“What are you thinking?” That’s pretty much the sentiment that greeted senior editor Tara Behan when she began snooping around for this month’s cover story, “What’s It Pay?”
After all, we’re still in the throes of a historic recession, with record unemployment. So how dare us fixate on something as touchy as salaries? “Many of those I talked to said the same thing—that I should be thankful I still have a job,” says Behan.
But the truth is, people love numbers—especially when they’re preceded by dollar signs. And we came up with some figures that should surprise you. “Babysitters?” quips Behan. “Wow, I wish I’d made $15 an hour on my Saturday nights with the neighborhood kiddies.”
In her research, Behan also stumbled upon a new term destined to become a hot catchphrase for career reinvention: “necessity entrepreneurs,” those compelled to start their own businesses after losing their jobs. “I’m convinced that a lot of great ideas are going to come out of this recession,” Behan says. “So many people who were faced with layoffs and no job prospects simply thought, ‘Why not take a risk and do something I’ve always dreamed of doing?’”
Behan mentions a friend who was laid off from his job in finance. “It was a job that paid well, but he was miserable because it was too mundane and corporate for him,” she says. “He decided to spend some of his severance package to pursue his love of writing and producing music. He’s never been happier.”
Also in this issue: Horse racing’s history in Chester County runs as deep as its influence is vast. “Smarty Jones and Barbaro, runners-up Hard Spun and Eight Belles—it’s been a golden time for thoroughbred racing over the past five years,” says Main Line Today contributor Terry Conway.
But how did it all begin and where is it all headed? Conway tackles both questions in “Racing Royalty,” a lingering look at the remarkable evolution of this storied and somewhat sequestered culture that defines the southern portion of the county.
We knew we were doing something right: Main Line Today has been named one of five finalists for General Excellence in the 2010 National City and Regional Magazine Awards. This year’s convention and awards ceremony will be held the first weekend in June in Providence, R.I. We’ll let you know the results later this summer. In the meantime, have a look at the issues that wowed the judges—March, October and November 2009.