Career Path

Of course, the news of the past week would be the political primary. Of note, it is no coincidence that the collaboration of the various Ohio newspapers headlined in Sunday’s Newark Advocate (A State Of Decline: Ohio economy struggles to recover from 15-year slide, staff and wire reports 3-13-16) appeared when it did (just two days before voting day). Had it appeared earlier, it may have exposed the governor’s partial truth campaign ad touting 417,000 jobs created. The news collaborative indicated since the turn of the century Ohio has lost “442,958 private-sector jobs.” No figures were given since 2008 when the governator himself became unemployed due to his employer, The Lehman Bros.’ total meltdown (a partial truth his rival Donnie Trump approved of in his own ad campaign). The jobs really are (according to Kasich) and aren’t there (according to research results), something to be considered. In a separate article in the same Sunday Advocate (United Way blueprint looks at issues facing county 3-13-16), Barrett Lawlis reports that the blueprint found Licking County residents’ behavioral issues and concerns (mental health and addiction) to be the top priority finding of its own extensive research and study. Almost as a caveat or addendum Lawlis writes “Gibson [poverty co-chair Donna Gibson] said that a way to fight poverty in the area is to increase the level of the workforce. ‘We’ve got to work with the working poor,’ she said. ‘We need to support them and help them find a career path to be successful. To do that we’ve got to fill the skill gap so they can move themselves up.’” So the careers are and aren’t there (depending on the working poor being helped to find a “career path”). Analysis finds that the terms “jobs” and “career” have become interchangeable in contemporary speech. Many of today’s political wannabe’s wax nostalgic about “jobs” from a bygone era. A “career”, on the other hand, involves a résumé and history like their own or that of a future nominee to the Supreme Court, or of some corporate CEO, entertainment or medical professional. This distinction is contrived for purposes of partial truth campaigning (the exceptional case where a half loaf is worse than no loaf. Only a full loaf is acceptable). Analysis finds that the jobs are and aren’t there because what is termed a “job” is not necessarily employment (employer/employee). What equivocates “jobs” and “career” is that the contemporary use of the term “career” relies on a résumé of being a professional job seeker. Many economists point to the increasing percentage of current jobs being part time (or multiple part time), temporary, gigs, sharing, and entrepreneurial. In all of these jobs, the only certainty is that the job holder will necessarily have to seek (and hopefully find) another such position. That is, the job itself becomes one of being a professional job seeker; hence the interchangeability of “jobs” and “career” (as a professional job seeker). We are told (by economists) that within the near future 30-40% of all jobs will involve this career path. To be a professional job seeker is to continuously be on the make, stalking every and any opportunity, being willing and ready to “sell one’s self”, having a ready-made elevator spiel, etc. Hence the plethora of career development advisors, educators, and developers who pitch courses and workshops on positive attitude, networking, confidence building, self-presentation, etc. Everything you wanted to know about becoming a professional job seeker by selling yourself to the highest bidder but were afraid to ask (or even consider)! If Arthur Miller were to write Death Of A Salesman in the 21st century, it would be a totally different play. For one thing, Willy Loman would be an electronic algorithm. The dying is likewise elsewhere. Once something is sold, it no longer belongs to the seller. What happens when the profession involves “selling one’s self”? A convoluted logic of schizophrenia sets in, akin to an addict’s relapse reasoning, that “I’m only selling a small part of my time” (part time, temporary), “it’s only this once, right now” (a gig or sharing), and “Maybe it will take me somewhere else, not where I’m at presently” (entrepreneurship). Which brings us back to the article about the United Way’s blueprint finding of behavioral concerns (mental health and addiction) as the top need priority of the community it serves. Analysis shows the current growth of behavioral dysfunction within community to be implicated by the contemporary use of “jobs” and “career” morphing into a professional job seeker.

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