I was just watching CNN a moment ago, marveling at the overwhelming volume of content that channel puts out in the morning, when they played a segment on jobs. The thrust of the conversation? Lots of people are out of work, but savvy job seekers are exploring part time jobs being offered by the same employers who were offering full time positions a year ago.
Let me see if I can summarize what’s wrong with this article in a metaphor:
“Lots of people are going without food right now, but savvy shoppers are beginning to explore dog food as an alternative.”
It’s a down economy and you gotta do what you gotta do. Who knows what my next career move might be? But the story is not that workers are getting creative with employment opportunities; rather, its that employers are getting creative with excuses to offer less security and benefits to their employees. This has been a trend for a very long time. In fact my industry, with it’s 24/7 help desks has been a key concept in shaping our expectations: people in professional industries with high-tech skills have been trained not to expect normal weekends of concurrent days or paid time off or a schedule that lasts more than a month because someone HAS to answer the phones at all times.
And since the rest of us expect that there will be people answering the phone at three AM on Sunday, the ideals of a proper workplace that unions struggled so hard to achieve are slowly melting away. With the new economic downturn, you can expect that slow melt to speed up quite a bit.