Outline for “The Psychological Impact of Dejobbing”
• “You are what you do” – most Americans are defined in terms of their jobs, connected to a wider community through their jobs, and provided with structure and purpose by their jobs.
• What you must learn, for today’s job environment – learn to live with work situations that are not framed by job descriptions and clear reporting relationships. We will have to learn to live with multiple roles, where the role mix changes frequently. And we will have to find the income we need in such unstable and unpredictable conditions
• The most difficult aspect of being laid off or otherwise “dejobbed” – The hardest part of being laid off is the mental aspect.” In the long run it will probably be the psychological aspect of dejobbing that people find most difficult. Incomes are modular and portable; they can be replaced. Replacing the psychological rewards that jobs have provided is far more difficult.
• What work gives each of us, cognitively and emotionally – A job gives people parts to play and tells them what they need to do to feel good about their contribution. It gives them a way of knowing when they have done enough, and it tells them when their results are satisfactory. Jobs provide people with a place where they need to show up regularly, a list of things they’ve got to do; a role to play in some larger undertaking; a set of expectations to be measured against. It gives them an everyday sense of purpose, and fulfilling such purpose is a source of self-esteem. For people whose personal lives are not going very well, the job may be the only source of self-esteem.
• Relationship between order and change in the world of work today – The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.” It is important to recognize this reciprocal relationship and to understand that change and stability are not in an either-or relationship to one another…Without order, change has nothing to work on…but without change, order cannot be maintained through time…You can feel this relation between change and order when you ride a bicycle: you need to keep making little turns, or else you won’t travel straight and stay upright for very long…what the dejobbed worker needs to look for is neither a way to recover absolute stability, nor a way to live with utter chaos, but a dynamic kind of order that does not block the flow of change
How to give a sense of structure and meaning to your life if you are ever “dejobbed”: I. Grouping changes:
1. Goals – listing the three most important goals you have now…we’re looking for big, comprehensive goals here, not the many little ones. Then, decide what intermediate objectives (no more than three) each of your goals requires you to meet in the near future. Your to-do list comes from these nine objectives, but nine is too many. Prioritize them. Which three need to be done pronto? Which three could wait until next week? Which three simply have to be done sometime pretty soon? Now, take the ‘prontos.’ What immediate, first step does each of them demand? Write them down. Those are the actions you are going to take this week. \
2. Steps – After any big change in your life, you are going to have to reprioritize again, because any big change changes the value you put on everything in your life…It’s also important to keep others up to date on what your priorities are, since any change is going to affect other people, too. The minute you start considering others, you will find that priority-setting isn’t a game of solitaire.
3. Actions – Keeping your priorities in order is easier if you are not being swamped by sudden and unexpected changes understand better than others the implications of changes that have already taken place.
4. Environmental shifts – , it is important to improve your capacity to see...
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