In a way it’s comforting to know that according to this article in USA Today, I’m not alone in what’s happened to my career. To make a long story short, about a year ago I started wortking for Aerosoles, a fairly well-known women’s shoe company, in an entry level management position. Today, as I prepare to begin work as a store manager at one of the company’s 80+ stores, I find that “survival jobs” are, well, the latest trend.
In a lot of ways, I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m on salary, have health benefits for myself and my husband, and have been promoted into management in this job. I have developed strong sales skills – something I never thought I was good at – and I like what I sell. And with this promotion, I have control over my own schedule, which is a good feeling. I still won’t be able to take Saturdays off except on special occasions, but at least I can decide when my days off are.
That said, I’m still a Vassar graduate with a 15 year career in marketing who’s taken almost a $50,000 pay cut to sell shoes for a living. And this is definitely not what I moved to the Bay Area for. The day a former co-worker wandered into my store (I hadn’t seen her since getting laid off from Critical Path a couple years ago) and I found out she’d just gotten back from 18 months in France and was running her own consulting company was not a happy day for me.