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28 June 2012

Waiting for Change?

The following is a guest blog from Dr. Christina McCale, an author, a doctor and perhaps most of all... a person.
   -- Sir Bacon
There are many moments that are etched in the memories of most adults.
Graduation.
Birth of a child.
Your wedding day.
Buying your first house.
But unfortunately for more than 12 million Americans, some of whom read this blog and share their stories here, another day that remains etched in our minds is the day our professional lives were upended. The day that part of our very identities were taken from us.
It was the day that our jobs were taken from us.
And unfortunately, for some 5.4 million  of those, one of the largest “segments” of the unemployed population are those who have been living the nightmare of unemployment for more than 6 months.
My own personal descent into the living hell called unemployment started in the Spring of 2009 when I was passed over for not one but three different professorial jobs; jobs that I had spent nearly a decade networking to get, preparing for, and culminating volumes of good teaching evaluations, article publications, text book involvement, and conference presentations. I was recognized as one of the most published researchers in my field. I was recruited to launch a national journal.
But in the end, none of that mattered.
The “why” I didn’t get any of the positions I had so long networked for, and ended up unemployment is less important than the actual fact of the matter: I was now unemployed. And despite any number of attempts to “pull myself up by my bootstraps” I failed.
I wouldn’t fit the model any news organization would report as a “typical” unemployed American. For good and bad, I have an above average education: I have a bachelors and masters from a well-known, private Pacific Northwest university; I had done graduate studies at a top tier state school; and I held a doctorate in a highly desirable profession that I had specifically gone back to school to get a doctorate at the urging of several department chairs. These hiring managers had indicated that my talent for teaching, and my lengthy corporate marketing experience would make me a shoe-in to teach almost anywhere I chose.
All those facts added up to not an inordinate amount of student loan debt, but in return, seemingly having the credentials to join one of our most revered professions: that of professor, academic, teacher.
But then the economy cratered.
Then the housing crisis exploded.
And then the financial markets dissolved into chaos.
State and local governments’ budgets came under fire, laying off previously unimaginable positions that had always been considered sacrosanct: police officers, firemen, and teachers. Professorial openings went unfilled; retirement eligible employees hung on by their fingernails, delaying retirement in order to allow the markets, and ultimately their retirement funds, time to bounce back. When professors did retire, they were not replaced.
And then things got really bad.
In the Fall of 2011, l put my decade’s worth of training to work, and began documenting the plight of the unemployed, pulling together the data, media observations, and interviews to profile the one in two Americans who were now “the new poor:” those who had fallen quickly and harshly into the state of poverty despite previous training, education or work history.
But as I wrote, I found my own story creeping into the narrative because too many people I tried to interview could not bring themselves to bare their souls, their hurts or their “failings” for the book.
This approach isn’t new: Authors like Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch),  Jonathan Kozol, author of Shame of the Nation, Eric Schlosser of Fast Food Nation, and even documentarian Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me. have long documented situations, to include their own role and impressions of the situation, which indicate a larger, potentially systemic issue at hand.
I was reminded of the stories from our grandparents and the Great Recession that we all probably grew up on. As so in light of these memories, I put myself to work, writing the book “Waiting for Change:  Impacts on life, family, work and the new 99% reality.”  This book, then, centers on five key areas of the human experience – housing, sustenance, employment, children, and our social support systems -- exploring how these areas of one’s life can be so drastically impacted – irrevocably altered – by job loss and the continuing drag of the Great Recession we’ve all experienced in a myriad of different ways.
I’d love to hear how closely these stories ring true for all of you.

Over the course of a decade, Dr. Christina McCale has been a marketing professor at a variety of public and private universities, the author of research studies, proceedings, conference presentations and books, including Waiting For Change, which discusses the economic realities the 99% experience during the Great Recession also found at her blog  http://www.waitingforchange.us/.  Dr. McCale continues to write research and write while actively looking to return to her love of teaching the classroom or virtual environment with college students.



35 comments:

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admin said...

Mediclaim

This is a major problem in every country

Anonymous said...

Hi! – Nice Post!
I agree whith You, namely the way it runs ad can afect each one of us nowadays couse of growing unemployment….
Im very interested in this subject, namely because i would like to know more and more info about working across borders, becouse we never know if it really can be the better for us! ad even ifwe feell it, we must be sure of the country and working conditions befre we go to work abroad! thats some info i found in http://getjobabroad.blogspot.com/ Get Your Job Abroad – Search and Find Job abroad – Find out how we can search, submit, analyse, find and get job offers to work abroad! Simple steps can get big opportunities for people who want to work in others countries! Be my guest! – and never forget about searching and searching again before going abroad! oportunities are all aroun us, we just have to, consciently, take good advantage of them!
never give up, always on the run!
good luck everyone!
Cheers my Friends!
JJ

Christina said...

This is terrible, about two years ago my Father lost his job form the university he worked for simply because of the funding cuts. Possibly two weeks later my Mom lost her job due to the low economy they had no work. I was lucky enough to have a job though the hardest winter of my life it seems like. I supported both my parents as much as I could paying for the light, and heating. One thing I remember about that winter is my mom and dad got to be really good at cooking soup. It was one of the only things we could afford off my pay and with the unemployment checks. One thing that really helped my family out was the free job Boards I came a crossed one day. They had job listings you couldn't find in the paper. Job board such as: Indeed.com and CareerBuilder.com. I know for a fact that the economy drop hit everyone and not in pretty ways. I would recommend these sites to any one looking for a job or looking to change their careers.

Selene Adams said...

@Christina, its Funny that you mention those job boards. I stumbled Upon Granted.com they have pages of job listings and make everything so easy. I just had to type in the kind of work I was looking for and my area code. It pulled up so many results I wasn't expecting. I have a interview Monday so wish me luck!

Terry Jones said...

It's terrible to see all these bright-minded, well-educated academics out of work. I just got sh*t-canned like a week ago and now I spend my time looking all around the Web for inspiration. And for me, as a not particularly skilled person, it's not so terrible a vision, as I can go and work at Walmart without feeling ashamed of it.Visit: http://www.webponder.com/Can-I-be-fire-for-being-sick

Cecilia Palomo said...

I have been unemployed for over three years after a layoff on September 11,2009. I have a degree in civil engineering and have applied for positions ranging from a janitor to working professional, but nothing so far. I mow lawns and do small contracting jobs, so that I can get by.

Anonymous said...

The stress and depression that comes with unemployment is unbearable. I am a special education teacher who was laid off due to budgetary issues. I am looking after my elderly mother who doesn't seem to understand that the economy has changed substantially since "her day." It is interesting how your friends change, they offer pat answers like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps or stop throwing yourself pity parties." Days, weeks go by without a single phone call. I never thought that an educated person could end up in such a horrid situation.

Anonymous said...


A.J.

I think this is a very good topic to explore. I was looking for a second job and nobody is hiring. Even if you have a job it is not enought to pay the bills. The cost of living has gone up and the salaries have not. Your next book should be overworked and underpaid.

unemployment said...

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headhunter said...

There are times that you really need to wait for your chance, so you can have your right job at the right time.

Anonymous said...

Well, I went searching for a blog this evening, because I thought it would help me know I am not the only one out there experiencing the unemployment issues. I do not have the credentials that many others have...I have 2 Associate degrees which are useless....I worked furniture sales for a number of years because I could not get a job after graduating even with an Associates Degree 12 years ago....I gave up all social contact because of having to work long hours and every weekend. Nnow, nothing to show for it. I too am applying for those "lesser" jobs, but also not getting anywhere. ..The loneliness is almost unbearable....my couple of friends that I do have do not want to hear my sob story about unemployment...I get no phone calls, only if they need me to do something for them. I was fired recently because I was bullied. So, it is a shame that the Creeps (putting it mildly) get to keep their jobs, while us good ones are let go....this has happened to me twice now. There should be allowances for Managers to be evaluated by their own employees. I bet most of them would not have their jobs. I think a lot of managers got their jobs from knowing someone. I believe a lot of managers have not really worked as hard as others to have their jobs. It is a real shame, because so many of us are suffering because of it. The jerks are sitting behind their desks doing nothing but delegating and treating others with distain because they have had little training on how to treat others. I hear from other bloggers that a lot of the job sites are stale listings. OH, GREAT...lets add to the frustration. I have also left messages for a recruiter to call me, but no response...I left several messages. I am sure they are frustrated too. They have to be successful in getting people hired, but the "CREEPS" are also trying to keep their jobs. It is a vicious cycle.....I just do not know what to do. AND of course we are forced to apply for 5 jobs a week to have unemployment, but a lot of the listings are repeats from many other job sites. Some times the only thing to do is apply for the same job... I laugh, because a lot of us are having to do that so now it brings up the answer to why there are so many applications for the job postings. It seems that all of the "Rules" for applying for jobs is now out the window. Nothing matters any more.....You or I will not get the job anyway.....Sooooooo very sad....Now what....who even knows......

headhunter said...

You have an interesting story and I really enjoyed reading it. It is really hard to look for work nowadays. You better do some changes to be meet the goal you want. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Philippine Job site said...

Inspiring story indeed, gives me the courage to go on with my life even though I am having trouble where I would be after I graduate.Thank you.

itrabaho said...

We have similar story. Finding a job is really not that easy. Sometimes others just want to give up. But at the end if you stand up and give it all the best. It will just be worth it.

Nicole Hayward said...

I too am in a similar situation. I am a podiatrist, who believe it or not can not seem to find a job. It is very frustrating because I have student loans to payback and children to support. I never thought I could be unemployed as a doctor.

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Dan Kilian said...

The title begs for a sequel: Making a change. Unfortunately, too many of us face the other sequel: Begging for change. To lighten the mood, here's a song about being fired. https://youtu.be/pgEePahXFpY

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