Unemployed Is A State Of Mind.

I have endured two bouts of unemployment. The first was 9 months, the second was 2 years.
Was, you say? Yeah. I started working in November and have worked continuously since.
It was a freelance job that turned into full time employment. I should be relieved that I have work.
But I am not and I couldn't understand why... Then I heard this excerpt on the radio today.
Nice to know I am not alone.. If you know someone who's unemployed, please share this with them

It might give them a little perspective

It turns out that the personal trauma created by unemployment is not too different from the trauma created by war. I talked with a great speaker here, Marty Seligman. He spoke on “happiness,” a subject he knows well because he helps counsel armed forces and governments about it. (Seligman is speaking to England’s House of Commons this week to encourage them to forget about things like GDP and measure the well-being of citizens instead.) Seligman’s official fancy title is: Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychology. He is also the man who first identified “learned helplessness” - the idea that people will behave helplessly when they are taught to, even when they have the actual tools to take control of their situation. For instance, if your mother made your bed every day when you were growing up, you probably never learned to make your bed properly - and even if you did, you rarely have the inclination.

Seligman’s big idea now is measuring well-being through a construct he calls PERMA: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. He believes a person who has a balance of those characteristics will be a happy person.

Another prominent expert here is Liaqat Ahamed, a former World Bank official and the author of the well-regarded book Lords of Finance. The book won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for history. Ahamed, it’s safe to say, has been a hit at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

I talked to both men about unemployment and how we’re handling it. Their comments are below - and they certainly food for thought on how we plan to handle the unemployment issue.

As Linda Richman from Coffee Talk would have said: “Discuss.”

Marty Seligman

Heidi N. Moore: Have you studied job-seekers or unemployment and how that affects people’s well-being?

Marty Seligman: Unemployment is a disastrous event for most human beings. Human beings tend to recover from many bad events. But there is a literature in which, before unemployment you measure people’s life satisfaction, then during unemployment, then after they’ve been re-employed.

Unemployment is one of those situations where, once it’s happened to you, you never get back to where you were before
penguinswon penguinswon
2 Responses Jul 1, 2011

Changing a state of mind won't pay the bills, put food on the table, or a roof over said table. Having work will do that. But if you're like any number of people around the world, it seems like nobody wants to give you that chance, even though they have been "hiring" for months, and are STILL looking. When THAT changes, then the state of mind changes with it.

I disagree. If you have a negative attitude it will show in your interviews, in the way you come across, and people will pick up on it. A changed attitude won't put food on the table, but getting yourself into a rut isn't constructive either. It's hard but there are a lot of benefits in staying positive.

I'm not saying not to stay positive. But, positive or not, I'm still unemployed. All the being positive in the world doesn't change that fact. Only applications by the thousands, resumes, and interviews.

I'd be happy to continue this conversation offline when I understand and know what you have done. I mean big stuff.
Send me your bio. I'd like to know about your accomplishments

I need a job not pop psychology that tells us that if we think positive thoughts that unemployment will disappear.