Posts tagged with: careers

And what am I doing during the downturn?

I’ve written a lot about how other folks are holding onto their careers — or not — during the economic downturn. But I’ve not shared a whole lot about how the economy is hitting me, and what I’m doing about it.

So here’s a little bit: Before the recession, I specialized in writing about residential real estate. I wrote for several newspapers and trade magazines about this topic. It was great during the housing boom. I never lacked for markets for my stories. But now that the housing industry is in the toilet? All those markets have disappeared.

So, I’m branching out. I’m doing more ghost blogging, writing for blogging networks, Web site writing and content writing. It’s a lot of work, and it doesn’t pay nearly as well, but it is keeping me afloat. It allows me to pay my bills without having to get a side job working the night shift at the local 7-11.

I won’t lie, though. I’d love a time machine. I’d love to hope back to 2004 and do things differently. If I had had more foresight, I would have already been branching out from my real estate niche back then. I mean, everyone knew that housing prices were going to fall eventually, right?

But you know what they say about hindsight …

Today I’m working harder for less money. But I do console myself with the fact that I’m working, at least.

How about you out there? How has the economy impacted your career?

The end of the no-layoff policy?

I’ve long preached to the workaholics in my life that they’re wasting their lives by devoting so much time and energy to their employers. I always tell them the same thing, “Your employer doesn’t care about you. They’ll drop you in a second if they need to to keep themselves operating.”

I don’t advise people not to do a good job for the employers, of course. But I do recommend that they not become slaves to their jobs. There’s no payoff in that.

I was reminded of all this by a recent Wall Street Journal story that focused on the waning days of the no-layoffs policy. There have been companies out there that have pledged not to lay anyone off, even during tough times. Apparently, the number of them has been shrinking rather steadily.

The Wall Street Journal story highlights the case of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The company in its 51-year history had never laid off a U.S. employee, according to the Journal story. Well, that streak is coming to an unfortunate end. Enterprise recently announced that it will fire 1,000 of its 75,000 employees.

So, again, I’ll repeat myself: It’s fine to work hard for your employer, but don’t kill yourself for your career. It can be gone in a moment’s notice, and if you have nothing else of importance in your life, then what will you do?