Returning to work may not be all that happy

You may land a new job, but you may not be able to leave the baggage at the door...for good reason.

Landing a job can feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of your shoulders.  However, the stress, anxiety, and emotional strife continues to linger after getting back on the saddle.

Marty Orgel, a freelance writer for Marketwatch, writes about how those who have been through long-term unemployment are more likely to be in the red financially, worried about their status once they’re back in the workforce, and emotionally fragile, when they return to work.

Mentally, people who re-enter the workforce builds up a wall to protect themselves from being burned and betrayed by managers and companies, for fear of being let go again and starting over from scratch from the umpteenth time. Most mental health professionals say that this is normal.  But does it become a long-term problem that could come back to haunt anyone who continues to foster a sense of distrust and isolating themselves from opening up in the office?

I contend that it’s easy to give people the tools to how to deal with unemployment, albeit with a great dose of bureaucracy, but not enough tools to handle it mentally and emotionally.

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2 thoughts on “Returning to work may not be all that happy

  1. Charlie, you are going to love the bike trails! Now, if I can save up and get a bike. Being unemployed kind of limits the options!

    That’s a great point about how the individual will react differently. From what I gauged from the story and the interview with the reporter, his time off due to unemployment was tough and hard, but rather than see his new employment as something to wash away the “grime”, he let it follow him like a plague because he’s trying to protect himself from being hosed again.

    Martin Seligman’s book is available at the Des Moines Public Library if anyone who follows this blog is interested. The copy at the Central branch is checked out, but you can place a hold and reserve a copy from the temporary branch at Merle Hay Mall.

  2. A big part of how an individual reacts to unemployment probably depends on whether that person is an optimist or a pessimist. Pessimists tend to see misfortune as personal, pervasive, and permanent. “I’m an all-around failure and that probably won’t change.” Optimists say “The economy stinks, but will turn around soon. In the meantime, other areas of my life that are going well.” (Read Martin Seligman’s book “Learned Optimism”)

    I’m an unemployed person relocating to Des Moines from Silicon Valley. I’m excited about this new venture. It may take several months, but I expect to find good work. In the meantime, I expect to meet lots of good people and to explore the bicycle trails in the area.

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