We’re All Worried
Things look bad right now, that’s for sure. I can’t believe that in a few short years the entire country’s economy has gone to “hell in a hand-basket.” People I know are on the verge of losing their houses, their health insurance, and most certainly their retirement. What the hell has happened here?
Well I’ll tell you: irresponsibility and greed. That’s the reason, and now we’re all paying the price for it.
I recently went to a job fair in Boston (one of many in the last few months). This one was a multi-industry job fair at the Radisson Hotel near Boston’s Back Bay. I could not believe the staggering amount of people trying to get into this lack-luster event. We stood out in the cold for a long time just waiting to get into the lobby and onto the elevators. Then we were herded into a long serpentine line before getting into the modest-sized ballroom where the exhibitors were waiting. It was like trying to get to the observation deck of the Empire State Building!
As we waited in line I spoke with a few of the attendees. These were men and women who were all professionals ages ranging from late twenties to early fifties. In other words: everyone.
What a damn shame to know that as your career is reaching its apex and you hope to retire in about ten to fifteen years, you are suddenly let go and everything you’ve worked for hangs in the balance!
Whether you’re a career changer or someone who is desperately trying to get back into the field that you’ve worked so hard at all your professional life, it makes little difference—the economy does not care, you’re a “cog in the economic wheel” and that’s it.
After getting into the event room, the level of disappointment seemed to know no bounds as the breadth of the exhibitors numbered only in the few and represented industries that are not high on the list of what people are looking for theses days. They were mostly sales-based exhibitors which does no good for the software engineer or the project manager who is trying to get another so-called stable opportunity to work in that area again.
Job fairs can be useful networking tools if you know how to network, but as a means to dig up a new opportunity like your last one, they leave a lot to be desired. But at least they’re there and should be appreciated for what they are.
So now what? Give up like that guy in LA who killed his 4 children, wife, and himself? That is an unspeakable tragedy that simply can not go unnoticed.
No. This kind of stuff needs to be resolved. The economy needs to be turned around, and people desperately need help.
Sure this week a whole bunch of companies announced job cuts that numbered into the 70,000 range! Another “ponzi-scheme” SOB was caught. And the economy will get worse before it gets better. You can thank the previous administration’s “loosing of the reigns” that allowed the Wall Street fat cats to run amok for this mess! And we gave them more money in a damn bailout that’s done nothing for us. It’s stuff like that that I am surprised people aren’t rioting in the streets over. One of these days there’s going to be an old-fashioned lynch mob outside of Bernie Madoff’s posh Manhattan penthouse where he’s enjoying his luxurious house arrest!
I worry too. I lost my job shortly before the economic meltdown at the height of my company’s success. The irony. I had just bought a new house, and my infant daughter was due to arrive in a few weeks. Fortunately for me I had stocked-piled some money (that was going to go towards retirement, “yeah, right”), and I managed to make a case for unemployment compensation. But the well will eventually run dry and then where will I be? My wife and daughter are depending on me and I can not let them down. Nor am I ever going to give up!
And that’s what we’re really talking about here: not giving up. Don’t give up! Never give up!
My best friend, Dan, once said to me, “the only way you’ll guarantee that you will fail is if you give up.”
Get out there and fight for what you want! Fight for your family, and fight for your dreams!
I have only a few small goals in mind: successfully launch a writing career, make enough money to give my wife a break so she won’t have to work (she more than deserves it), take care of my daughter and give her the proper education she needs, keep the house over our heads, and retire at a decent age. My dream is to stay home, write, watch my daughter grow up, and treat my wife to nice things. What else is there?
This group that I go to has helped me immeasurably. They are called WIND. Which is an acronym for “Wednesday Is Networking Day.” Of course my regional group (for southern Massachusetts) meets on Thursdays but the name is still cool. This group of professionals is supportive and inspiring, and they have the tools to help you get back into the workforce again. Help is the operative word here as you still have to do the work. But you’re not alone.
So take heart. I still believe better days are ahead.