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› Is Chicago for you? Listen to the voices of Chicagoans as they tell their career stories in their own words:
When I was offered to leave the New York office for Chicago, I had some hesitation, but it was a smart move. There's more space here to breathe. It's less cut-throat. My cost of living is lower, so I spend less and yes, the pizza is way better.
I'm a former theater performer, who needed to pay bills. Sales does offer me a creative outlet at times. I do great presentations and use my charisma to woo clients.
I would tell a friend considering my line of work that there is a very low turnover rate amongst intellectual property paralegals. It might be difficult to find an open spot at first. In Chicago, there are excellent networking opportunities for I.P. paralegals and many people become aware of available positions by word-of-mouth.
Chicago is a great city for paralegals because there are many large law firms, some of them international. This affords a paralegal plenty of choice in the type of work and work environment they seek. In addition to law firms, Chicago has a strong reputation in the advertising fields, and I know of several paralegals who have found satisfaction and success within those companies.
My job was as an Executive Director at a non-profit organization in Chicago, Illinois. The position focused on improving reading skills through technology.
I enjoyed working with the kids and learning Spanish and Japanese alongside the kids. It felt good to help people and to not be in one location every day.
Most people have overcome adversity in their lives, especially since the recession. It almost seems to be a competition to determine who has overcome the most adversity. If there is anything unique about my career, it would be that I have worked in a variety of fields that seem to not be congruent. However, they are all centered around helping people from a medical and technology perspective or an educational perspective.
My job duties were to organize the technology center as a way to teach computer literacy to individuals in an impoverished Chicago community. It included outfitting the center with computer equipment – computers that we later learned to build; canvassing the neighborhood to bring in members of the community; organizing seasonal class schedules with afternoon and evening courses; organizing and teaching special focus classes to teenagers, tots, seniors, teachers and other groups; and writing grants to insure that money flowed into the program.
I learned some real things about community in this position. One, people were starved for knowledge. Two, education suffers badly in impoverished communities. Three, there was a lot of violence, throw-back, that people instilled upon themselves for their own shortcomings. Four, there is great human warmth in impoverished communities.
I felt proud from the number of individuals who latched hold of me. I found myself serving as counsel in situations that I would never have dreamed of. Job-seekers stuck to me; job-holders stuck to me as their situations became challenged from personal problems, some that were very deep. I learned how to stabilize myself as this was the most important thing. To function professionally and stabilized in an impoverished community was a way of giving back. The people not only appreciated and welcomed these efforts, they stuck their hopes to them.
I am a bellperson at a hotel on Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile. I've been at it for four years. I am attentive, courteous, and punctual.
Being a bellperson is actually a lot of hard work. You spend a lot of time on your feet, you hear many, many complaints, and the pay is only fair. It is a job for people who want to work. My satisfaction level is around a 6, I'd say. Its easy work but I can't help feeling that there is something better for me out there.
I am using this job as a turning point in my life. I spent 2 years in prison for some gang-related activity. This is my first real job after getting out and my first opportunity to make an honest living. I can't describe how grateful I am to have gotten a job after prison. A lot of guys in my situation can't find work.
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