Looking for Work: A Post Recession Art-form

It isn’t every day that you read about a depressed economy, desperate people, and fumbling political leadership…oh, wait. Whether its a vote to maintain low rates on student loans, or a promise to create jobs, many politicians are aware of how many American people are living at the edge of prosperity. We may very well have reached the point in the American dream where we find ourselves falling into a deep abyss. When and where we will find ourselves once we awake from this nightmare is uncertain. 

There are attempts to fix our world. Smart people are creating new companies with brilliant ideas, and established companies have the funds to hire again. My understanding is that a movement “back” to our pre-recession condition is silly to even think about. It is definitely a new direction forward in which the world is currently engaged. Companies posting record profits are supported by reduced workforces. They have little reason to increase their employee headcount without new business in new markets. In the past we relied on growth of sales to keep our economy humming along. Now and into the future, I believe we will rely on the growth of new ideas that inspire people to get up each day and perform. 

Looking for work has turned into a sort of post recession art-form. The moment you find yourself laid-off, you question who you are. When you graduate and move back home with your parents, who question who you will become. And when you put on your best clothes to attend a career fair, you realize those jobs too are gone. Hiring today is done online, where algorithms, not people, review your application and resume. If you find yourself lucky enough to meet with someone face to face, or even receive a phone call, the responses can be disheartening. You’re over qualified or you lack specific experiences.What can you do?

The people who successfully jump back into the labor-force seem to have one common trait. They never, ever give up. They attend job fairs where no one is around to accept a resume. They apply to companies they don’t really want to work for. They shred their lives of the stuff that doesn’t really matter and focus on what they want to achieve.

At the end of the day, our government can only do so much to help ease this transitional phase. As we move from an economy of stuff to an economy of knowledge and ideas, many jobs and industries will continue to be wiped out in a wake of science and technology. This is not a bad situation to be in; it simply means we must transition ourselves and our expectations. If we look to the future and discover it’s empty, you can be sure we will create new goals and new ideas to find meaning in our lives. And that, perhaps, is the greatest dream of all.


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