What’s an easy trick that can help you escape unemployment?


Write about it.

Robin Hanson points to this passage from Robert Trivers new book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life:

Writing about job loss improves one’s chance of reemployment. This sort of writing appears to be cathartic – people immediately feel better. More striking, at least in one study, is a sharply increased chance of getting a job. After six months, 53 percent of writers had found a new job, compared with only 18 percent of non writers. One effect of writing is that it helps you work through your anger so it is not displaced onto a new, prospective employer or, indeed, revealed to the employer in any form.

The study cited is by James Pennebaker, author of The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us:

In an experiment with 63 recently unemployed professionals, those assigned to write about the thoughts and emotions surrounding their job loss were reemployed more quickly than those who wrote about non- traumatic topics or who did not write at all. Expressive writing appeared to influence individuals’ attitudes about their old jobs and about finding new employment rather than their motivation to seek employment.

Source: “EXPRESSIVE WRITING AND COPING WITH JOB LOSS” from Academy of Management Journal;Jun94, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p722

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