I'm not sure if anyone could foresee, back in January 2008, how bad the economy would get in the Richmond region.
By late fall, the tumble began, and by January 2010, the Richmond metro unemployment rate peaked at 8.6 percent. Gone were Circuit City, Qimonda and LandAmerica, as well as hundreds of jobs from Media General, Genworth, state government and smaller companies.
"Recession-proof Richmond" was a thing of the past, and workers struggled with reinventing themselves, living on far less or moving to another city.
But 2012 brought signs of recovery: housing prices finally started to go up, albeit with small increases in a few localities; the regional unemployment rate was down to 5.9 percent in November; and workers were pretty accepting of the fact that either they will have to wear many work hats or make their own.
This month's job and salary cover story, our first since January 2008, checks in with those who lost jobs five years ago, workers who chose new professions or created new companies in the past five years, and recent college graduates.
The Greater Richmond Partnership put together a Hot Careers in the Richmond Region presentation last year ( tinyurl.com/b6t7ej5 ), detailing in-demand jobs, average salaries and who was hiring. If you're thinking about health care, you may have found the perfect prescription to recession-proof yourself.
We also have some job news of our own on the Richmond magazine front. Senior editor Tina Eshleman, who joined us in July 2009, soon after she was laid off from the Times-Dispatch, is moving into the position of associate managing editor. She will oversee daily online editing, news feature editing, and our arts and entertainment coverage, while continuing to coordinate all of our health coverage, including next month's Top Doctors cover story. Brandon Fox, the managing editor of R•Home magazine since summer 2009, will move into the newly created position of food editor. A former restaurant reviewer and talented home cook, Brandon will continue to build our dining coverage in the magazine, online and through social channels. Anne Dreyfuss, who joined our staff in January 2011 after interning with us, moves into the role of managing editor of Richmond Bride. She will continue to oversee our Carytown Guide, which comes out three times a year. We also welcome Marissa Hermanson as the new managing editor of R•Home. She had an essay published in the February issue of Cosmopolitan, which gives me an excuse to share Cosmo Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles' take on the employer-employee relationship in a recent interview with Fast Company: "Your only value to me is to tell me what you actually think."