Debating the Value of a Public Service Career

B. is a graduate student at a major American university studying humanitarian organizations in the Middle East. (She remains anonymous because she is considering leaving academia, but doesn’t want to tell the whole world yet.) In considering a possible change in professional direction, she wrote to me to ask about my work as a public defender, and a conversation about career choices in the realm of social justice ensued. We thought it might be interesting for other people considering the (never lucrative, sometimes rewarding) world of public interest work, so we are sharing it, lightly edited for clarity, with you:

B: I love my research but don't want to continue [...]


There Will Never Ever Be Jobs Again

This explains pretty much everything today! Let's break down this "why there are no jobs" article, nearly every paragraph of which is either depressing or a bit fury-inducing. Here's a one-two punch that deserves to have its dots connected:

1. "We just can’t afford to compete with countries like China on labor costs, especially when workers are getting even more expensive," says manager of company.

2. "Indeed, equipment and software prices have dipped 2.4 percent since the recovery began, thanks largely to foreign manufacturing."

Oh, I see. A supply-demand shame spiral! You can see where this is going. Anyway, then the poor manager is besieged by resumes when [...]


Office Farter Tells All

Okay, so you had something traumatic happen to you yesterday. But before we get into the incident itself, can you set the scene? Where were you? Who was present?

It was me and my CEO in his office. We were on a conference call on speaker phone with someone who was interviewing him.

So this was an enclosed space?

Yes, it’s a small office.

And we should point out that you are new to this job, correct?

Yes, six weeks in, still getting to really know the CEO.

And what do you do at this new job?

Well at a startup it's hard to really nail [...]


I Was A Child Model! A Tragedy In Nine Pictures

This is me—circa age six, sporting double popped collars, rainbow suspenders, more denim than is acceptable in public, and a smile. I was seemingly happy, making more money than I will ever earn again, and—look at that pose!—brimming with confidence. I was a child model. You could look just like me for $43.99 plus tax. I was pulling $55 an hour to show you how.