Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jobs, Snuggies and Kim Jong-Il

So tell me I'm dead wrong, but when CNN and the media go on and on about unemployment statistics, about the national average vs. state averages for unemployment every single day , does anyone else find that a little nauseating? Yes, the news should give us the most accurate statistics about hiring trends, inflation, and industry specific ups and downs. But I'm not a statistician and the emotional side of me wants to hear something positive as well. When times are uncertain, then give me some motivation and inspiration. If you're going do a segment on interviews with the jobless complaining about how tough it is out there, why not do a segment on someone who actually found a job in this economy and how they went about doing it? Is it CNN's fault, or is it just human nature to be fascinated by people's woes or take strange pleasure in them? Schadenfreude is as ugly a concept as it is to pronounce...and many of us suffer from it.

My advice to CNN and other major news networks are simple - do some positive segments. There are some segments of the economy that are hiring - such as healthcare, government, financial regulation (FDIC, SEC), cleantech and a handful of others. Specifically, how about doing an interview or segment on a laid off auto worker from Detroit who is now in nursing school and will have GUARANTEED employment when they graduate? Or the IT manager who lost his job but is now doing government IT consulting? This stuff is happening every day and it's being reported on, but it never makes headlines because it's not glamorous. On one hand, more people are losing jobs than being hired right now, resulting in a net loss - but why not give people a little hope and practical advice by showing them what to do to bounce back? To change careers? To retrain? (If these segments are being run regularly I'd love to know about them)

MBA students right now, myself included, are taking the approach that the unpaid internship is better than no internship at all. We've altered our strategy so that we can be both productive over the summer and position ourselves for the upswing next year or whenever it may come.

Some would argue that showing too many segments about people finding jobs might be unrealistic, and not characteristic of what's out happening to the majority right now. But if one positive job hiring story can motivate just one person to find a job, then it's realistic and has done some tangible good. There are lots of things on TV that are unrealistic and sort of useless - like the Snuggie Blanket (a blanket with sleeves?! - just wear a sweatshirt please) or having to stare at Kim Jong-Il's pathetic haircut. But I can guarantee you that an uplifiting story about someone finding a job in this climate would pay for itself many times over. After all, a job equals a paycheck, and with that paycheck you could provide for yourself or just buy more snuggies and send Kim Jong-Il some industrial hair spray.

1 comment:

Ani said...

Leave snuggie blankets out of it:)