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Are Cubicle Workers Part of a Dying Trend?

April 3, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

A few weeks ago I came across an article on Yahoo that talked about quitting your job. And one quote that suck with me was, “If you’re stuck in a cubicle you have a target on your back…the CEO is looking to cut you out…”

Hmm…so far, I’ve held three jobs that took place in a cubicle. This also isn’t the first time I’ve been told that the standard hourly job will get you nowhere in your career. I’m very aware of this at my last job where I had a good chunk of free time most days.

All of this made me wonder something…are cubicle workers part of a dying trend?

If you are a little on the web savvy side, you may have already heard of sites like oDesk and Elance that basically outsources jobs to the virtual worker (who usually works for less money and no benefits). These are our cheaper competitors in the job market. I am fairly certain – without any real proof, of course – that the job that inspired LadyUnemployed, who laid me off back in 2012, used one of these sites to find my replacement. I feel this in part because I do know they outsourced certain positions before I left.

If my current employer hired a third party and asked them…what ways can we save money in our company? I know if I was that third party, I would look for positions that could be moved to a cheaper worker found on these outsourcing platforms, such as oDesk. Mine would be one of these positions.

The article I found on Yahoo encouraged you to build up a side business in order to truly launch your own career. I’ve thought about this and I’m doing what I can, of course. With the blog under my real name (not this one), I have found a few leads where I can make some money through offering ad space to even offering my social networking skills. I’m thinking of expanding my own skill set by taking classes, but it’s been a slow start.

My fear is this – there is safety in not changing things and never taking risks. In that safety, is comfort. And there, we find a strange happiness and contentment, where we may find ourselves on a never ending cycle of things never changing. On bad days, it gets to us and we dip our toe in the pond of risk, hoping we catch a bite.

Sure, someone stopping by this article can tell me, “Hey, at least you have a job! Quit complaining! Grow up!”

Okay, I get that. And I am glad I have a job. I don’t need (or want) to get laid off again, though. And neither should anyone else. We’ve come to a point in our society, though, where it’s an employer’s market. The employees who walk in the door are no longer valuable. We are warm bodies in the seat who should just be glad we are there. For that reason, none of us can get comfortable, simply because for today we have a job. Because tomorrow it may not be there and we need to prepare ourselves for that.

Have you ever escaped the rate race of an hourly position? What was the turning point for you? How did you get started?


  1. Jean says:

    As dismal as it was to read, this post is spot on… Outsourcing will be the end of most entry-level positions. I’m still unsure how exactly they intend to train/hire people for middle management if so many jobs are being outsourced, but it does seem to be the trend. Or, what used to be enter level is now being cloaked as an “unpaid internship program.”

    It’s interesting you called it an Employer’s market. You’re right, but I remember when I first graduated college and everyone started complaining about Gen Yers and how we were so picky about the jobs we pursued and we were giving hiring managers a run for their money — after a few years, I feel Gen Y got a harsh realization that we’re not that special, and we need to take whatever job we can get since the 15-year experienced veteran got laid off and is now going after the lower-level jobs we’re interviewing for. The job market got so fucked up so quickly.

    Sorry, got carried away. I’m bitter. I’m happy you have a job, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to your feelings of wanting more. After all, that’s the real American Dream. Good luck on your blog’s SM, I’m doing the same.

    • No, you are not cynical, you’re dead on! Everything got screwed up for recent graduates, and now we really really should be happy with anything we can get. People who have a boat load of experience go for jobs that are for those entry level seeking graduates who just end up in jobs they don’t even want. It’s a sick cycle and rut we need out of. Maybe I should start thinking about playing the lottery more…

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