Monday, March 24, 2008

Employment Journal, Part I

I read in yesterday's New York Times that even though we might expect the current economic "slowdown" to last several years, we don't need to worry about a repeat of the Great Depression. According to the economists interviewed, unemployment levels will never again approach the 25% of the early 1930s. The worst we can expect, according to this article, is that people will have to start selling their possessions on eBay. How reassuring.

I realized that I have no idea what the employment situation in eastern Pennsylvania might be. I know that it's taking people a while to find professional positions; I know that if I were to put together a resume and look for a position in marketing or publishing it would probably take me a while to find something. But what if my situation were more dire? What if I needed a job, any job, as soon as possible? I've decided to find out.

I thought about doing a Nickeled and Dimed kind of thing and pretending that I have no education and am simply looking for a job in the service sector, but that's been done. I've decided to be who I am, with my education and with my actual job experience, and to pretend that I've been unable to find a while-collar position and that I'm in search of whatever work I can find.

I have a PhD in English. I taught at the college level for seven years, then left academia and worked in PR and marketing for eight years. Almost five years ago I started a local publication. For the past four years I've edited and published that magazine and been a freelancer and consultant in marketing communications. I've decided to leave out the freelance parts of my resume, and to tell potential employers that my business has gone under and I need work while I get on my feet again. I will say that I've been looking for a professional position but haven't been able to find one and just need a job.

I've never worked in a restaurant, or in retail. The first part of my quest is to see if there are in fact any jobs around here to be had, the second part is to see if anyone would hire me. What if my scenario were the truth? What if I had my mortgage and my bills to pay and my business and my savings were gone? Would I be able to find enough work to keep me out of foreclosure?

Today, I'm going to the malls. I figure I'll start my quest with retail. I'll let you know tomorrow what, if anything, happens.


Just Asking said...

Wal-Mart: "Did you find everything you want?"

Aeropostale: "Uh what?"

Christopher & Banks: "Can you set you up with a dressing room?"

Waldenbooks: "Do you have one of our savings cards that cost you $10?"

McDonalds: "Do you want fries with that?"

Bon Ton: "Just a minute, I have to find my manager, I don't know how to use the register."

Did you try the City of Easton??

tunsie said...

I can't see u at victoria's secret,because someone may ask you if she looks fat in this,and u would tell the truth,then i would have 2 pull my resouces in order 2 protect u.ear piercing is not 4 u because u might have a mishap and send someone 2 the hospital.i don't want u 2 work in any type of toy store because kids run around like a bunch of injuns and throw toys all over the place and then we will have 2 take u 2 the hospital at the end of day.u can work with my girls but u can't be with the usual suspects of polital gossip.because these girls r a little more mature then the average bear.they r also brutally honest.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see how this goes. I have wondered the same thing about myself.

Beth said...

Since I'm unemployed, I'm especially interested in your findings. I wouldn't go to the malls, but I have thought of applying at Wegman's.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that the problem won't be in finding work, but in finding work that can actually pay your bills. Be prepared to theoretically take 2 or more jobs. I've been there. And I have family members who still are. Then theoretically juggle that with child care and no nest egg, and you'll understand better why extended family gets tapped for cash. If you have no education or resume, it's an even tougher world out there. Not very amusing if your kid has asthma or your transmission blows. Moral of the story: GO TO COLLEGE, KIDS!

Just Asking said...

It's 9:35 and you haven't written Tuesday's post yet. What gives. I'm just asking.