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View Diary: When your life becomes a headline (45 comments)

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  •  I never expected that (20+ / 0-)

    at 51 I would still be scraping away for an hourly paycheck. In my case it's at least partially of my own doing, since I've never followed a straight line on my career path despite having two undergraduate degrees. I left a decent job in 2004 due to burnout, hoping to develop a life in a creative industry. It was a short-sighted move, admittedly.

    Since then, after realizing my creative pursuit was neither fulfilling nor lucrative, I returned to school to learn new skills (web design and development). I started looking for employment again at exactly the wrong time, when the economy was collapsing: late 2008.

    My job search left me seriously demoralized when I saw that most of the entry level jobs (even in the accounting and finance work I had been doing until 2004) required 3-5 years of recent experience and/or specialized degrees and still only paid $10/hour.

    I got a job last July, finally, just in time to not use up all our savings. It's a contract job, and while the company has a history of renewing contracts ad infinitum, my current contract expires in April. I earn a tiny bit more than the minimum I need to keep us afloat. I feel very lucky, for now, but I'm continuing to look for a "permanent" position, too.

    We cannot ever give up, the fight is long, it is hard, it is discouraging, but I firmly believe that if we continue to stand together we can and will change the direction of our nation.  We are in the fight of our life, and I for one, am not about to give up or give in.

    Yeah. This. Me too.

    "The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes." -Aristotle

    by Arenosa on Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 11:21:07 AM PST

    •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, ladybug53, Dirtandiron, Arenosa

      I sort of changed job direction as well, and now want to change back to what I was doing before, but like you my timing was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY off! sigh.

    •  Our paths are incredibly similar (10+ / 0-)

      And i have skills in 3 industries. The first one i couldnt possibly get a job in because the entire industry is averse to anyone over 30. The second one (programming/web design/SEO) is absolutely flooded with 20yo's from community colleges who will literally work for scraps (they dont have a lot of choice) and the third i cant go back into until next year due to an intentional screwup designed to keep me from going back. I wanted to actually see my family even if it meant poverty.. then the economy collapsed. Im under 50 by a few years but you can see the sneer on some of these young personel managers faces when you walk in the door. They want someone 22 year olds they can manipulate not someone who has more skills  than they do.

      You can never give up and this darkness too shall pass. However the world is changed. We americans all keep pretending things are going back to "the good old  days".  (It is shocking to me that we would even think of the Clinton years as the 'good old days'). This is the new america and it is going to get worse not better. The right wing plan worked folks. We're in the final stages of becoming a banana republic competing with the lowest common denominator while the Barons and Baronesses get richer and richer. Welcome to plantation life.

      The real irony here is we've systematically made sure there is no place for the poor and working classes in our society. Get unemployed in even the most 'progressive' communities and the police are waiting in line to ship you out.

      Fuck 'em. by Troubadour

      by cdreid on Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 11:58:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It *is* rather interesting (10+ / 0-)

        to be joining an industry (web design/development) at my age that is normally the purview of those under 30. I did some freelance work before I got my current job; it included partnering with a local graphic designer on a couple of websites, and I was heartened by one of the things she said to me. She told me she liked working with me in part because I'm older, and not a 20yo boy who "knows it all."

        For now, it seems my current employer-client is noticing my layout and graphics skills, and my boss' boss' boss (my great grandboss?) is tapping me to work on some internal sites that need UI work and to be a content manager for his new Sharepoint site. I may be older than most web designer-developers, but I can still learn; and where I can, I'll use my age and experience to advantage. For example, I'm more likely to pay attention to the readability of a site by older eyes.

        I hope you soon find a personnel manager without a sneer.

        "The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes." -Aristotle

        by Arenosa on Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 01:11:19 PM PST

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        •  If i can give you a tip (9+ / 0-)

          Learn SEO and traffic management. Its the actual Important part of web design. A monkey can draw a pretty website. Getting your client massive traffic, a top SE listing and having the users congregate where he hopes they do will win you a lot more admirers than a pretty picture that isnt user friendly and sends the lousy traffic it gets to the wrong places.

          Ill find it i just have to quit slumming on jobs below me. And next year im hopefully back to what i was made for.

          Good luck

          Fuck 'em. by Troubadour

          by cdreid on Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 02:06:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  SEO is a boring, hoop-jumping grind (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cdreid, Odysseus, Sychotic1, asterkitty

            I can get a lot of organic SEO, I know how to write, use a keyword and employ a good strategy for 60 days.

            Then all the sands will shift as the entire industry plays for the limited slots available, and the strategy changes all over again.

            Fuck these dumb corporate types and their god damn search engine games, if you want human traffic be real, have intensity, really serve your people, and pay attention to who shows up.

            It never changes, real SEO is earned with human sacrifice and flair, the fuckers want me to code what they're too incompetent to actually perform, it gets really old fast.

            'n yes, those starving twentysomethings have smashed us all to fucking hell, god.  I understand, but please....

            •  Im not talking (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              paradox

              about what the pakis and indians do (the companies.. not 'races" or whatever). Not gaming the system. That gets old and is a nightmare if you want to stay on top.

              Im talking basic Legitimate seo and traffic. And these days btw you can flat out buy top listings. Google's coders have been outflanked 10 times over.

              A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

              by cdreid on Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 09:57:43 AM PST

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              •  I was too negative here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cdreid

                It's good legitimate work, I was in a sour mood, please excuse me.

                Oh well.  I didn't mean to demean anyone......

                •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                  i totally understand your mood. Why do you think i got out? It was the most cutthroat business ive ever seen. And for a brief blip in time i was the 10 second king. But you're right trying to keep up with buildings full of $1 an hour workers (with degrees) working 16  hour days is a nightmare.

                  A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                  by cdreid on Mon Feb 28, 2011 at 06:09:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  They're good at sneering, good luck (7+ / 0-)

          If there's one element missing in all of this to me it's the vicious, mean hiring environment.  Management knows they have workers totally in their hand and the abuse gets pretty bad.

          Anyone over 40, bleah.  Been out of work for over a year?  Forget it.  I've seen ads in Craigslist that would blow you away, total shit like a real professional slot they call an intern for half the pay, another offering a start for 11k a year part time, how is anyone supposed to survive like that?

          Plus the non-career types who post ads, sneering condescending sentences, bold statements like no benefits, no mileage reimbursement, no nothing, take this up your ass or leave it.

          I've begun recognizing a certain tone to authors with employment, I can tell that although they sympathize they're clueless to the real viciousness of the labor market right now, they're cheery and bright and still just fine with America. Bob Herbert is the exception, the horrible pain of it all is just breezed away as the new normal with most writers, oh fucking well.

          [taps fingers] So out of patience with all this acceptance of hell for the American worker. Wtf, just unforgivable.

    •  We aren't human, we're resources (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Arenosa
      I left a decent job in 2004 due to burnout.

      My job search left me seriously demoralized.

      Completely discounted in all walks of life now is the well-being of working Americans. It's acceptable to be burned out, demoralized, depressed, exhausted and fearful. Then we're expected to work ourselves to death for our employers' benefit and be grateful for the opportunity.

      Let there be light. Then let there be a cat, a cocktail, and a good book.

      by JG in MD on Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 09:16:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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