13 October 2008

barbara ehrenreich - bait and switch

bait and switch || barbara ehrenreich || 4.0/5.0 stars

i enjoyed nickel and dimed, so i was eager to give mrs. ehrenreich another go. this less famous of her works focuses on the middle class - specifically on the white collar unemployed. given that i myself am attempting to enter the white collar workforce for the first time, it seemed an apropos read. wrong! this is a depressing book to read if you are unemployed, and only serves to reinforce the futility of most job searching activities.

i'd expected the book to be split between the search and the work, but was sad to discover she only covers the 'search' part of job search. (it must be noted that this is due to the fact that she is never able to find gainful employment. again, not inspiring to a current job searcher.) i'd been hoping for an expose on the base level of white collar corporate america, but was left hanging.

what the book does deliver quite well is an overview of the wild world of 'transitioning'. along with a rapid increase in the average number of jobs held per lifetime has been the rapid development of a transitioning business - a commercial field dedicated to helping individuals move from a layoff to a new position swiftly. dedicated to, but not necessarily successful at. the book is well-written and offers plenty of fun-to-read anecdotes and surprising statistics. ehrenreich offers yet another important and timely view into the social injustices of american society - one that is much more easily overlooked than the plights of the very poor.

all in all, a great read - just not one that i'd recommend to a fellow job searcher.

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