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« How to Start Thinking About Passion | Main | For Global Workers, 2012 Will Be a Mixed Bag »

January 05, 2012

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The one big difference this time around would be the level of long-term unemployed -- those over 47-weeks. If it isn't at an all-time high, it's pretty close. We haven't had, in our lifetimes, such a difficult time getting re-employed from a layoff. That would temper the happiness effect a bit.

That said, those who remain really are ignored from the science and this is a great look at the impacts. There is very little out there on what those who escaped the layoff can do to reduce the stress, much less thrive in that changed environment.

Right on point Alexandra. I particularly agree with how fired employees were happier compared with how despondent those who weren't were. Through my years as an author I have learned that the uncertainty that the retained workers have felt and the fear of the unknown regarding their status in companies who are downsizing can be overwhelming. Another thing that may have contributed to their despondency is the mounting pressure to do well in order to avoid being fired.

@Scot: Now would be a terrific time to do that research, before things really improve and the mass exodus begins.

@Daniel: Uncertainty is a killer. You've inspired me to write about this issue next!

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