Down And Out In The New Economy: How People Find (or Don't Find) Work Today by Ilana GershonDown And Out In The New Economy: How People Find (or Don't Find) Work Today by Ilana Gershon

Down And Out In The New Economy: How People Find (or Don't Find) Work Today

byIlana Gershon

Hardcover | April 12, 2017

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Finding a job used to be simple. You’d show up at an office and ask for an application. A friend would mention a job in their department. Or you’d see an ad in a newspaper and send in your cover letter. Maybe you’d call the company a week later to check in, but the basic approach was easy. And once you got a job, you would stay—often for decades.
Now . . . well, it’s complicated. If you want to have a shot at a good job, you need to have a robust profile on LinkdIn. And an enticing personal brand. Or something like that—contemporary how-to books tend to offer contradictory advice. But they agree on one thing: in today’s economy, you can’t just be an employee looking to get hired—you have to market yourself as a business, one that can help another business achieve its goals.
That’s a radical transformation in how we think about work and employment, says Ilana Gershon. And with Down and Out in the New Economy, she digs deep into that change and what it means, not just for job seekers, but for businesses and our very culture. In telling her story, Gershon covers all parts of the employment spectrum: she interviews hiring managers about how they assess candidates; attends personal branding seminars; talks with managers at companies around the United States to suss out regional differences—like how Silicon Valley firms look askance at the lengthier employment tenures of applicants from the Midwest. And she finds that not everything has changed: though the technological trappings may be glitzier, in a lot of cases, who you know remains more important than what you know.
Throughout, Gershon keeps her eye on bigger questions, interested not in what lessons job-seekers can take—though there are plenty of those here—but on what it means to consider yourself a business. What does that blurring of personal and vocational lives do to our sense of our selves, the economy, our communities? Though it’s often dressed up in the language of liberation, is this approach actually disempowering workers at the expense of corporations?
Rich in the voices of people deeply involved with all parts of the employment process, Down and Out in the New Economy offers a snapshot of the quest for work today—and a pointed analysis of its larger meaning.
Ilana Gershon is associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University and the author of The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting Over New Media.
Title:Down And Out In The New Economy: How People Find (or Don't Find) Work TodayFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 12, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022645214X

ISBN - 13:9780226452142


Table of Contents

Preface: A Book about Advice, Not an Advice Book
Introduction: The Company You Keep
1                      You Are Just like Coca-Cola: Selling Your Self through Personal Branding
2                      Being Generic—and Not—in the Right Way
3                      Getting Off the Screen and Into Networks
4                      Didn’t We Meet on LinkedIn?
5                      Changing the Technological Infrastructure of Hiring
6                      The Decision Makers: What It Means to Be a Hiring Manager, Recruiter, or HR Person
7                      When Moving On Is the New Normal
Conclusion: We Wanted a Labor Force but Human Beings Came Instead

Editorial Reviews

"Gershon's unique insights redefine employees as a personal business with their own brand. Her work offers incredible tips for those being hired, including  personal branding, preparing a unique (and generic) social media (e.g., LinkedIn) presence, demonstrating value to the employer, building a personal network of informed colleagues, working with recruiters and technology sites, and knowing when and how to move on. It also offers insights on how to do the recruiting as a line or HR manager. This is a creative, well researched, and useful book for those who want to be hired and for those doing the hiring."