Study finds you can increase your chances of rebounding after job loss if you possess this skillset. Fortunately, it’s a set you can learn.
Millions of people have lost their jobs over the past seven months or so and the stress is taking its toll. Sometimes we all feel terrified and overwhelmed. But if you can manage these feelings and maintain forward momentum, you will have an easier time finding a new job and maintaining your psychological wellbeing.
The importance of self-regulation for rebounding after job loss
A recent study published in the Journal of Employment Counseling examined the role of self-regulation after job loss and found that it plays a big one. The trait, according to a brief, “allows people to manage their emotions and behaviours to produce positive results, and to consider adversity as a positive challenge rather than a hindrance.”
The researchers conducted an online survey of 185 people who had recently been laid off and were not yet re-employed. “High levels of self-regulation predicted better well-being, job search clarity, and job search self-efficacy (the belief that one can successfully perform specific job search behaviours and obtain employment).”
Lead author Matthew J. W. McLarnon, PhD, MSc, of Mount Royal University, said, “Results of this study suggest that the components of self-regulation are key to a comprehensive model of resiliency, which plays a crucial role in enhancing well-being and re-employment outcomes during individuals’ search for employment.”
Developing self regulation skills
Sounds great. But how does one go about finding this self-regulation?
According to an article by Arlin Cuncic in Very Well Mind the most basic understanding of self-regulation is “controlling one’s behaviour, emotions, and thoughts in the pursuit of long-term goals. More specifically, emotional self-regulation refers to the ability to manage disruptive emotions and impulses.”
The article also stated that people who are adept at self-regulating usually possess the ability to:
- Act in accordance with their values
- Calm themselves when upset
- Cheer themselves when feeling down
- Maintain open communication
- Persist through difficult times
- Put forth their best effort
- Remain flexible and adapt to situations
- See the good in others
- Remain clear about their intentions
- Take control of situations when necessary
- View challenges as opportunities
It’s a skill – or skillset – ideally learned in childhood but can also be improved upon in adulthood. As an adult, writes Cuncic, the first step to practicing self-regulation “is to recognize that everyone has a choice in how to react to situations. While you may feel like life has dealt you a bad hand, it’s not the hand you are dealt, but how you react to it that matters most.”
Among the steps toward developing the skill are practising mindfulness, which had been demonstrated to improve attention, which in turn helps to regulate negative emotions and executive functioning. Another is Cognitive reappraisal or cognitive reframing, which involves changing your thought patterns, or reinterpreting a situation in order to change your emotional response to it. More on the topic can be found here.