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3 modifiable psychological drivers of re-employment

Jobseekers face very real and difficult barriers in preparing to find, secure and remain in work.

From skill gaps to mental health challenges, Enhanced Services participants will require investment and work from employment services providers to overcome these barriers under the New Employment Services Model (NESM).

Psychology can play a key role. By working with a jobseeker's underlying psychological drivers, employment services providers can assist in raising their ability to surmount the other external barriers they face.

This can make them more likely to find and stay in work. Here are three psychological drivers to know about.


1. Wellbeing

Unemployment has been linked to many difficult challenges and states including stress, anxiety and depression, suicide, financial strain, lower self-esteem and disruption to significant relationships.

The list includes low wellbeing. In turn, low well-being has been linked to lower proactivity, interest, performance, social functioning and a heightened sense of helplessness and inadequacy.

The result? Poor overall wellbeing may help drive poor re-employment rates.

Interventions that improve wellbeing have been tested around the world. One meta-analysis of 51 published psychological interventions found they were successful in enhancing well-being and decreasing depressive symptoms. Other studies have confirmed wellbeing can be increased in participants suffering from disability, chronic pain and mature age, and they can promote engagement, resilience and social connectedness.


2. Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is a now prominent construct in well-being and positive-psychology-related science. It refers to the belief in one’s own capacity to undertake the behaviours required to produce specific goals.

Self-efficacy has been identified by research studies in the US and Finland as a significant factor in improving the likelihood of jobseekers obtaining employment. A study involving 168 participants who were off work due to common mental disorders indicated that building self-efficacy delivered them a faster return to work.


3. Resilience

Resilience remains an often-overlooked element in interventions for jobseekers, despite the fact that it is believed to be fundamental in fighting unemployment and particularly long-term unemployment.

Resilience has been demonstrated to be an influential moderator in job search success, a protective factor against depression and a mediator between length of unemployment, stress, and well-being.

For example, in one sample of 500 individuals who had lost their jobs, 60.4% of resilient individuals were re-employed four years after losing their job, compared with 33.3% of those with emergent depression.