A story by: Bob Grady | Added: 2013
Change. I would not want to be looking for a job in this economy. My daughter, who has just reached the half century mark, has been searching for a teaching position since she came home from Singapore two years ago. She has a Master's in Fine Arts, taught five years at Nanyang University in Singapore where she received the university's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. Prior to that she had taught for five years in the Watertown public school system where she set up the curriculum for the art department. Before that she had completed the Licensed Practical Nurse course after finishing her BA at Charter Oak College and worked as a nurse at an adolescent psychiatric institution. Applying for a job now is not the same as it was even ten years ago. Then, if a position was open, you would go in person and fill out the application, hand in your resume' and maybe even be granted an interview then, or shortly thereafter. Now you must apply online. Every application has a different format so you cannot write just one resume' and tailor it for the specific job. You must use the format that the employer offers and which is usually different than any other format for which you might apply. You are now competing with potentially hundreds of others and you never know if that application is ever even read. Teaching positions, no matter how qualified you are, especially if you have any experience, usually end up being given to those with the least experience because most school boards are not looking for excellence but for budget bottom lines. In my daughter's case, she took the refresher nursing course and applied for her old position at a nursing home, discouraged after applying for so many teaching positions. When she last worked there, some six years ago, she was making about 28 dollars an hour with benefits. The employer said they would take her back because of her excellent prior work experience there-but she would now be making 21 dollars an hour with no benefits and more responsibilities. She thought she could do better. Unfortunately, that is now the going rate and the home can hire anybody they want because of the number of people looking for work. My daughter finally has found a teaching position, which is only temporary but may lead to a permanent one, because of the intervention of a friend and, of course, her great resume and experience. While the above admittedly is a personal incident, it is by no means an isolated one. From reading and watching TV, looking for a job these days is not an easy task. Time Magazine recently pointed out that while manufacturing is coming back, the jobs aren't. As an example, most of my uncles were toolmakers working for the brass industries in Waterbury years ago. Nobody makes brass and copper in Waterbury anymore and toolmakers have been replaced by one man running a computer. Education is the key for the future of employment, but the price of higher education is preventing many from access to it. This change in our economy seems to be much different than those that came before it. The industrial revolution changed the agricultural economy. The information revolution has changed the way you will be employed in the future. We are in a transitional stage right now and many are frustrated in their search for security. It will take a combination of political and educational fortitude to make the changes that are necessary to the pursuit of the American Dream. Considering the present state of politics in Washington, it seems impossible. But I have faith in the spirit of the American electorate. Well, maybe, I have hope for the people to overcome this obstacle as they have always done when faced with adversity in the past. Dream on, but change the way you do it!