Regarding "20-somethings meet the new new economy" (April 10): I just finished your article on how recent college graduates, shying away from traditional corporate recruiting, are finding it hard to stay employed in the slowing economy. They aren't the only ones. I stayed home raising kids for 20 years, always managing to stay active, taking courses, learning a new language or computer software program, and volunteering at big civic events. I have been a freelance writer and have my business degree, yet the pickings are slim. Finding a job is beyond frustrating, even though I'm open to a wide variety of work.
There seems to be an awareness of how the economy is affecting recent graduates but not nongraduating applicants trying to enter the work force. I believe this situation transcends the usual "mommy going back to work" scenario. There are many well-educated women who chose to stay home, and are now ready to embark on meaningful careers but find themselves in the middle of a bad economic scene, trying to elbow in among the recent crop of college graduates.
I agree wholeheartedly with those graduates who want to explore many careers instead of staying with one job their entire lives. Young professionals these days need to recreate themselves continuously in order to improve their career possibilities in an era of globalization.
My son, a Tulane graduate, is now teaching in an inner-city New Orleans school while completing his graduate degree at night. Once he finishes, he will continue his education at a university in England, including, as part of its master's program, a six-month period in Mexico where he will help organize a new school and teach instructional skills to Mexican teachers.
Creative career paths like this are the way to improve our world. This new economy provides new opportunities for people to help themselves and others, and maybe even find a job they truly enjoy.
Susan Kreisman Highland Park, Ill.
One old saying is that we can hang together or hang separately. I think the passivity of American workers regarding the whims of today's business world is astounding. The "here today, gone tomorrow," no-loyalty mentality makes for an "interesting" work environment, which could lead to a tremendous cost to society.
The individuals quoted in your article who comment on how this new economic mentality is here to stay sound as if they belong in a corporate infomercial.
Regarding "Women's pay gap and choice" (Editorial, April 15): I used to work with the Hispanic community to verify incomes for a loan company. I had an application from a Hispanic husband and wife who both worked at a nursery. I called the supervisor and confirmed that they both had the same job duties. I was surprised because the wife earned 12 cents an hour less. I asked him to again describe the job duties and wages. Sure enough same duties, different wages. I asked the supervisor why. He had no answer.
It's hard to explain why there's a pay gap, but certainly many of the different reasons are mentioned in your editorial.
What I do know is that in the computer field where I now work, a fairly well-paid career there are more men than women. And my college computer classes, on average, were 60 percent male, and 40 percent female. This says to me that in at least one well-paid field, men continue to dominate.
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