I've got to admit that some times these Friday "link dump" posts are somewhat "mailed in", not that they're not a massive amount of work (80% of my Twitter reading is split between looking for job leads and looking for good pieces about the Job Search to bring you), but once the links are up, most of the post is done ... add a few comments on what I've been doing that week, point out the downloaded version, and there you go.
This week, however, I hit a piece that I really wasn't going to be adding to the list, but it struck so close to home that I really felt that I had to feature it. Written by Naomi Cohn (she's an unemployed lawyer from New York), in The Guardian newspaper in the U.K., Just a job, and my dignity, please came close to not really being read, as it was dealing with folks losing their unemployment benefits. Due to a variety of factors (like the Census laying me off a week before I'd have qualified) I've never had any unemployment benefits, and it's a sore subject. However, when I got into this part, it hooked me:
Thanksgiving, for us, will be fraught with tension. We will sit at tables with family members, some of whom will be proudly announcing their latest success at work. We are the losers, the rejected, the left-out, the forgotten, the silent.
We are ashamed in front of our children, not because we cannot pay for gifts, summer camp, after-school activities. That, I think, they understand. But because we are failures. While we encourage them to excel in school, our own degrees are worthless.
Websites and newspapers are filled with stories about the Black Friday sales - you can actually buy things on Thanksgiving day this year! And after Thanksgiving, there will be Hanukkah and Christmas. I get a stomach-ache watching the commercials on television.
I could have copied her whole article ... it was so dead-on for the state of professionals going through seemingly endless unemployment ... but follow that link and read it. I find it interesting that her piece is going out to a primarily British audience ... like the bad news isn't "approved" for the U.S. market. Although, I must also admit that I tend to not put in the more depressing stories I read, as I'm trying to keep a positive orientation, and don't feel that I need to be yet another come-down for my readers. However, Ms. Cohn's perceptions were so close to my own experiences, that I really felt I needed to share it with you.
Anyway, had a very productive week of web surfing (even though I missed a few significant chunks of the Twitter stream due to other commitments), and have 14 links for you to check out today:
You may be interested to know that this bunch of links now makes a full year of my bringing these to you on a weekly basis, making the big alphabetical list a "best of" for the period from 11/21/09 through 11/26/10 (although I'm pretty depressed about still being "job stalking" at this point!), and, as usual, it's formatted into a .pdf e-book, which can be downloaded here: