Mental Health Matters
Job seekers' mental-health tends to improve nearly three months into unemployment—after the initial shock of the pink slip, but before the rejection letters start piling up.
According to a new study led by Connie Wanberg, a University of Minnesota professor of organizational and work behavior, the average laid-off worker experiences a gradual improvement in mental health until the 10- to 12-week mark, when the trend reverses.
The study found that those participants who reported better mental health tended to conduct more intense job searches, increasing their likelihood of landing jobs.
Job seekers stand to gain by recognizing this pattern in emotional well-being, says Ms. Wanberg.
The study, published in the April/May issue of the Academy of Management Journal, polled 177 unemployed individuals over the course of 20 weeks through weekly online surveys.
Mental health was measured by responses, on a six-point scale, to a series of questions like, "Have you felt downhearted and blue?" Leslie Kwoh
When Face Time Counts
Face-to-face meetings are crucial to getting business relationships off to a good start.
Although email, phone and teleconferencing dominate most day-to-day business interaction, senior managers say they still prefer meeting in person for initial discussions with partners, colleagues or clients, according to a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a business research division of The Economist Group. (The Economist Group is the parent company of the Economist magazine.)
In the workplace, seven in 10 executives ranked in-person meetings as most valuable during an initial interaction with a new team member--even more important than brainstorming new ideas, project kickoffs, and crisis management. Ongoing progress reports lagged far behind, with just one in 10 respondents saying that face time was necessary.
When working with company outsiders, such as partners, suppliers and clients, executives still cited initial discussions as the top reason to meet in person.
Respondents said that meetings helped prevent misunderstandings and accelerated negotiations, according to the survey, which polled 862 senior executives at midsize to large companies around the world.
When meetings aren't possible due to location, executives said they resort to email roughly 60% of the time, followed by phone, instant messaging and Web conferencing.Leslie Kwoh
Interviewing? Be Yourself
The next time you're headed into a job interview, remember the advice your mother gave you about dating: just be yourself.
Though candidates may feel pressure to be positive, frankness and honesty--even when asked to list weaknesses--don't hurt their chances of getting hired, new research has found.
The research, based on two survey--a study of 146 M.B.A. students and another study of 208 job seekers--that were conducted by organizational psychologists at the London Business School and the University of North Carolina, used "self-verification" surveys to gauge how honest participants were about themselves, and compared the results to other measures such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
Participants were asked to rate their responses to statements such as, "It's important for an employer to see me as I see myself, even if it means bringing people to recognize my limitations."
The paper, based on both studies, was published in the April/May issue of the Academy of Management Journal.
Once hired, people who are candid about their abilities and personalities end up in jobs they're suited for, at companies where they fit in--and excel. Just as important, they don't waste mental energy projecting a self that feels untrue, freeing up that energy for work performance and relationships, according to the paper's authors.
Should candidates be frank about potentially damaging events from the past, such as an arrest or a termination for cause? Yes, if these events remain an important part of a person's identity, said Dan Cable, one of the paper's authors. In that case, candidates should raise the issue during an interview.
This story first appeared on WSJ.com