Personal Stories of America at Work

Monthly Archives: June 2011

How an American Woman in the Middle East Changes Course on Career

This essay, by Devorah Lifshutz, was chosen from among the submissions on the topic of career change. Devorah, writing under a pseudonym, is an American writer living in Jerusalem, Israel.

"Like a feminist fairy-tale heroine, I went into labor at the office, my contractions beginning as I was completing a story."

I can still remember listening intently as opera legend Beverly Sills promised my all-female graduating class at Barnard College, Columbia University that we could “have it all;” all, of course, meaning motherhood and work, family plus career. I believed her. Back in 1981, the diva’s words seemed self-evident.

Five years later, I was a full-time reporter for The Jerusalem Post in Israel. I had exhausted the Jewish singles scene in New York and had moved to Israel to find a husband. Instead, I found a career (and eventually a husband too). I lucked out—having neither gone to journalism school, nor even taken a single journalism course—and was plucked from the editors’ pool because of my writing flair. My beat included everything. From demonstrations to gallery shows to visiting celebrities, I was there. I loved the job so much that sometimes I thought I should pay The Post rather than having The Post pay me. Then I became a mother. Like a feminist fairy-tale heroine, I went into labor at the office, my contractions beginning as I was completing a story. Thirty-six excruciating hours later, I was a mom.

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molly | June 28, 2011 | Publishing, Women, Working Mother | 1

How a Rancher’s Persistence Built a Bit of Paradise in the Shadow of Yellowstone

Montana Rancher Alvin Pierce shares a bit of his working life as the real horses whisperer

“A lot of horse training is about training the owner.”

Growing up with cattle and horses

I don’t believe there’s any particular talent to training horses. The main requirement is desire and determination. You have to be willing to work with them every day for thirty to sixty days, even when it’s thirty or forty below. It’s kind of like working with a child. If you let them do anything they want, they’ll be spoiled. If you work with them daily and set limits, they won’t be spoiled.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to have a ranch and work with animals. My grandfather had a cattle ranch north of Chico about five miles from where I am now in Paradise Valley. I grew up nearby and spent summers on the ranch. In his spare time, my dad trained horses, and that’s how I got my start with horse training. I started training my family’s horses in my early teens and loved it.

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molly | June 14, 2011 | Agriculture, Small business | 2

Gluten-Free Cottage Industry Provides Opportunities for Foodie Entrepreneurs

Last week I went to a fund-raising event at the Alameda County Community Food Bank. There I met a couple who started a new granola company just five months ago, and are already experiencing considerable success! Gluten-free granola, anyone??

As reported in the New York Times, this couple isn’t the only group hoppin’ on the gluten-free wagon: “As long as there have been jobs, there have been fantasies about leaving them. Often this involves escapes to pretty settings (the proverbial bed and breakfast in Vermont), or fitness nirvana (ski instructor)…”

Read the full interview >>

molly | June 10, 2011 | Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Small business | 2

The Working Chronicles

  • The Working Chronicles captures an intimate look at work in 21st century America through candid interviews with people from all walks of life and all corners of the country.

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  • Have a story about changing careers? We want to hear from you!
    For a short time we are accepting submissions from readers and will publish the top stories on our blog and possibly include in a book.
    We'll accept an autobiographical story or interview with someone else--check out the Submission Guidelines.

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