Reinvention

The alarm sounded at 6:15 a.m., heralding the start of a momentous day. After a 8-month hiatus from the working world, Kevin returned to an office today.

My journalist friends would say he went to “the dark side,” a term for public relations work. He’s a flak, they would say. But after seeing so many of my talented and qualified friends struggle to find jobs, I am relieved that Kevin found one; that he was able to reinvent himself after 30-plus years at newspapers.
I felt particularly lucky after seeing “Up in the Air” last night. The movie revolves around a man whose job is to travel the country and fire people. Jobs lost, lives changed forever.
In America, we are going through the worst recession since the Great Depression. The economy will bounce back soon, one hopes, but so many professions are being reshaped in this rapidly evolving world we inhabit. The slow death of newspapers, for one, touched my life in ways I never imagined. I always assumed I would retire as a daily newspaper reporter. So did Kevin.
On my trip home to India a month ago, I noticed a different sort of change. The street life I knew from childhood — the hawkers and sellers — are threatened by a new lifestyle, a new middle class that has enough disposable income to spend at fancy malls and restaurants.
In the next few blogs, I plan to highlight a few of these professions that are dying off. Some may feel familiar; others not so much. Some are essential; others quirky. All involve people, like ourselves, who must now think of reinventing their lives.
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