Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

A time for change – part II

Last December, Reuters reported how one innovative New Yorker’s desperate search to find a job had paid off big. Joshua Persky, known to many as the “Sandwich Board Guy,” found employment at accounting firm Weiser LLP in midtown Manhattan. Persky, who wrote for Trading Places about his search for work last year, explains how he ended up leaving Weiser to start his own business:

When I received the offer from Weiser, my wife and I were ecstatic. I had been unemployed for 10 months. We had quite a sincere Thanksgiving celebration in Omaha where she was living with our children, but they decided to remain in Omaha to finish out the school year. It was difficult to leave my family, but I returned to New York to get my feet on the ground and focus on my new job as Senior Manager, Valuation & Corporate Finance.

When I started working in December, I was treated to a second round of viral publicity and became a feel-good “Happy Ending Holiday Story.” Whereas before I had been the “Face of the American Economy”, a “Sign of the Times” and the “Sandwich Board Guy,” suddenly I was an inspirational and extreme job hunter who could give expert job hunting advice – and I did:

Be creative.
Be open to change.
Get professional help.
Redo your resume.
Figure out your brand and sell it.
Don’t give up.
Get your family on board.
Be patient.
Lower your expenses as much as possible.
Do what you need to do to keep your spirits up (exercise, eat right, meditate and/or pray).
Don’t lose hope!

Car technician sees “short-time fever” at Texas dealership

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content. For more stories in this series, click here.

by Eloah James

My husband, Jason, an employee at a Saturn dealership in Texas, says co-workers are experiencing “short-time fever.”

Out of work, but plenty of Viagra

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Pfizer has launched a new program to provide free drugs, ranging from cholesterol fighting Lipitor to its infamous little blue pills, to Americans who have lost their jobs in 2009.

“The current economic environment has added considerable new stress to the daily life of millions of hard-working Americans, and our colleagues are responding to help their neighbors in the communities where they reside,” said Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler.

Changing attitudes about contract labor

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content. For more stories in this series, click here.

By Steven Bryan

For years, I clung to the “Leave it to Beaver” business model, in which the breadwinner worked at an office for 40-plus years before quietly retiring with a gold watch and pension. Unfortunately, the eroding American economy has made that particular fantasy more of a pipe dream than ever before.

Mom goes green in the recession

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content. For more stories in this series, click here.

Written by Sylvia Cochran

Bills are piling up, creditors are calling even before the grace period has elapsed, the kids’ college funds are virtually zero, and I hear a drum roll whenever I open the IRA statement.

The economy’s effect on small-town America

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content. For more stories in this series, click here.

By Heather K. Adams

Living in a small town has its advantages, especially during an economic crisis.

Love in the time of caution

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content. For more stories in this series, click here.

By Kristen May

It worries me how oblivious I was to this recession. I knew bad things were happening. But then I blinked and suddenly this country is in the worst recession in my lifetime.

Economic crisis melts away the pounds

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content.

By Cheryl Williams

I never thought the economic crisis would affect me. I’ve never had a lot of money anyway. My home is paid for. I paid off my debts a couple of years ago. I have no IRA account. I figured my life would go on as it always had despite the worsening state of the economy.

Struggling in Alabama

This is part of a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content.

By Jim Jones

In 2006, I lost my job at the Florence, Ala., VF Jeanswear factory when the company decided to outsource jobs to India.

Lost my job, improved my health

This is the first in a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content.

By Meaghan Ringwelski

The auto industry’s problems are nothing new to the people of metro Detroit. The economy’s impact on Michigan hit close to home more than a year ago, when the small Plymouth company I’d worked for closed.

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