July 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Finding Your Next Job: A Marathon, Not a Sprint

(Courtesy of JFCS) “The stigma of long-term unemployment can be profound and long-lasting,” according to Ofer Sharone, PhD, professor of sociology at UMass Amherst and founder of the nonprofit Institute for Career Transitions.

Sharone has been studying the effects of unemployment, specifically long-term unemployment (LTU), on job seekers for more than 15 years. LTU, defined as 27-plus weeks of being unemployed, can feel debilitating. Although far easier said than done, unemployed job seekers could benefit from remaining resilient in the face of rejection. In addition to the many operational steps of finding a job (ramping up your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills), it is important to know how to handle being rejected in a way that is not self-blaming. Thinking of oneself as “lesser than” can impact self-confidence and create a negative cycle, preventing others from seeing your value.

COVID-19, of course, has swung the economy around in directions we could not have imagined. Headlines may tout record low unemployment, but there is an invisible crisis of those stuck in unemployment for six months or more.

Among the biases of hiring managers are age discrimination and the mere fact of being unemployed. Let’s consider that the inability to land a gig is not your fault, but rather a result of social forces and these biases. Professor Sharone focuses on “… clarifying the institutional landscape and thus the context of LTU job seekers’ personal experience. To most job seekers, hiring institutions are a black box; opening up this box serves a dual purpose of depersonalizing employer rejections, thus lessening self-blame and internalized stigma, and of pointing to possible strategies. This helps people understand their labor market experiences in a less personalized way, which lessens the emotional fallout of unemployment and helps maintain resilience for continued searching.”

LTU job seekers may truly benefit from support that focuses not only on resumes and interviewing skills, but a a program with a more a wholistic approach and an understanding of the various challenges of LTU.

On Tuesday, January 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey’s Re-Launch program will host a Zoom workshop presented by Sharone with Amy Mazur. Attendees will take part in interactive reflexive exercises and peer-to-peer discussions to help them move toward greater clarity about their life and work plans.

To register for this free Zoom event or to learn more about it, please visit: www.JFCSNNJ.org/relaunch.

If you would like to learn more about JFCS’s Re-Launch Career Services program, please call 201-837-9090 or email
[email protected].

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