Labor Day

Labor Day

Today is meant to celebrate the fruits of our labor, but I can’t help but think of friends and family who continue to search for a j-o-b, for anything that will help them pay for bills, hopefully provide benefits and maybe even lead to something better.

Fruits of Labor by Helene Farrar

Have you noticed that the person with the highest job in the land is quite often referred to as ‘Obama’ or ‘Mr. Obama’ by national news services rather than as “President Obama”?

When I hear news commentators routinely report that the longer one is unemployed the less likely it is that they will be hired, I wondered if this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

The fed’s news to keep interest rates low for the next few years tells me it’s going to be bad for a while. Having a job today doesn’t mean having one tomorrow and in these times of higher food, gas and utility prices it’s hard for that nest egg to grow as it should be.

This may sound like doom and gloom but gloom is only when our circumstances feel like they’re outside our control. I think we have to be aware of predictions and forecasts so that we can hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

In these times of so much need, I keep donating but do so more locally than ever before. I want my friends and families to feel the love more than I want to be able to deduct from my taxes.

Seven or eight years ago we were telling high school students that they would have at least ten occupations in their life time and that eight of them didn’t exist yet. I think we should add that at least two of them would exist in another location. Workers need to be more flexible than ever and a good high school education would be the basis for this flexibility. Lawmakers realize this, they know the importance of an educated local workforce and they’re struggling to understand how to educate in the 21st century.

I keep talking about the need to develop multiple streams of income. This morning the local media is filled with the possibility of Peyton Manning not returning this season to play for the Colts. The team may hurt for a while, but Manning has already established himself as someone with a strong work ethic while he’s positioned himself for work in the entertainment and marketing industries.

What about us real folk? How are we using our skills, talents and interests to develop additional income streams? I’ve met people who make money painting gym floors, ghost write books and articles, maintaining fish tanks for schools and braiding hair. I’ve heard of people who positioned themselves to maintain celebrities’ social networking sites and who have grown homemade baked goods into profitable Internet companies. And Google did begin in someone’s garage!

I’ve parlayed my library work into writing discussion guides and although I haven’t gotten paid for it, I’ve presented at conferences, judged the Cybils and written reviews for ALAN. And, I’ve sold some of my homemade quilts!

I wonder what additional income streams my readers are developing?

2 thoughts on “Labor Day

  1. I’ve been really fortunate to work in healthcare in a small clinic, and we’ve weathered the economic storms pretty well for the area (Oregon, which has one of the highest unemployment rates). We did have to cut back on hours and have a wage freeze for a year, but luckily no one has been laid off.
    I’ve been planning for several years to go back to get my masters, and library science is my field of choice. But with so many libraries being closed or facing budget cuts, I’m hesitant to go into a debt for school if the field is going to be so uncertain when I get out.

  2. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply! When I first began work on my MLS, I had that visiion of working in stacks of books, sitting at a circulation desk and answering important questions. You have to get rid of that vision! There are hundreds of other careers you can have with you MLS and all of them will pay better than that traditional library job. Even if you really want that traditional library job, it isn’t so traditional anymore because much of the information we work with is online and not just in books. You have to have technology skills. Are you on LinkedIn? If so, join the LIS group and you’ll begin to learn of the many wonderful opportunities that exist or that you can create with your MLS!

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