Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not sure what you want to work in next?

My hubby passed on today's video link.

I thought it was hilarious and also drives the point home of how competitive its getting out there. There are way too many of us looking for work. And way too many of us looking for the "right" job.

I recently completed a search engine optimization (SEM) course through the UCSD Extension program. In our class there were no full-time students and with little exception, most everyone was unemployed. Everyone had at least an undergraduate degree.

Next to me sat someone with an MBA. In front of me was a Vice-President of IT! (Isn't this the line of work that supposedly is growing even in this climate?) Most of the attendees had notable work experience. I was amazed and saddened that we were all in the same boat.

Some classmates seemed lost. Not necessarily in the coursework at hand, but rather what they really wanted to do next in terms of work. They were taking the class in hopes of updating and adding to their skill set. That line of work would most surely be in a marketing or information systems industry. But they seemed to be going forward with that industry focus because it logically would pay them the most for their experience but not because it is what they wanted to do. And they seemed to resent it.

Me? I've been gone from the marcom scene for a bit so I count myself amongst the eager ones to work in this realm. But for these classmates, they seemed not so much burnt out but more like disillusioned about marcom and corporate America in general. As I see it, a positive outlook on being unemployed is the opportunity to try a new type of job. But I'm aware I am fortunate to have a working spouse to support that outlook.


My dad was a blue-collar worker his whole life. He recently pointed out that he was unemployed when unemployment numbers were this high during Jimmy Carter's administration. He also reminded me that at various times in his life he worked two jobs for quite a bit to reach a family goal. My mom set up a daycare and at times rented out rooms in our house to reach that goal too. He recalled others doing the same.

I don't recall him or my mom ever talking about what they would LIKE to do for work. They worked hard and they did what they had to do not to just pay the bills but to actually get ahead. They didn't complain that they hadn't gotten a chance to work some dream job. They were glad to have a job. Any and all jobs.

Today my folks are retired and thanks to saving and a conservative approach to investments for decades they are sitting pretty. NOW they talk about what they LIKE to do and go do it. It is a wonderful security in the back of my mind, to know that they are well. Heck, they're in a better position to help me than I am to help them.

There's life's lesson for today.

So I will continue to look for work in marcom but I will be happy to find work period. And if I can find two jobs, maybe I'll take them both and make dear old dad proud.

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