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June 24, 2019

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Boston and Detroit: Not So Different

by Angela Reed
I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. The Motor City was dead and isolated long before I moved to Boston two years ago to attend college. There seemed to be so much opportunity here. But I’ve come to see that Detroit and Boston are not so different. Beneath the old money and fashion labels, Boston is in a huge hiring freeze. I am experiencing it first hand.


by Angela Reed
I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. The Motor City was dead and isolated long before I moved to Boston two years ago to attend college. There seemed to be so much opportunity here. But I’ve come to see that Detroit and Boston are not so different. Beneath the old money and fashion labels, Boston is in a huge hiring freeze. I am experiencing it first hand.
I never anticipated that I’d be stuck in this situation. I’ll graduate in May from Fisher College with a bachelor’s degree in business management, no longer hopeful as I once was about the American ideal of working hard and attaining a dream.
I am a straight-A student. I usually work more than 30 hours a week inbetween my six classes. But my hard work hasn’t given me any job security or even enough money to pay for food.
I have been reduced to on-call status at a high-end retailer where I’ve been interning for a management position (and getting consistent positive feedback.)
I’ve watched as experienced, educated women, who trained me and are supporting families, have been laid off because of “restructuring.”
I feel as if everything I have worked for was in vain. I am using student loans just to pay my bills and rent. I have gone on countless job interviews with no call backs in sight. I now realize that my own standard of living has changed when on any given day any one of us can lose our job, house, car or life savings.
I had thought that I had everything that an employer would want — and more — and would never have a problem landing a job. But now more than ever, I feel as if the competition for jobs is too high and that employers will not give me a chance because they’re struggling to keep their current employees.
If I do manage to get a permanent position, I know I’m going to feel bad that I may have replaced a good, hardworking employee simply because I’m younger and can be paid less.
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth or a college fund to fall back on. My mother worked midnights at a large automotive company to raise me and my two siblings on her own, using any extra money to pay for all three of us to get a better education at a private Catholic school. She gave up her dreams for her own education to support her children, and I am forever grateful to her.
There are times now when I cannot sleep because I am worried that my mother will lose her job. I have absolutely no control over the stimulus and which automakers will get a bail out. What I do have control over is pursuing an education (I’m going for my Master’s degree) and one day being able to give back and support my mother and siblings who have always supported me.
Staying optimistic about the future is vital to my happiness and success. Lately, that’s been a challenge.

Comments

  1. I experienced exactly the same thing – in 1982, in 1998, in 2007. Keep focused on today and what you can do today to improve yourself. Be open to helping others in their quest to succeed – just don’t help at the expense of your success. Learn from the past, experience today, apply these lessons to tomorrow’s ‘speed bumps’. Opportunities will always be available to those who are ready to take them.

  2. Kasi Freeman

    STAY POSITIVE my smart and beautiful cousin! You are doing all the right things and getting your education is the best decision you have made. Remember that everything happens for a reason! And you will land that dream job. I am sure of it!
    Our new president has many new and exciting ways to change our economy and I have faith in him that he will do that! AND if all else fails, look for a job in Atlanta!! hehee!
    I LOVE YOU ANGIE! AND AM SO PROUD of you!!!

  3. Krystal McNear

    Angela,
    I know its tough out there but stay strong. I’m a native Detroit myself and I just moved back to Detroit from New York because of the cost of living. I have a bachelors degree in Politcal Science and an MBA in Marketing from a bottom tier so I’ve been told. Currently I’m an assistant manager for Kmart, ideally retail management is not my dream job but I have to make it somehow and this seems to be the only way at this time with limited opportunity. My advice to you attend one of the Women For Career Expo which where I landed my first job out of undergrad, Although it was a retail management position I did gain some experience to my resume. I’m not for sure in your interested in education but there are several program such as Teach For America or Ameri Corp that will give some assistance with your student loans and job experience as well. Good luck…..
    Krystal

  4. Kristina

    For my sister,
    I know it’s hard right now, but reassure yourself that everything happens for a reason whether it be fate or whatever people want to call it. All i know is that you’re doing everything you can to better yourself. I have a feeling that something amazing will come your way. Something amazing always happens to extraordinary people.
    I love you, i miss you and i’m oh so proud of you.
    X.O.

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