How we work now

How we work now

Is there a kind of work in America that hasn’t changed dramatically over the last 20 years? We’d love to hear from you if you can think of one, but in most fields, the pace of change has been dizzying.

Jobs have been off-shored or automated. Sales have moved to the Internet. The Cloud has replaced filing cabinets and freelance gigs have replaced careers. Technology is one primary driver, of course. Globalization, with its attendant economic realities, is another. The changes have been in many cases positive, even exhilarating. Information is instantly accessible and communication has never been easier.

But for many Americans, work in the 21st century feels chaotic, and the turmoil is affecting both individuals and the structure of families and communities.

Has your work changed in recent years? Tell us about it by email at laborpains@latimes.com or on Twitter at #latlaborpains.

 40-plus years as a pediatrician

November 24, 2013

Labor Pains

40-plus years as a pediatrician

In more than 40 years as a pediatrician, I've worked in the military, in a small private practice and in a large multi-specialty group. And I've seen huge changes, both in administrative practices and in treatment protocols.

So much data-gathering, so little doctoring

November 24, 2013

Labor Pains

So much data-gathering, so little doctoring

I'm a stomach doc. I've seen thousands of patients, inside and out, for 25 years. I've done research, I've taught, I've been an administrator. And as the years rolled by, I've watched the healthcare industry begin to undo healthcare itself. It's complex, cumbersome and bureaucratic, and the bigger the practice or the clinic or the hospital and research facilities — like the universities I used to work at — the worse the problem.

Flying the less-friendly skies

September 15, 2013

LABOR PAINS

Flying the less-friendly skies

One in an occasional series on the changing nature of work.

The sharps and flats of the music business

September 1, 2013

LABOR PAINS

The sharps and flats of the music business

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the day I quit my software job. There was nothing wrong with my job; it was rewarding and I liked it, but "information architect" was not my calling. I didn't want to sit at a computer all day. I wanted to make music.

 A new American way of death

September 1, 2013

Labor Pains

A new American way of death

The late summer of 1963, I was going on 15 when my father brought me a copy of "The American Way of Death" and asked me to have a look and report back to him. It was the buzz among his fellow undertakers, a must read. But he was busy and I was bookish and baseball was over and a new school year loomed. So that early September 50 years ago I spent reading Jessica Mitford, hot off the press.

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