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Psychology – Being Unemployment

What is often buried in the monthly unemployment numbers provided each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is an understanding of the psychologically traumatic experience of involuntary job loss and ongoing unemployment. I argue that this experience is critical to understand because it can inform how hiring managers, human resource professionals, and small business owners can feel more confident about hiring the unemployed…especially the longer term unemployed (those unemployed for 27 weeks or longer). My findings are based on over 40 in-depth interviews with laid-off senior executives to line employees who were living from paycheck-to-paycheck.

When a job loss is experienced as psychologically traumatizing, there are two major areas that are impacted. First, people’s world view or their “fundamental assumptions” about the way the world works changes dramatically.  Where they once saw the world as generally benevolent and good, they now see the world as unpredictable and unsafe which causes loss of hope and optimism. Where they once saw the world as a place where hard work was rewarded, they now see an environment where it does not matter how much effort is applied to improve oneself or an organization. It simply does not matter. Where they once saw themselves as possessing dignity and value, they now see themselves as possessing low value and little dignity…

via The Psychological Impact of Unemployment | SmartRecruiting.

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