Deteriorating Job Conditions Affecting More U.S. Adults;
Professional Woman of Many Hats Offers Perspective
Brushes with poverty, extended periods of joblessness and a reliance on welfare is part of the "new normal" for the average American worker, according to new data reported from The Associated Press.
Economic security isn't what it used to be before the economic crash of 2008; survey data points to the loss of manufacturing jobs, the globalized economy and a widening gap between rich and poor as reasons for why 4 in 5 workers in the United States will experience economic hardship in their lifetime.
"I certainly don't envy what the average worker will likely endure throughout his or her career, but as an ambitious woman coming up through the ranks of corporate culture – the boy's club – many decades ago, I know the hardship of sustaining the career of your dreams," says 75-year-old Darlene Quinn, author of Unpredictable Webs, (www.darlenequinn.net), the newest in her stand-alone series of suspense-filled dramatic novels which are now in development for a major TV series.
Quinn is a former senior executive with the Bullocks Wilshire department store chain who went on to pursue an award-winning career in fiction writing. She started by earning a bachelor's at San Jose State University and she became a schoolteacher, later climbing her way up the corporate retail ladder during a time of tremendous upheaval in the fashion industry.
"Change is natural; change is life, and you don't have to be afraid of it," she says.
Quinn, a family woman who has also been proactive in managing beauty pageants, volunteering for charity and corporate training, offers the following career advice to struggling professionals:
Parlay your strengths; experience and education isn't everything. Unfortunately, many workers are finding this out. Nowadays, even advanced college degrees are no guarantee of job security. It's not uncommon to find holders of master's degrees working in low-paying jobs. While a degree is still needed to get your foot in the door of most professional job openings, consider that which you most excel. As a professional, you may not be perfect in every aspect of your career, but there are activities in a job that you probably do regardless of work. Perhaps that's managing groups of people, writing or designing websites. What is your strength, and how does that translate to a more promising field?
Shoot for the top! Of course, you don't have to be in a state of economic hardship to consider switching fields. The Internet is allowing us to be more connected than ever and permanently altering the employment landscape. Perhaps you see an opportunity in online education and, as an administrator on a college campus you know the weaknesses of today's traditional university system. If you take well to new software, are available beyond the usual 9-to-5 hours and have a stable work history, then why not make more than a lateral move?
Is it time to trade in that necktie or pantsuit for your passion? After having accomplished so much in the corporate world, Quinn decided it was time for a new direction, so she pursued her passion for writing and has done very well, winning multiple awards. Perhaps it's time to take what you already love doing so well at home and apply it to a career. If you love cooking, for example, and others love what you create, you may want to consider a new career.
[Darlene Quinn is an author and journalist from Long Beach, CA, whose novels about deceit, intrigue and glamour in the retail fashion industry were inspired by her years with Bullocks Wilshire specialty department stores and are now in development for a major TV series. Her newest, Unpredictable Webs, is the winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Excellence in Fiction and was selected as the number-one President's choice before publication. The novel continues her series, including Webs of Fate, which won the 2011 Reader's Favorites Award before it hit bookshelves; Webs of Power, winner of a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award, and Twisted Webs, winner of the 2011 International Book Award for General Fiction and the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards for General Fiction.]