Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don't Find) Work Today

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Author Talk:  Ilana Gershon

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Finding a job used to be simple. You’d show up at an office and ask for an application. Or you’d see an ad in a newspaper and send in your cover letter. The basic approach was easy.

Now . . . well, it’s complicated. If you want to have a shot at a good job, you need to have a robust profile on LinkdIn. And an enticing personal brand. Or something like that—contemporary how-to books tend to offer contradictory advice. But they agree that in today’s economy, you can’t just be an employee looking to get hired—you have to market yourself as a business, one that can help another business achieve its goals.

In Down and Out in the New Economy, Ilana Gershon delves into what this means, not just for job seekers, but also for the kinds of technologies people now design for job seekers, recruiters and employers, and our workplace culture as a whole.

Ilana covers all parts of the employment spectrum. She interviews hiring managers about how they assess candidates, attends personal branding seminars and talks with managers at companies around the United States to suss out regional differences.

Come hear from Ilana at the San Francisco Public Library for some insights on what it means to consider yourself a business and lessons you can apply to your job search.

This event is hosted by the San Francisco Public Library and JVS (Jewish Vocational Service).

Ilana Gershon is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. She is interested in how new media affects highly charged social tasks, such as breaking up or hiring in the United States. She has written The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media and most recently Down and Out in the New Economy. She has been a fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Notre Dame's Institute for Advanced Study.

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