Lesson in job stats: get better, not bitter

Today’s  national unemployment report is grim: jobs flat, unemployment at 9.2 percent, millions job-hunting more than a year. Bay Area commentator Dick Lepre probes a bit deeper. Zeroing in on  journalism, a recent report says the number of  scribes working in the Bay Area declined 43 percent over the last decade. When and what turns things up?

Patience, persistence,  low overhead, lowered expectations, a renewed commitment to hard work and faith — could be your vision, your family, your God — these are the virtues demanded by the times. It should be obvious that this is not like other post-World War II recessions — even the tough years of 1980-82 when I foolishly started a business.

That business succeeded, incidentally, thanks to the aforementioned characteristics and some luck of the sort that favors the prepared mind.

Over the Fourth of July weekend I was reminded of the value of persistence when I met Adriel Hampton, a former journalist who is now the evangelist for NationBuilder.com, which creates online platforms to empower civic and political activists.

While chatting at a party thrown by  social media pioneers Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells, Adriel told how he landed the gig: by two years of blogging and podcasting on the topic, essentially creating the opportunity.

Not everyone will have to campaign for two years to find work. Millions of jobs get filled every month and if you’re looking may you get one.

But if not, attitude and behavior are the variables you can control. The journalism report I cited alluded to this: “A good start would be a 12-step program for recovering journalists.” OK, well maybe that’s gallows humor but the future is not going to be like the past, and recognizing that is the start to finding the next opportunity.

About Tom Abate

Tom Abate is a former small-press publisher, businessman and newspaper reporter who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. A Brooklyn native and U.S. Navy veteran, Tom is a UC Berkeley graduate who earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. During his career he has worked in public relations, graphic design, typography and business journalism. As a journalist he specialized in science, technology, biotechnology, economics and the business culture of Silicon Valley. He has taught writing through UC Extension and was briefly a junior college instructor. He can work with spreadsheets, presentation software and some multimedia tools. In addition to his paid work, he wrote a blog (MiniMediaGuy.org, 2005-2010) that explored the business models, techniques and practical concerns of new and independent media. He is on the advisory board of the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR.org). The father of three children, Tom loves to garden and build things. His intellectual passions include political theory, globalism and the struggle of the individual against bureaucracy.
This entry was posted in Thinking Out Loud. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>