Bad things happen to people. One of the worst is to lose a job or your business.
Now, we’ve got 15 million people unemployed. That is a lot of human pain, and wouldn’t add more pain to future job interviews? What if all those hurting people hurt less? Would that help them get jobs or start a new business? Yes, and why not use an evidence-based kernel for everyone whose experienced job or business loss to ease that pain?
After losing a job, people get angry with others and themselves. People get depressed. People give up, “ saying what’s the use?” And people often get sick from the stress. Sometimes they turn to alcohol or medications to make the noise and pain in their minds numb. None of these strategies work well at getting another job.
Trying to force yourself to stop negative thoughts and feelings can just make things worse. It’s just like saying not worry makes one worry more. The paradox is that if you write about the awful thing you experienced for 20-minutes each day for five days, good things happen: 1) you tend to get healthier, and 2) you are more likely to land a job. That’s what a famous study shows. You can read it here:
Thousands of professionals were laid off from the tech industry Texas 20 years ago. Some of them were randomly assigned to do an emotional writing kernel (an evidence-based practice). Others did another kind of writing, and some did no writing at all. What happened 8 months later?
If the people did the emotional writing, 68% of them got some kind of employment, started a business or got a contract. If the people did no writing at all, only 27% of them got any kind of a job. That’s a 40% difference! Now, it the kernel only worked for 5% or 10% of people who lost their jobs, then there would be 750,000 to 1.5 million more people working or making money.
The worst thing that could happen about writing about the bad thing would be that your health would be better—based on multiple published studies.
Can you imagine the new Congress will create that many jobs in 8 months? Can you imagine all the bickering in the new Congress helping improve your health?
If you, a loved one, or a friend are struggling with a job or business loss, why not try the expressive writing kernel. I did it, and it very much helped me when a former business partner seriously harmed me. You can do the same activity for free. Here are your daily instructions. We’ve set it up so you can do this anonymously:
Day 1: http://bit.ly/day1jobs
Day 2: http://bit.ly/day2jobs
Day 3: http://bit.ly/day3jobs
Day 4: http://bit.ly/day4jobs
Day 5: http://bit.ly/day5jobs
What if this simple procedure were part of every social service, every doctor’s office, part every faith-based service or even promoted on TV? What if every job counselor or mental-health professional did this? What if every government agency encouraged this? Why aren’t we doing that?
Let me know what you think.