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Career Crash: The End of America's Love Affair with Work

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In the past decade, career crashes have become a predictable crisis in the lives of many Americans. Based on a landmark study of men and women in their prime earning years, Career Crash is the first book to explore this epidemic - and to offer help in surviving it. This timely, encouraging book examines in detail what happens to Americans before, during, and after their careers fall apart. Sociologist Barry Glassner spent four years traveling the country, studying hundreds of successful, college-educated baby ...
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Overview

In the past decade, career crashes have become a predictable crisis in the lives of many Americans. Based on a landmark study of men and women in their prime earning years, Career Crash is the first book to explore this epidemic - and to offer help in surviving it. This timely, encouraging book examines in detail what happens to Americans before, during, and after their careers fall apart. Sociologist Barry Glassner spent four years traveling the country, studying hundreds of successful, college-educated baby boomers who suffered career crashes as a result of corporate downsizing, career disenchantment, and other factors. Coming from such diverse professions as business, education, law, medicine, engineering, and the arts, these managers and professionals talk candidly about the warning signs that precede a crash, the devastating emotional reactions that ensue, what family and friends can do to help, and the pivotal stages in putting a career back on course. Everyone at the start of a career crash feels like a victim, beaten and robbed by a profession. But most of Glassner's subjects picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and moved on. How did they salvage their pride? What did they tell their children? When did they opt for career counseling, when for going back to school? How long did it take them to forge a new career, and how many eventually felt themselves to be better off? For those in the throes of a career crash and for their loved ones, Career Crash answers these questions and many more. Vivid and inspiring, Career Crash explains why career crashes are inevitable for so many, and offers surprising solutions that go beyond simply pulling resumes together and going back to job hunting.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The American landscape is now littered with disenchanted workers and bankrupt businesses. What has happened to the American expectation of affluence? Glassner, a sociologist and the author of Bodies: Why We Look the Way We Do (And How We Feel About It) , has written a captivating study of this vexing phenomenon, expecially its effect on the baby boomers who are ``far less pleased with their jobs than were older people'' even though they ``had more opportunities and advantages than any generation in American history.'' Using case studies, Glassner investigates work patterns ``before, while, and after boomers' careers fall apart.'' He describes ``downsized achievers'' seeking a life outside Wall Street and corporate law offices; ``career divorcees'' pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities; ``crashing couples'' facing the trauma of midlife; and others. His thoughts on the ``victors'' who were able to turn life crises into growth opportunities are especially absorbing. Fortune Book Club selection. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Glassner (sociology, Univ. of Southern California) has interviewed hundreds of highly successful college-educated baby boomers who have had problems with their careers. He divides these case studies into two types: people caught in downsizing and career divorces and people whose values were at odds with their professions. Glassner then examines the nature of the choices for these individuals. For those who have experienced a career crash, there is a lot here, if not in ideas then at least in consolation. The essential point made by the author is that career crashes are more than just a job switch; they provide an opportunity to reexamine life choices made many years earlier. The shortcoming of this book is that the study only samples prosperous boomers. The working-class boomers who suffer career crashes will have to wait for a book of their own. A good choice for libraries serving well-to-do boomers.-- Joshua Cohen, Mid-Hudson Lib. System, Poughkeepsie, N . Y .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671690267
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/4/1994
  • Pages: 223

Table of Contents

Introduction 13
Pt. 1 The Working Wounded 19
Ch. 1 Boomer Bust 21
Ch. 2 Downsized Achievers 34
Ch. 3 The Career Divorce 51
Ch. 4 When Couples Crash 72
Pt. 2 Delayed Reactions 93
Ch. 5 Premature Foreclosure 95
Ch. 6 The Rebel at Midlife 115
Ch. 7 Another Vietnam Legacy 131
Pt. 3 Staging a Revival 149
Ch. 8 Naked Career Counseling 151
Ch. 9 Back to School 168
Ch. 10 Victors 184
Methodology 199
Source Notes 201
Index 219
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