In the movie, a reporter asks Braddock to explain why he had become a better boxer. Braddock answered that he was a better boxer because he had discovered what he was fighting for. And what was that, the reporter asked?
"Milk," Braddock replied.
Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary made a similar point to people who have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs. "Apply for any kind of work," she advised. Despite the economic downturn, some companies are still hiring, and all jobs bring in at least some money.
There was a time when experts advised people not to take menial jobs if they had been laid off from a professional position. A stint as a restaurant worker does not look good on the resume of someone who applies for a job as a financial analyst.
Also, many employers are reluctant to hire people who appear to be overqualified for the jobs they are seeking. Unemployed lawyers, for example, have difficulty getting employed as paralegals because the law firms believe that a licensed attorney working as a paraprofessional will be perpetually dissatisfied.
But these are desperate times, and they are becoming more desperate. If you have a home and a family, it makes sense to take any kind of work at all--any money you earn helps protect what is important to you.
After all, as the cinematic version of James Braddock showed us, working for milk is a dignified occupation.
|Russell Crow as James J. Braddock: Working for milk|