@vanderlyn I don't think that the importance of connections will ever go away, and I don't think anyone expects it to. I also wouldn't fault anyone for using the connections that they have. But I do think it's problematic to present networking as a meritocratic solution to existing systemic barriers. All other things being equal, you're better off networking, no matter what background you have. But for some people, networking means they get a job in a Senator's office or a Fortunate 500 Company, and for some people networking means they get a job in a grocery store or a call center. The advice you read about networking often ignores these realities and implies that you *could* be at the top of your field if you networked better (for what it's worth, I don't think the interviewee was implying this). So I think that's what people are (rightly) reacting to. Plus, it's depressing to be reminded that things are unequal, and getting worse, not better.
@vanderlyn This is puzzling to me, because I feel like The Billfold talks about possible solutions to problem of entrenched inequality all the time. How about: -Tackling the problem of crippling student loan debt (Oregon's program is one example of an attempt to do this) -Abolishing unpaid internships -Raising the minimum wage -Raising taxes on high earners and corporations to more adequately fund education (especially early childhood ed, which has a disproportionate impact on poor children's chances of making it out of poverty) -Find ways to provide more affordable housing in expensive urban areas - micro apts., etc. -Organizing low-income workers (see the recent fast food workers' strikes) I think it's unfair to characterize critique of our current economic system as "complaining". People have good reason to be critical of the current system, and from what I see on The Billfold and places like it, that critique is usually accompanied by discussions of possible solutions and calls to collective action.
The routines in the Bloomberg article are depressing. I would be a raving maniac if I worked 2-3 three hours every evening and got 6 or fewer hours of sleep! Mine is similar to everyone else's - get home at 5:30, feed cats, go for a run, make dinner, tidy up, crash. When I was taking an evening class that routine was all shot to hell, though.
@honey cowl They do to me too, which is one of the many reasons I thank my lucky stars I didn't follow through on my plan to go to law school after graduating from college.
@KJ I guess you must be in great shape, then, huh? I'm really happy for you.
I have a total student loan balance of just under $30,000, but right now I'm focusing on paying off the one with the highest interest rate (6.8%). January 2013 balance: $9,046.29 July 2013 balance: $8,087.96
Social and psychological factors? Like, uh, sexism? You don't say!
On I Used to Be a Great Worker, Really Type A, And Then I Lost My Job And Now I Am What You'd Call Not That Into It
This seems like a something a "job creator" would say. I can think of lots of reasons why the long term unemployed and under-employed might view work differently, but I think it's more complicated than "they have no work ethic." Employers (as the article mentions) are less likely to train and invest in their employees during a recession, which leads to lowered productivity and diminished skill sets. Also, in a recession, people are more likely to take low-paying, precarious jobs that are not commensurate with their level of skill. I think that would cause most people to identify less strongly with their jobs, as a means of self-preservation.
@ThatJenn Oh man, this rings very true for me. The longer I've been an adult, the more convinced I am that for me at least, work (read: making an effort to do something whether or not I have special passionate and motivated feelings beforehand) and action are primary, and that this is not a bad thing.