Work In Progress

Recession-proof job? Ain’t no such thing

Bet you’re not losing a whole lot of sleep worrying about the career prospects of those poor folks on Wall Street who sold mortgage-backed bonds or those down-on-their-luck execs at AIG. I wouldn’t, either, except that I’m related to them.

I have two brothers. One has spent his career selling and trading securitized debt for big …

In a freefall economy, does work-life balance tip over?

A cosmetologist friend thinks it might. She’s a mother of two whose current profession allows her flexible hours and enjoyable work (if you think scraping dead skin cells off a stranger’s face is a good time). Her employer doesn’t offer benefits or high pay, though, so what with the shaky state of things, she’s thinking of taking on a …

Fair pay comes up in last night’s debate

With the economy bottoming out, it’s a given that working women are going to get slammed extra hard, what with our piddling 77 cents earned to every dollar for a man. But it seemed to me that equal pay had taken a back seat in this increasingly feisty presidential campaign. So when Barack Obama mentioned Lilly Ledbetter last night, I hooted.

The job market blows. Consider this: priesthood


I spent a lot of time around priests and nuns growing up, mainly because my dad once wore the collar. He joined the priesthood at a time when it was considered a good career choice (not to mention, of course, a calling). His was an evangelical order, so it must have seemed exotic to a Philly boy: see the world! Save the …

How the heck are we supposed to afford college?

Our babysitter’s a high school senior. She’s considering some really nice colleges, none of them in state. Which got me thinking about college tuition, which granted is down the road a ways for my two little ones, but is looming nonetheless. Which got me thinking about our college savings plan, an elaborately devised program that …

Man Booker Prize goes to TIME contributor

A colleague who done good. / AFP

Are you kidding me? The Man Booker Prize, among the most prestigious of literary awards, was just announced: it went to Aravind Adiga, a former correspondent for TIME in India. Says the AFP:

The 33-year-old was awarded the 50,000-pound (87,000-dollar, 64,000-euro) prize at a ceremony in London for his

Looking for a job? Try a sandwich board

Seven years ago, I reported a piece about white-collar unemployment for which I interviewed a man who advertised his availability by wearing a sandwich board in midtown Manhattan. Seems we’re back to those bad old days. Here are some drastic measures some job hunters are taking, according to CareerBuilder:

• Candidate advertised on a

How’d you find me? has a brand spankin’ new design. Trolling around it the other day, I found it clean, attractive and relatively easy to maneuver. But there’s one big change: there’s no link on the home page to the blogs. We’re now scattered around according to subject matter; Work in Progress, for instance, is under Business. If you’re looking …

Give me an award. I need the money.

A few days ago, I got this e-mail from my boss, TIME editor Rick Stengel:

Last night, Mike Grunwald and TIME won the Prize for Preventive Journalism, a $50,000 award given by the Understanding Government foundation. The award for Mike’s outstanding cover story, “Why New Orleans Still Isn’t Safe,” ran on the anniversary of

I’m taking a class

A couple of weeks before she died, my mom asked me to make a collage. Her instructions were extremely specific, if somewhat addled from the morphine. She wanted me to create a poster using photos of the family from the summer that she could then hang on her hospital wall. It took me days, what with collecting the materials and designing …

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