Employed is the New Perk

If maintaining continuous employment means relocating to stay on your career track, has it come to this that employed is the new perk for those of us who wish to remain in this godforsaken love/hate profession?

You could be laid off, furloughed, asked to take a leave of absence, think of it like FMLA without strings. But then, out of sight, out of mind could be professional suicide.

Do you stick it out in the place you are or hit the road and carpetbag to the end of the earth in search of more robust markets?  And how without pretension do you make a living carpetbagging when making a living on the road where the work is, will for certain undo all you believe in, all you’ve invested in, in the place you call home?

And what happens to the family unit? Atrophy, while you grow your professional offerings far from home. Why is it not the most highly prized skillset to bloom where you are planted, find wealth in the richness of community, connection to place, provenance?

Or is it a uniquely American motto, have work will travel? Only we are to blame for our shared civic attention-deficit disorder. In the New South, no one’s from ’round here, anyway.

Perhaps our profession, like the Old South, will reconstruct itself and practice what it preaches in placemaking and citizenry when this economic trough cycle passes.

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