I'm starting a new research project. This is something I've toyed with on and off for some time. I want to explore how we define work - what it gives to us and what it costs us. How do people decide what kinds of work they will or will not do? How do gender, age, religiosity, economic status shape our attitudes about work?
Almost every job has good things and bad things about ...how do we decide when there is more bad than good and know it is time to walk away from a nasty job? (Think Mike Rowe's Dirty jobs or the superbowl commercial for Monster.com) What factors increase our loyalty to our jobs despite the problems?
Particularly in this economy I think it matters to explore more in depth the consequence to the individual, the community and the nation when jobs are lost.
The working title of this thing is "Pink Slip"...will start out with some personal narratives from individuals who have lost jobs and then some who have made the decision to radically change the type of work they do. Then I'll weave in and out of the sociology & psychology of looking for work. I'll address the hope and the fear that are inherent with putting yourself out there to be chosen or not chosen by the powers that be. I'll compare that to the feelings people have about retirement at the end of their careers.
I have some ideas about how I want to pull this off, but it's still very much in the beginning stages. We'll see where it goes....
If you happen to personally know anyone who might be open to being interviewed online or over the phone who fits one the categories below - please let me know!
Looking for those who
a) lost a job in the past year
b) is trying to change professions
c) retired in the past year