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…
Of the 12.5 million unemployed people in the United States, over 5 million have not been able to land a job for 27 weeks or longer, putting them in the ranks of the long-term unemployed. Worse still chances of them getting a job anytime soon are also fast fading. Not only are the long-term unemployed … Continue reading »
The United States today has approximately 39.9 million immigrants—the largest number in its history. As a nation of immigrants, the United States has successfully negotiated larger proportions of newcomers in its past and is far from alone among postindustrial countries in experiencing a growth in immigration in recent decades. Notably, nearly three quarters of the … Continue reading»
Unemployment gets worse before getting better, then it gets worse again, finds U of M study Being unemployed is roughest early on and then again after you’ve been out of a work for months, the study finds. A new study co-authored by Connie Wanberg, associate dean at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, … Continue reading »
One of the key factors in determining emotional resiliency is what social psychologists call an “internal locus of control.” A locus of control, which can be either external or internal, is a belief about our power to effect change in our lives. Those with a dominant external locus of control believe their destiny lies beyond … Continue reading »