How I survived my first recession
It ended the year before I my college graduation. There was an overhang that was difficult.
Unemployment in Florida that year peaked at 9.7 percent.
In addition, everyone wanted to be a journalist. The inspiration of Watergate and Woodward & Bernstein hadn't yet worn off.
So off I went. Driving around Louisiana. Because in my hometown of New Orleans, the newspaper wouldn't hire beginners.
I drove from one town to the other. I handed my resume to receptionists. I drove back to New Orleans at night and mailed out job-hunting letters. Then I'd show up at the newspaper and ask to speak to the publisher. And I'd hear how they had hundreds of resumes for reporters' jobs.
Eventually, I talked my way into a job. In a town so small that it didn't even have a hotel for me to stay in. I got a room over a friend's grandfather's garage.
I went to work every day at 7 a.m., stayed until the politicians stopped yammering at night meetings, and got two Saturdays off a month.
Today, unemployment is far lower, at 5.5 percent in Florida.
Inflation is far lower (It was on its way to double digits back then.)
And I guess a web site and a video are more essential job-hunting tools than a Volkswagon and a stack of paper resumes in the back seat.
I remember it was work, finding a job. I just don't remember that as anything unusual. I'd never done it before, so I didn't expect it to be easy.