A study has revealed that people never bounce back from unemployment, creating a ‘new normal’ for our wellbeing that never returns to previous levels. Damaging health and wellbeing regardless of age, gender or nationality, unemployment is something that the mind never truly adapts to.
Individuals examined in the study were found to have lower life satisfaction on average after unemployment that never makes the full recovery, and while men were found to be happier in their new jobs, unemployment hit them much stronger than women. The type of work also affected people’s wellbeing once plucked out of unemployment, with permanent jobs faring better for wellbeing than temp jobs.
Social support from networks of family and friends, confidence in abilities and knowing that other people are in the same boat are among the factors that help pick people back up after they’ve been made unemployed. Extroverts are also more likely to recover quicker than more shy or self-conscious individuals, who will often struggle to go back into the working world after a setback.
The research hopes to show people that it is okay to feel dejected even after re-employment, and that the feelings associated with losing your job are natural and can always stay with you. While for many unemployment is a part of life, the study hopes the public won’t stay disheartened, and understand that not recovering does not reflect the quality of your next job. With your workplace being a community to many, and help to give employees a “sense of identity,” wellbeing specialists believe the research will help examine how to recover from rejection.
“We know work is an important part of what helps us thrive, even beyond its importance as a source of income,” said Nancy Hey, Director of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. “This evidence helps us understand the potentially scarring effects, especially of the long-term unemployed.”