The latest (July 2017) research by The I Z A Institute of Labor Economics reaffirms something we’ve known for some time now – from past labor and employment research and (possibly) experience: the longer you’re unemployed, the harder it is to find a job. But, it also goes one step further, providing insight into the thought patterns of those in hiring positions.
The lab experiment study, conducted by Eva Van Belle, Doctoral Researcher at Ghent University and other researchers from Ghent University (Professor Stijn Baert), KU Leuven (Professor Ralf Caers), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Lecturer Marijke De Couck), and the University of Oxford (Postdoctoral Researcher Valentina Di Stasio), evaluated the length of unemployment – using fictitious job candidates (differing in gender, educational attainment, work experience, and social activities) and participating HR professionals – on one’s chances of being hired. The participants, for the experiment, not only made hiring decisions, but also rated these qualified candidates based on their perceived characteristics: general signaling theory (lower motivation, intellectual and social capabilities), skill loss (or depreciation), queuing theory (lower trainability), and rational herding (based on the belief: if unemployed job applicants were productive, they would’ve been hired).
Here on Serenity Amidst Frustration, you read a lot about developing good habits, throughout unemployment. There are articles with tips on: practicing gratitude, taking care of your whole self, getting wholesome laughs, targeting your job search, engaging in an interesting/skill-building activity, taking breaks, accepting your unemployment status, thriving on hope, maintaining a positive outlook, managing stress.
These habits – no doubt – are beneficial in coping with unemployment and moving forward. I say this from personal experience.
But, while these good habits move you forward, there are also bad habits fighting to hold you back. They drain your energy and negatively affect your job search efforts.
As someone who’s on the search for your next position, you’re likely experiencing stress. After all, you’re going through it: your life has changed. You no longer have a stable source of income, you’re struggling to find a job, you’re living your ‘new normal.’
You’ve reached the point of exhaustion with your unemployed life. Still, stress aside, you’re focused on getting a job fast. You feel you can’t stop and calm down because you need money now.
But, please, reconsider this feeling. I’ve been there. And believe me: stopping to calm down and manage your stress isn’t a bad thing to do, when done in a healthy manner.
Losing a job (or role) and finding a job is stressful. When it comes to looking for employment, 83% of global working adults feel the job search is stressful, according to the results of a HIRED study. Imagine the percentage rate among those unemployed.
Three weeks ago, a relative suffered a traumatic injury from a bad accident. It didn’t look good, when he was first transported to the hospital. He suffered greatly from pain. But, through it all, I’ve been observing him fight back and endure with a strength no human gives.
Through my observations of his experience, I couldn’t help but reflect on the trauma of unemployment.
While engaged in reflection today, I thought about my lengthy, traditional job search experiences. Upon reflection, I now notice something I didn’t when I started: I (unintentionally)relied on my efforts for the achievement of my goal – getting a job. Too much.
I wanted to re-enter the workforce quickly after my solo experience in elder care. In no way did I want my job search to fail. In no way did I want to experience the trap of long-term unemployment. And, I focused on learning and putting into action every job hunt tip and method I could with the hope of getting hired quickly.