Bizarro world, job style

Ok, let’s play a game called which one of these people is unemployed?

1. Scenario 1: I know someone who decided to switch careers to become a teacher after working in public relations. She went on to take classes to become a special education teacher and also certification to teach bilingual students as well.

2. I know someone from college who planned to go to Hollywood after college and become a star. He was advised to get another skill like teaching to fall back on, but he decided he wanted to make the trip anyway.

What if I told you the TEACHER is unemployed and has been 6 years and counting (outside of teaching substitute from time to time and being a part time teacher’s aide at times). What if I told you the ACTOR is not only employed but is a cast member on CSI which at one time was the number 1 show on television. Remember when actors were told to get a skill like teaching to fall back on? maybe we should tell teachers to get a skill like acting to fall back on.

This ties into me because in my 20’s I was pursuing an acting, modeling, DJ and singing career and was advised to get a “real” job.  I was told to go into the corporate world because that was a safe field. Ironic because I haven’t worked in 5 years and maybe if I hadn’t given up my showbiz aspirations I might be like my former college classmate. Simply put there is no “safe” job anymore.

11 thoughts on “Bizarro world, job style”

  1. Maybe things would have turned out differently for you if you continued modeling and acting. You can’t know, but one’s odds in glamour fields are not very good. Occasionally, there are very good results, but it’s more common for people who go into acting to fail to find steady employment as an actor, and it’s their “other” job that supports the acting. Models have a similarly short career. Both are “winner take all” fields. One’s outcome is either very good or very bad.

    There are all of these limitations on what you are willing to do. Where you are willing to work is quite limited, and that hurts you. There are advantages to being near family, but sometimes you have to give that up to go where the work is. It’s also unfortunate that you entered fields that are cut back first and reinstated last.

  2. NWP, I used to think ‘I missed the boat’, but then one day I started to list all the things I attempted and I realized that success was highly unlikely even in the best case scenario. I made a list of all the things that I would have needed to have things work out for me in any of the my desired career fields, and I realized that for any success the odds were astronomical. So, do not think you missed out. After all, you tried and succeeded for a while, but then the world changed and now you must move on to something new.

  3. And the rock solid majors that had jobs attached to them automatically are now gone with the wind.

    Who knew that there’d be little need for allied health people???

    Less and less allied health people are needed because of outpatient surgery and other new technology — hospitals are also closing their doors in many states.

    ANDD there is the little thing called the visaed allied health care worker.

    Also a great many of them hold 2 full time jobs! Crazy? Not really! This has been going on for years: I knew a med tech who had a job in our lab, 7-3 shift and then she had another one 4-12 at a teaching hospital over in the city.

    That effs things up for the new tech that wants A JOB!!!

    It also screws it up for one who wants a better job or somebody who just moved to the area who needs a job in that field.

    Maybe I should have stayed an art major. I changed majors at the end of my freshman year because I figured Somebody out there is always better at art than you and besides, what marketable jobs are there for art majors??

  4. Madness I’m not limited on where I will work, I just don’t see jobs in my field anywhere. I am limited in the types of jobs, but in many cases it is due to a disability, such as I am unable to stand long periods of time or lift a lot. I shouldn’t even have to be applying for these types of jobs, because I assumed (wrongly of course)that getting a degree and experience would allow me to not have to take these types of jobs that I once did when I was younger. True, modeling and acting (especially modeling)are based on looks and there is a possibility I would be in worse shape now had I pursued them longer. I will be the first to admit that I chose the wrong careers and yes they are the first ones eliminated. I thought when I switched to training it would open doors but so many trainers are unemployed too.

    Barbsright, true. I did accomplish a lot actually once I left modeling. I went back to school and received a masters, I got several certifications, I learned so many new skills. Unfortunately in this economy they are not in demand because they can be done freelance or by foreign workers cheaper.

    Dude, I have seen that too, many allied health workers who are foreign. I never gave it much thought until I found out so many Americans in that field are unemployed. My original college major was psychology and my plan was to become a psychologist (or psychiatrist)but when I realized I would have to go to school for 8 years or more I lost interest. In hindsight this may not have been a bad idea, but then again who is to say I’d be successful?

  5. We choose what we are going to do for a living at a young age based in part on our interests and the jobs that are available at the time. I’m a chemical engineer, which was a “hot” field through about 1980. I graduated in 1982. I’ve always had a job, but I’ve often worked out of my field. I was hired to manage projects at my current job, but I spend my days going through thousand-page invoices from our contractors.

    I’ve watched support positions be eliminated and the work that admins would do be pushed back on technical staff for 30 years. It used to be that there was a secretary or admin for every 5-6 engineers, but now just the boss gets one, and we do what the admin used to do.

    Another bad trend is that upward mobility has gone away. People are hired at the “full performance grade”, but the bad news is that the “full performance grade” is one or two pay grades lower than five years ago, which will make a difference of $15-20K in your pay. It used to be that you could start as an admin or clerk and work up to a GS-11 or GS-12 position that would pay up to $80K with decent benefits WITHOUT a college degree. It might take you ten years to get there, but most agencies designated a few jobs as “upward mobility positions” where people would be trained on the job and promoted annually if they took the required academic or practical training. I was pleased to find that the agency where I work still does this.

    A friend of mine had two sisters interested in him while he was in graduate school. He picked the “wrong” sister, because the woman he married became disabled about 3 years after they married, and the other sister went on to become a corporate officer who earns well in excess of a million dollars per year.

    If you think about what could have been, it will make you crazy. All that you can hope to do is go on from here. One reason that I recommended that you look into becoming a contracting officer or working for a government contractor is that one has to be a citizen to get the job in most cases, so it would keep you away from the “foreigners” for the most part.

  6. And how many fields have just vanished, WHILE you have been in that field, working actively???

    The med tech jobs are gone.

    Less hospital techs are needed: no longer do docs sent their patients to the hospital lab to get blood work: the doc draws the blood there and off it goes to a reference lab.

    And if you do go to a hospital lab, it’s rare. By me there is a teaching hospital that has a lab for outpatients only. I imagine very few techs work in it.

    And med techs no longer draw the outpatient bloods. They have $15 an hour phlebotomists doing the job.

    Less hospital techs are needed due to less patients in-house.

    And hospitals are closing or merging or becoming part of some other healthcare system.

    You get a merged hospital…

    Or one that’s purchased by another hospital in the same town.

    Hospital A moves into the building still staffed by Hospital B — and Hospital B is now owned by Hospital A: What do you think is going to happen to the staff of Hospital B?

    Does the D word — duplicity — ring a bell? I’m sure it does.

    The hospital field is a mess. It’s the next big bubble to burst, like the housing market bubble.

  7. True, chemical engineering still does exist, but most chemical engineers leave the field within 10 years and are replaced by younger workers. They tend to go on to administrative jobs that are technical only in name. I was one of three people to sit for the professional engineering exam for chemical engineering in northern Virginia in the fall of 2005, 23 years after I received my bachelor’s degree. Unlike civil engineering, which was the field of about 70% of the people taking the exam, the P.E. license is not commonly held by chemical engineers.

    I did have the good luck to find a job in a field that has high barriers to entry: the defense industry. One has to have a security clearance and be a U.S. citizen on top of having the correct background in engineering por whatever one’s field is. I am also subject to random drug screening, but as long as they are not testing for caffeine, I’ll pass the drug screen. I’m also required to make certain financial disclosures.

    I am quite surprised that there has not been more consolidation in the laboratory analysis field. Isn’t there a LabCorp office in your area? There may be other companies, but LabCorp is big enough to be publicly traded, and I’ve seen their offices in Virginia and Colorado.

    The Veterans Administration is always looking for laboratory technicians. Most large cities have a VA hospital. Have you applied there? Are your credentials current? They are on a big building program, and are hiring in all fields. I’m less than thrilled about having made my career in federal service, but it’s been a steady job with both opportunity for advancement and the opportunity to live other places. This particular job is in Philadelphia on the evening shift (4 p.m. to midnight), but it gives you an idea of what is available and what is required to qualify. $41K is the GS-7 step 1 salary for Philadelphia (you might qualify for GS-9 and an advanced “step” (3% of salary times the number of steps above 1, so a step 6 job pays 15%more than a step 1 job), and you pay 7% wage tax that can be deducted from your New Jersey taxes. You’d be better off to move to take this job. It is available to all U.S. citizens. A “status candidate” is someone who has worked for the federal government previously, usually for a minimum of three years, which changes your status from career-conditional to career, and that status is good for the rest of your life. Being a status employee doesn’t help you get the job as much as it’s an additional screen that makes more jobs available to you.

    Many jobs maintain a central registry that is good for up to a year so that additonal people can be hired at a later date.

    My point was that I found myself doing things other than engineering for the majority of my time very early in my career, and had to change my expectations.

  8. I’ve been trying government jobs but sadly in Illinois who you know is the game. This is why unqualified people often get the job over someone more educated.

  9. It seems to be nothing but a turkey shoot out there now.

    All of the companies advertising for jobs that are available are not much to speak of. Tiny little joints owned by one or 2 people. And these are the ones who are making the big fuss over hiring.

    15 people where 2 or 3 will do. An interviewing process that isn’t needed: 2 and 3 interviews? why?

    And the people that are doing the interviewing? Forget it: either they have lost the script or they are looking for the impossible.

    It’sallmadness: I have not worked as a med tech in many many years. They’d probably also be looking for ASCP certs which I never got. And the big reference labs are factories…and they are full of H1Bs. They also pay next to nothing. They were paying nothing back in the 1980s when I first started working as a tech.

  10. My guess for the reason for all of those interviews is to be able to show that one pursued an adequately diverse hiring pool in case one was sued. For a small business, a discrimination lawsuit could be ruinously expensive. Then again, unless a lawyer was willing to take the lawsuit on a contingency basis, I can’t imagine how they would be able to sue the company. Most people lack the inclination to look up what it takes to sue someone and do it while acting as their own attorney, even in small claims court, where they would be severely limited in the amount of damages that they could claim.

    For all that I know, companies may be actively seeking the student/retiree/working for pin money person who doesn’t need or doesn’t know to ask for benefits, but they can’t come out and say it.

  11. I wish I knew. I recently applied for a part time job that will eventually become a full time marketing job in my small town and the guy even said he just wanted someone who could do the job. He happens to know a lot of the people I know so this at this point is my best chance.

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