looking she’s taken an $11/hr customer service job and just barely keeping things together after years of making $50k/year… She makes more doing that than she did from unemployment.

  7. areaman says:

    “It’s based on if I get a job offer,” the 51-year-old out-of work financial analyst explains. “I figure the worst case scenario, I’ll give them my first paycheck.”

    Something doesn’t add up. As a financial analyst, one of her paychecks/net pay of one paycheck should be more than $1000.

    Overall good for her for thinking outside of the box.

    • jessjj347 says:

      She might mean $1000 that doesn’t go to paying bills that month. So, the paycheck is probably more money.

    • erinpac says:

      She did say she was trying to cut grass and stuff too… so perhaps she figures the job will be less than her old one. Some jobs pay in smaller chunks than monthly, so it’s possible.

  8. jnads says:

    So, she’s a highly experience financial analyst and she has no job?

    1) She sucks.
    2) She’s really picky. It’s a job, take a demotion if you have to.
    3) I’m more clueless than I realize (2 of my friends have found $50k+ jobs in this economy).

    • Hi_Hello says:

      i was thinking the same thing. what is a financial analyst? I assume someone who can at least realize the job market, the money she has, the cost of her living and not be in this situation…

      all I got from google was someone who tell company how to invest thier money… she should’ve made a better investment with her money…

  9. RandomHookup says:

    I did a little digging around and she’s not helping herself. She’s an accountant (passed her CPA exam, though maybe not current) and her LinkedIn profile is bare bones.

    • Punchy says:

      She is on Facebook (per the article) so I guess employers just know her priorities.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Being on Facebook is a good thing, even for a job hunt. It’s just one more way of getting the word out about your situation. Not using LinkedIn well is a mistake…she should have built up her profile and expanded her network so she can have more folks to connect with in her job hunt.

  10. pandroid says:

    I’m underemployed and also in Texas (I have two sporadic part time jobs right now). I don’t have $1000, but I’d pay someone $100 to find me a 8-5 full time job that paid a reasonable amount of money. I’m lucky if I even get rejection letters when I send in a resume. Most of the time, I just get ignored.

    • pot_roast says:

      Dude. I’m in Texas, and I have one full time job and three paying part-time jobs. What field are you in?

  11. imonroe says:

    I actually did this exact thing back in November of 2009.

    Of course, her bounty is much larger than the bounty I was offering.

    Because of my attempt at wrangling job tips this way, a friend of mine, a DJ who goes by the moniker Q-Burns Abstract Message, tried the same thing to get some DJ gigs around the country.

    Never ended up paying the bounty, because I took a job I found through craigslist. It was an interesting experiment though, and I did score some short-term freelance work from it.

  12. Coelacanth says:

    Maybe she should find recruiters if she has special skills. They can easily earn more than $1,000 per hire they refer.

  13. evnmorlo says:

    I will give her a job that pays $300 for each person she finds a job for.

  14. lostdisk says:

    Lets say that her house isn’t paid off, and her mortgage is probably somewhere around $1000 to $2000 a month. Now, lets add in insurance (auto, home, heath – this is a big one), a possible car payment, and any other bills she may have. Heck, lets say she doesn’t have a car payment, but she needs to still carry health insurance, that’s going to be a good $200 to $300 a month.

    Is you have $50K, and include in the unemployment benefits, that’s about $3500 a month to live on. Now, not thinking she would be unemployed for 15 months, she may have used some of that savings when she first lost her job for possible improvements to her home, or who knows what else. Other things could have come up, car repairs are not cheap.

    I don’t find it surprising that she went though that much in 15 months.


    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I’m guessing a lot of people that commented about it probably rent, have a spouse that helps out or they don’t make a whole lot of money.
      I rent and make an average salary and don’t have too many bills, but I can see how someone could spend that much in a year and a half.

      • sonneillon says:

        your right, people who make 12-14k a year are not going to have any sympathy for someone who blew through 50k in 15 months.

        • Verdant Pine Trees says:

          You know, I once made that kind of money – I survived one year off just $4000, fortunately living rent free in a family home. I never cracked $30,000 until I was twenty-eight. But I was also healthy and young. I owned no property, had no pets, and the only debt I had was a credit card and some student loans.

          I see no reason we should assume she wasted the money. She owns a home, land, has a pet, and may have incurred debts along the road of life. Maybe she has an elderly parent she’s helping support. Maybe she had expensive medical bills.

          I don’t care how poor a person is, saving our compassion only for those who make less money than us or who we believe to have horrible lives, is miserly and bitter – and those attitudes don’t usually get rewarded with friendship or higher paying jobs.

  15. crtjer says:

    My gf straight out of school was looking for a financial analyst position. This happened around the Goldman Sachs scandal. It was absolutely terrible to find anything. Even now financial analysts aren’t being hired but this lady should look into risk. After the downturn that is the one job area that thrived in the financial sector.

  16. firemunkie says:

    mcdonalds is always hiring. maybe its about time she realizes that her field is overcrowded and she should just get any job while she hunts for a new career. i hear farmers are always looking for someone to pick fields.

    • evnmorlo says:

      That only works if your parents (or food stamps, section 8 etc.) pay for your living expenses, or if you convert your wages into Pesos.

  17. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    After reading through all the comments, especially the ones aghast about how someone can go through $51K in 15 months proves that not everyone accepts that others may have a higher cost of living than themselves. Not everyone has a $500/mo mortgage, nor want to.

    51K / 15 months is only $3333/mo or $40k/yr. Financial Planners I know earn in the $80-125K/year range. I figure she likely took a 50-80% pay cut. That will leave a mark.

    But more so, I know from first hand experience of being unemployed for 16 months I went through 40K in savings under the philosophy that I can keep my house and will get back on my feet sooner rather than later. All I can say is try to go from your current wage to zero (especially if you have no pre-warning) in this no hiring environment and see how well you fare.

    • RandomHookup says:

      She’s a financial analyst, not a financial planner. She’s an accountant who works on bigger issues than just debits and credits.

  18. sponica says:

    i do know of a job, but the finder’s fee is less than what she’d make in a paycheck (pre-tax). Heck it’s less than what I make in a paycheck….

  19. erratapage says:

    I’m a little surprised how many people are questioning the budget here. We don’t have enough details to judge, and I know a lot of people are stuck with payments they could easily make when they were employed, but can’t when laid off. The tendency is to try to make ends meet in the early days of unemployment. It sounds like that’s what she’s done.

  20. VouxCroux says:

    So….she wants a job where she’ll probably be paid $60,000 a year…but she will pay the company $1,000. Meaning that they’ll only be out $59,000 for that first year. Unless she generates $59,000 worth of revenue that is. Makes no sense to me.

    • RandomHookup says:

      She’s not offering to pay the company; she’s offering to pay any individual who refers her to a job. It’s generally illegal to pay a company to hire you, though I guess you could negotiate a lower salary.

  21. BETH says:

    The problem is age discrimination. Employers think that people over age 50 are over the hill. It doesn’t matter how experienced they are, how reliable they are, or how good they are at the job. Employers don’t want them because they’re just too old.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      They’re not really “too old”. The cost of insuring them is higher, though.

  22. BobOblah says:

    “Hey, I’m unemployed. LIVE THE HIGH LIFE! It can’t last forever!”

  23. Chipzilla says:

    Sonja is obviously dumb as a box of rocks.

    Her online ad says she wants a $55k+ job? Talk about being a bit picky…

    Sorry, but if you’ve been unemployed for more than a year your skills aren’t in demand. Ever thought of waitressing, working in a call centre, or – god forbid – a part time bookeeping job??

  24. honeybee says:

    Did anyone catch if she’s willing to relocate?

  25. Verdant Pine Trees says:

    You’ll be seeing more and more of this age discrimination in the coming decade. The oldest baby boomers, who made entire industries out of the “youth culture” (see rock n’ roll, advertising, etc), are suddenly realizing that their “never trust anyone over 30” ethos has come around to bite them in the butt.

    And yes, I am sure it’s age discrimination. It starts even earlier (age 35) in the technology industries, for instance, if you’re a programmer. They want you when you’re young, single, and willing to work long hours. If you’re thirty-five, married or otherwise “have a life”, and want an ordinary 8-5 gig, you’re not so attractive to them.

    If you are a person of a certain age (I don’t consider “50” to be old, but merely middle-aged), accept that you might be looking for a very, very long time to get the same amount of income at a steady job. You’re presumed to be more demanding salary wise, even though you’ve got stellar experience; you’re also presumed to cost more as far as health insurance, particularly if you’re an older man (there’s more discrimination against women when they’re younger due to childbearing). Keep busy by doing consulting and look into self-employment, even temping or contracts. Understand that this does not define you. Make your identity something other than your job title.

    • cheapist says:

      I agree that older people have difficulty getting jobs, but I would not call what you are describing age discrimination. I used to work in the entertainment industry which suffered from what is true age discrimination.

      The purpose of a business is to turn a profit and if these older employees are demanding more money and cannot or do not want to work longer hours, they are simply less profitable to the business. Most young people are single and do not have family commitments that require them to make more money or go home at a certain hour. Like you said, it also costs more to insure them. Consider this, I could hire an employee at $10/hour. Then if I were to offer health insurance, it costs $2000/mo for someone who is 60 versus $100/mo for someone who is 22. I understand companies are legally not allowed to discriminate based on health insurance costs, but this seems terribly unfair and many companies will simply just stop offering health insurance.

      I know there is legal precedent that says otherwise. Many companies have laid off all their older, overpaid staff and replaced them with people who were willing to do the same job for less. True, they could have simply reduced the pay of all their older workers, but then you just have an angry resentful staff that’s less productive. These young people are happy to be promoted.