Back to Work

This article was originally published by Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday, May 31, 2012.

By Katherine Reynolds Lewis

Unemployment is a closely watched statistic, and for 12.5 million Americans, a humbling reality. The percentage of people out of work peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, and while the rate hovers stubbornly at 8.2 percent, at least some of the long-term unemployed are beginning to find permanent jobs.

This spring, Bloomberg Businessweek assigned photographers to follow several people as they returned to the workplace after absences ranging from seven months to three and a half years. Each story is unique, yet there are common themes: feelings of uselessness, the disturbing ease with which one’s professional identity slips away, the humiliation of asking family or friends for a loan, and, finally, the rewards of adaptability and persistence.

Read the full article in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Recent college grads: They're not so bad at work

Employers that regularly hire workers in their early 20s find them to be just as diligent and competent as their generational predecessors.

This article was originally published by on Thursday, June 7, 2012.

By Katherine Reynolds Lewis, contributor

FORTUNE -- As waves of new college graduates flood into work­places, you may be bracing yourself for an onslaught of entitled youngsters who expect to be hand-held during training. After all, Millennials are the only generation that doesn't list "work ethic" as a defining trait, according to the Pew Research Center. Indeed, 75% of those Pew polled said that older people have a stronger work ethic than young adults.

But take heart, managers of America. Employers that regularly hire workers in their early 20s find them to be just as diligent and competent as previous generations. This year's crop of graduates, after all, entered college just as the worst recession since the 1930s took hold, so they're likely grateful simply to have a job -- and willing to work hard to keep it. Keep an open mind, and you may find that this year's recent grads defy the well-worn stereotype that Gen-Y'ers are all ambition and little else. In fact, these new arrivals can contribute plenty to your workplace.

K Street

This article was published by GQ China in June 2012.

To read the full article in Chinese, visit my Flickr site. If I get an English translation, I will post it also.