OCTOBER 26, 2011 5:18PM

Your brilliant second career

Rate: 12 Flag

The recession has left many Americans jobless and unable to find work in their chosen industry. My Brilliant Second Career is a personal essay series we're launching on Salon about what people do next -- and we hope you'll pitch your own ideas. We want to read your stories about how you reinvented yourself -- and made it work.

And we're trying something different this time. If you post your essay on Open and want us to consider it for the series, tag it "My Brilliant Second Career." If the Salon editors want to feature it with the series, we'll contact you to pay $200 for it, and then ask you to simply modify your post on Open to link to the piece on Salon.  

This isn't a new policy -- just an experiment we've long wanted to try. We're looking for interesting and inspiring stories of reinvention here -- hope we've got some out there. And if you'd rather pitch our editors directly instead of writing a piece, email life@salon.com. We're going to start picking essays for the series immediately -- early submissions have an advantage.

 UPDATE: Our first My Brilliant Second Career piece from Open Salon ran on Tuesday night. Check it out here

UPDATE II: Check out Open Salon blogger Amy Abbott (aka Bernadine Spitzsnogel) Brilliant Second Career on Salon

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This is such a great idea in so many ways! I wish everyone who's going to participate, luck, and I can't wait to read their posts!
I sell meth to college kids and people at the old folks' home.

For my third choice, I'm going to become a terrorist, unless my reality TV series becomes PICKED UP, then, well, I'll be a reality TV star.

I think my fourth choice is to be a space pirate but that's iffy lately with my back hurting.

Anyways, good idea, I guess, maybe!
Tink! Did you forget your medication today????
Sounds like a really interesting series, Emily.
I think I'm going to film the death throes of small animals caught in traps and make snuff films...
I'm still waiting for my brilliant first career. But for $200, I'll just make stuff up. Unlike Tink.
Joan, sure didn't!! Over medicated cause I forgot it yesterday!! :D

Cranky, I do not make stuff up, I STRETCH the truth!! :D

Okay, my real answer --- I want to be a vampire hunter!!!!!!

**Wanders off**
*wanders back in*

islandtime, oooo, good idea, that stuff goes straight to the Cover!! ~teehee~

Okay, everyone, my second career is I'M GOING TO BE A SPAMMER!!!

*wanders back out*
For the last year I sold small elevators and those chairs that glide along the stairways, to aging boomers with bad knees who couldn't sell their houses. A giant Chinese conglomerate bought the company and merged us out of biz.
It was my brilliant second career.
Alas, it had the same ups and downs as any other job.
Alsoknownas will be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
I've made a career of second careers... now if I could just write
Emily, is it against the rules for you to have fun with us?

Maybe I should be asking that bowling ball headed Lauerman?

Whatever the answer, sometimes I wish you would show us a bit of a lighter side..
years ago during the last dotcom crash, after working in IT and out of work for many months shortly after 911, I thought I could be a neon sign maker.
I'm not sure how to make an interesting essay on Kleenex Weaving.....
Oh well, I'll figure it out. It is a new industry I invented after all.

But seriously, this is a great challenge and thank you Emily!
trig, you can write!!!!! You can write very well!! Now you get in front of that typewriter and you write about the time you were a Go-Go dancer, on stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers!!!!!!!!

**Wanders off with the last comment on the subject from him**

(Psssst, trig, stop poking Emily, she knows where you live, she has armies at her command and has been authorized by King Kerry to use them!! I've peeked at the game plans in their desks! EEK!!!)
You people are so awful that I feel a fourth career coming on.
I'm laffing so hard reading these comments I can hardly see the screen thru my tears. And Zumalicious nearly killed me with hers about how awful we are. "We?" I've been good, so far. It's all Tink's fault, in case anyone is wondering. We are the 99 and we are losing our fucking minds.
My first wish is to run off with the model who's posing in the Shutterstock ad right above the comment box. Her face is stunning. If that's all she has, it's enuf for me, but it promises so much, the eyes the bee-stung lips. I'm sure James M. Emmerling has noticed this face, too, and could wax much more rhapsodically about it than I can. And probably has.

As to my brillliant second career, I plan to open a consulting service to fix defective rating thumbs on Open Salon. I noticed my rate disappeared after I refreshed, so I rated again and decided THIS time to post my comment after punching the thumb. I then realized I had nothing more to say, and then...I saw the face.
@Matt: You should also install a middle finger for posts we don't like.
R. I'll do.

Also, would you please give my articles a read sometime? I think a good many of them are deserving of Editors Pick consideration and publishing on Salon. In particular, my most recent one on Herman Cain. (I sometimes wonder if my banning a particular woman OS user from my blog because of her personal attack earned me persona non gratis status on OS)

Many Thanks,
Matt, I love that ad too!! Makes me wish I was human!!! :D
p.s. Emily, I thought I should be a little more specific regarding my previous comment, and say that it was a "White woman" I banned from my blog, for gratuitously and personally attacking me after I brought to her attention that she already had. This occurred in the context of her attempting to push on my site an organization and cause she started.

The personal attack was then expanded to her blog after I requested that she no longer post on my blog. I banned her after giving her a chance to once again engage appropriately. My concerns of being personally attacked, for which there was empirical basis was then dismissed by various OS members, as if "our kind" is not entitled to possess perceptions of our own.

I feel compelled to communicate this potential racial dynamic here because of what feels to be an underestimation of the competence that Black writers/scholars such as myself and others of color possess in relation to a variety of topics on OS, especially politics, AND to inferior levels of respect that we have received on various levels (that I need not go into here).

So the question must be raised: How can it be credibly claimed that only the same small group of individuals, in particularly White people, possess such competence? On what basis do they deserve to be rewarded with enhanced visibility that comes with editorial selection, to our exclusion?

I can tell you from my own experience and the conversations I've had with many others about this that we are individually and collectively frustrated.

We consistently point out the unfairness of such practices when engaged in by "conservatives" and right-wing people, since the assumption is too often made that "liberals" and "progressives" are "colorblind" and free of biases associated with "white privilege," and/or that since there's a "Black President," the "quota of one" has already been filled, so we should be happy with what we have.

But I am afraid that such assumptions lead to complacency and denial, and inevitably a bifurcation along race/ethnicity within "progressive" circles that is analogous to the 99% and 1% bifurcation identified by the OWS protesters.

I can assure you that those of us who are "of color" here have paid a lot of dues in our lives and are worthy and deserving of fair treatment. I do not merely speak for myself here. But rather for those "99%" who feel that things have been rigged for the 1% of the most privileged of the OS community who are repetitively rewarded and privileged.

I say this respectfully and respectfully ask that the concerns I have expressed be substantively addressed

p.p.s. Regarding perceptions of the "competence" of folks like myself, some have suggested that there's a core group of Harvard folks making and getting the "calls" on OS who perceive those with Ivy League pedigree deserving of such deference. I'm somewhat sympathetic to that perspective. My pedigree includes degrees from Cornell and MIT.
btw the OS White woman I banned for the personal attacks also falsely accused me of being a part of the "mainstream media" and financially and materially benefiting from deliberately spreading divisiveness when I've never been paid for my writings. Being a Black man in America and experiencing a regime and culture of white-supremacy/racism and wanting to do something about apparently isn't motivation enough to write about such oppression.

Rather, writing about such oppression is "spreading divisiveness" and done to "financially and materially benefit." The same OS person also lied when she said that Obama "never" said that we must be "honest" in the political debates over the fate of the country, only "civil." Yet, it was clear as noonday in the Democracy Now video I included in my post that Obama said "honest."

Yet, given all of this, veteran OS writers chimed in (some on the article others in private messages) agreeing with her that there was NO problem with what she said BUT with ME - that I banned her because I was "weak" and "intolerant" of her legitimate political views and opinion!

As if, falsely accusing me of being part of mainstream media and benefiting monetarily and materially for deliberately spreading divisiveness is a "legitimate opinions and political perspective."

So of course I am left to wonder why my emails and concerns are ignored. Are the views of the OS writers I've described above shared by the decision makers of OS?
Ron, as another black OS contributor I am listening to you. I suspect the usual suspects of silencing people like us and my father, for instance, who write brilliant pieces and then are silently ignored like they are silently wishing us away. I'm glad you're still up to fighting this and not letting the issue go away.
We have been hard done by. We still get hard done by and used and abused. Enough is enough. Keep on keepin' on as I will even if I receive no or few comments about my poetry or screaming rednecks about the death penalty.
Just two careers? Sheesh. Amateurs.