Change the World

Is there anything positive about unemployment? If there is, I haven’t found it. But you can find a lot positive about the unemployed. You will see some of it here.

This is a blog about individuals, real people, who have found themselves facing a job loss and travelling a long road back to work. Some have been hired by smart employers, some have changed their direction entirely, and some are still in pursuit of their goal. This blog is a glimpse of each person’s journey, their courage, disappointments and triumphs. It is about their career experience and successes as well as their lives beyond work, their values, families, and personal achievements.

The issue of intractable unemployment is not confined to any particular demographic. Although baby boomers are particularly vulnerable, you will see the broad span of age groups, professions, races and ethnic backgrounds that comprise this group. One thing everyone here has in common is talent. Another is determination.

I do not intend, at least for now, to address the tremendous costs to society and the economy of our failure to fix the problem of unemployment (and underemployment). But I will say that there is something wrong when talented, motivated people have to spend a year or even longer searching for jobs. Especially in a business environment with an acknowledged talent shortage and leaders concerned about their talent pipeline. What’s broken? That’s a topic for later, but I welcome your thoughts any time.

I hope that you will provide your insights and experiences here, that you will return to read about some of the great people who have an unflagging will to work, and that you will share this blog with others.

It is my belief that the world changes one person at a time. Each of us has a responsibility. It might be a lifelong dedication or a few moments of positive action each day. I encourage you to embrace the opportunity.

In my next post, I’ll introduce you to Jim, an accomplished and generous man you will enjoy meeting. If you would like to be notified when new entries are posted, you can subscribe at the right.

25 thoughts on “Change the World

  1. Mary, congratulations! I think this is a great companion piece to your book and am excited about being included in this journey of yours.

  2. Mary
    Congratulations on this next step in your journey.

    I look forward to following your blog. I hope to re meet some (or all) of the great individuals I encountered during my ongoing journey between employment and transition.

  3. I have read many books; I anticipate this could be one of them.

    btw Don’t forget to read the political/wall street/ employment expert, Matt Tiabbi, who has written incredible articles for Rolling Stone; so many influences re: job creation, Matt has a better feel for the interactions betw the huge ripoffs on wall street and congress, the banks, and jobs, Good luck- look forward to reading your thoughts and missives.

    Take care- Rob. (Bibliophile and ‘friend of the What’s My Line Society.

    Thanks- Rob

  4. Mary,

    I am looking forward to following your writing journey on this important topic. Congratulations on taking this next step and all my best wishes for a successful and inspiring journey as you compose this book.

    Steve

  5. Mary, so EXCITED for you my friend! Your passion is going to make such an impact!

    Way to knock it out of the part with your drive to get your important message out!

    Keep Living Beyond Awesome!
    Jen

  6. I look forward to reading the book and more blogs. This topic is of great interest to me as my son is on a journey to redefine himself after job loss during the recession. As a father of 2 it has been a struggle; we seem to be seeing some light now though.

  7. Mary- Congrats on the “leap”. I too will look forward to your book and evolving blog. Lot’s of great content “out there” to curate and respond to…
    Best Wishes!

    Steve

  8. Mary,
    I, too, am delighted to see this continuum of sharing from your book to a blog. Hopefully, this collaboration of sorts can become actionable information for each of us and our extended network of unemployed and underemployed.

  9. You Sparkle!
    I admire you for having a goal and having the will to pursue it to its fulfilment. Are you looking for stories and anecdotes about the unemployed from around the world?
    I am looking forward to more blogs…
    Best wishes
    Margalit

    • Thank you, Margalit! For now, I am focusing on Minnesota, primarily due to resource constraints. It would be wonderful to expand the reach though; perhaps in the future.

  10. Popping in with a group hug and thank you to all of you who have made such positive and encouraging comments here. Your support is wonderful, and I am obviously a lucky person.

  11. Mary: I see MPR in your future with Kary Miller or someone who interviews people on new thoughts, key issues, fresh takes and meaningful topics. That would be you, my dear. Looking forward to more. Jeanne

  12. Thank you for this topic. I am such that has gone from running my own construction to finding work with many turns in my path.
    I agree: It starts with one person to change the world, I have fallen into a second crusade with this.

  13. Dear Mary — This is a fabulously conceived and beautifully written series! It is quite something to have listened to this concept bubble into your thinking and now see the idea in action and realized. I knew you were a terrific photographer – but you are also quite an elegant, persuasive and inspiring writer. I am a subscriber and continue to be an avid and constant supporter/reader! And I am happy to a promoter and advocate for your blog! You have the basis for a great book: the 21st c Studs Terkel perhaps….Congratulations!
    KC
    p.s. it looks like you have found another way to practice O.D. on a broader scale……

  14. Mary,
    I read both of your stories. You are so talented!!! The stories have heart, depth and are very human. I love that you have choosen this topic and are sharing. This is a win! Hugs, Vicki

  15. Keep them coming!
    I have just realized that I keep looking forward to your…mmm…blogs?…articles?…writings?… Their subjects and their forms are always a wonderful surprise to me.
    Are you open to some, hopefully, positive critique, or just hugs and kisses? 🙂
    Margalit

    • Thank you, Margalit! I’t so nice to hear that these people and their stories are having a positive impact. There are many more to come, and they are a courageous bunch. I am definitely open to critiques! And of course hugs and kisses.

      • Hi Again!
        For some reason I was missing your piece about Errol. I have just read it, and in it I found what I was missing in Gwen’s story, specifically, how does she makes ends meet? Of course without positive attitude one cannot “go” anywhere. But one needs to pay the rent and buy the groceries and pay the hydro…Did she have savings? Did she accept temporary jobs? Did she rely on assistance?
        I will also like to read about a happy ending to her job-seeking efforts, possibly in the very near future…
        And: hugs and kisses to you!!
        Margalit

        • Thanks for your question, Margalit, and your positive wishes for Gwen. I too hope tell you soon of her success!! You can imagine the decisions I make on what to include and not include for each of these stories–there is always so much more! I will tell you that, although Gwen’s home is lovely and echoes her personality throughout, it is nowhere the kind of place she lived in before, and her car is now a small hybrid, as she continues to reduce her carbon footprint.

          If Gwen would like to add anything else (or correct my statement) here, I hope she will feel free to do so!

  16. Hi Mary, to answer the question of how do I make ends meet?? First off, I have been receiving unemployment, which helps. Unfortunately that will be ending the first week of August. More importantly, long ago, before I had children, I met a most amazing financial planner who had me planning and saving for my future, aggressively. I have been able to have my daughter complete her education without debt, which I am proud of. Now I have had to dip into my retirement to get by. I will have to work longer to replace what I have had to take out, but I feel very fortunate to manage my way through, with Tom as my gifted guide. Hopefully I will be blessed with a new job very soon!

    • Thank you for responding, Gwen. I know your job search is keeping you very occupied and appreciate your taking time to provide some insight here. Best of success–you are ready to soar!

  17. You have somewhat restored my confidence in the human resources profession! After 20+ years in the corporate world, I had come to the conclusion that there is no “human” in human resources. I look forward to reading your blog. I am now in the process of writing my own article about long-term unemployment among women, and will return here to share it with you!

  18. Mary, thank you for your efforts and passion around helping those who have been impacted by job loss and in turn “idenity loss.” Meaningful work is key to self fulfillment and reliance and those who have been impacted have not only been faced with having to ask for help but with the sense that they are “worthless” to their families, themselves and their community. As a society, we need to stop this myth that the value of a human being is measured in the dollars they bring home in a “paycheck” and start to recognize the value of other attributes that are far greater to the planet and our society then the capital output of an individual. I have worked in helping people find jobs and companies find talent my entire life and I am passionate as well about demonstrating the value and talent of these individuals to employers who are open to gaining the benefits of the life experiences of these people, not just specific education or work credentials. My view is that we have to help our friends and neighbors and those of us who are fortunate enough to have paid employment can be a wealth of information and support to those who are not as fortunate. Kudos to your work and please keep up your efforts. There are many right now who need a friend and someone to re-assure them that they have not lost their value along with their employment.

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