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Darina Kagan Headshot

Our Hands Are Tied -- The New Job Market?

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"America is no longer the land of opportunity."

A quote my mother said. A quote that holds a lot of merit from a Russian Jewish immigrant who moved here for the sole purpose of a better life.

This weekend I sat across the dinner table watching my mother half attempt conversation while typing away at her Blackberry and running up and down the stairs to her home office to put out the various technical "fires" her team needed her to extinguish. I remember a time when my mother would leave the house to be at work by 9 a.m. and be home around 5:30 p.m.; those days are long gone.

The state of the technological field is so demanding that they seem to treat their employees as products rather than human beings. Putting them through countless hours of work that leave them sleep deprived with no compensation in return. She explained how she spent her time and efforts building this amazing product that the company loved and then found out it was sold to another team without her knowledge. As a result she was sold as the inventor -- with the responsibility of teaching others how to use it. "It's expected of us," my mom said when I asked her why she puts up with it. Expected? Is it expected to not have weekends to yourself? Is it expected to not have holidays; to not be able to spend a moment with your family without being interrupted? Expected?

"Not even a thank you," she sighed, as she came back to her cold dinner. Expected. This was part of her job. The new motto of today's world: You don't have to do it -- we can find someone who will. It's the way company's can get away with doing this -- the unwritten clause in every contract.

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