lit fuse on a recession money bomb Source: Artem Oleshko/Shutterstock

When I think back to the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, one moment in particular stands out. I had applied for a position in early 2008 that I was really excited about, as the editor of a special section on home and interior design in a local weekly newspaper. I sat down to read the long-awaited email from the paper’s editor announcing his decision, and in it he explained that the special section’s occurrence and page count was being scaled back, and the position I applied for had been reduced to a freelance gig that paid much less than what I had been told (in other words, it would have barely covered the cost of groceries). He added, “This is purely a result of the economy.”

It was the latest in a string of job-related letdowns that began about a year earlier when I moved to a new city a few years after graduating college. I pursued writing/editing roles I really wanted, only to be told something to the effect of, “We really want you! But we can’t afford to pay you a salary. Trust us, if we could, you’d be working here!” Thanks, but unfortunately a compliment can’t cover the cost of living expenses. In order to achieve some sort of financial stability, I had to pivot my career goals (to my disappointment, that meant writing things like press releases for software companies for a while, not stories about interior design or another lifestyle-related topic I enjoyed).

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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