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Factors that help and hinder the experience of unemployment for social assistance recipients Maclellan, Janet 1994

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FACTORS THAT HELP AND HINDER THE EXPERIENCE OF UNEMPLOYMENT FOR SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS by JANET MACLELLAN B. Ed., Acadia University, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1994 © Janet MacLellan, 1994  In  presenting  degree at the  this  thesis  in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  this thesis for  department  or  by  his  or  requirements  British Columbia/ I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying of  the  representatives.  an advanced  Library shall make  it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be her  for  It  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department  of  />^rW^!^^  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  11  ABSTRACT  In t h i s that  e x p l o r a t o r y study,  social  hindering  assistance  in  their  examined. Twenty men  the components  recipients  experience  i n the Job  Search  interviewed.  Results  this  experience  respondents  found  found  helpful  unemployment  and women from ages 26=54 who  participated  overall  of  of a program  of was  most  Support study  showed  positive. helpful  Program that  Factors  included:  and was had were the that  motivation,  knowledge, and focus p r o v i d e d by the c o u n s e l l o r ; focus of the  Action  Plan;  and  the  workshops.  Factors  that  p a r t i c i p a n t s found most h i n d e r i n g i n v o l v e d g e n e r a t i n g job options;  frustration  in  the  c o u n s e l l o r ' s l a c k of support.  job  search;  and  the  T a b l e o f Contents  Abstract  i i  Table o f Contents L i s t of Tables Acknowledgements CHAPTER 1: Statement  i i i  INTRODUCTION  o f the Research Problem  i i i vi v i i 1 6  S i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e Study  6  CHAPTER 2 :  7  REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE  Human Needs  7  Dynamics o f Unemployment  9  Job Loss  9  Job Search  13  S e t t l i n g Down t o Unemployment  15  Social Assistance Recipients  16  Long Term Unemployed  18  Job Search Programs f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e Recipients  23  C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the Job Search Support Program  27  Summary  32  Table o f Contents (cont'd) CHAPTER 3 :  iv  METHODOLOGY  29  Subjects  29  Methodological The  Approach  32  Interview  33  Data A n a l y s i s  36  V a l i d i t y Check  37  R e l i a b i l i t y Check  37  CHAPTER 4 : RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Critical  38  Incidents Analysis  Helpful C r i t i c a l Hindering  Incidents Categories  Critical  I n c i d e n t s Cagegories  Discussion CHAPTER 5 : DISCUSSION AND SUMMARY  38 . . . . 38 . . .  55 67 70  Theoretical Implications  70  L i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e Study  76  Implications f o r Counselling  77  I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r F u r t h e r Research  80  Table o f Contents  (cont'd)  REFERENCES  v 82  APPENDICES Appendix A - Consent L e t t e r and Form  107  Appendix B - Sample Interview  109  vi L i s t of Tables  Table  Page  1  Demographic Information of Respondents  37  2  Employment  38  3  Helping C r i t i c a l  4  Hindering C r i t i c a l  5  Graph of Unemployment Experience  Information of Respondents Incidents Incidents  48 67 84  Vll  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e t o express my g r a t i t u d e t o my a d v i s o r , Dr. Norman Amundson, f o r h i s unwavering p a t i e n c e , sound a d v i c e , guidance, encouragement and support throughout my years i n the program. I would a l s o l i k e t o thank Dr. Marv Westwood and Dr. Robert Chester for their p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the t h e s i s committee. I would a l s o l i k e t o extend my a p p r e c i a t i o n t o Bruce and Carol Davidson for their love, understanding, support, encouragement and e x c e l l e n t meals. These were i n v a l u a b l e i n g r e d i e n t s i n the s u c c e s s f u l completion of this thesis. To Hal K l e i n , I thank f o r the many hours of e d i t i n g my work as w e l l as p e r m i t t i n g me f u l l use o f the Job Search Support Program f o r t h i s study. I would l i k e t o r e c o g n i z e the e f f o r t s of K a r i n Moscato and Mary Lou McRae who throughout the years assumed my d u t i e s t o a l l o w me the time t o make the many t r e k s t o the u n i v e r s i t y . F i n a l l y , I would l i k e t o acknowledge the d i l i g e n c e , p a t i e n c e and hard work of Dale Landers, Tanja A l s f a s s e r , and Rosemary McLauglin. T h e i r a s s i s t a n c e i n i n t e r v i e w i n g , t y p i n g , and e d i t i n g helped tremendously.  1 CHAPTER  1  INTRODUCTION  During  recent years,  technology  the  r e c e s s i o n and  changes i n  have caused i n c r e a s i n g numbers of people  to  not o n l y experience temporary l a p s e s i n work, but t o a l s o f a l l i n t o long term unemployment. t o the need t o understand  the p h y s i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l  e f f e c t s of t h i s experience. with  cardiovascular  ulcers,  and  Job l o s s has been a s s o c i a t e d  problems,  headaches  Research has responded  high  (Feather,  blood  1990;  pressure,  Warr &  Jackson,  1984; K r y s t a l , Moran-Sackett, Thompson, & C a n t o n i , 1983). Kates,  Greiff,  unemployed  &  Hagen  utilized  (1990)  health  working c o u n t e r p a r t s .  observed  services  more  that than  the their  Borgen & Amundson (1987) and Leana  & Feldman (1992) commented on the p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s of unemployment.  They l i n k e d the s e v e r i t y of the e f f e c t s  of job l o s s t o the i n t e n s i t y of the l o s s , the p e r c e p t i o n of c a u s a t i o n and the degree of p e r c e i v e d  reversibility.  Kates e t a l (1990) noted t h a t d e p r e s s i o n and a n x i e t y increased levelled  during off  and  the  first  rose  6 months of  again  after  a  unemployment,  9 month  period.  G e n e r a l l y , at t h i s time, unemployment b e n e f i t s have been depleted  and  assistance.  the Once  individual this  must  apply  transpires,  the  for  social  sense  of  2 hopelessness  and  helplessness  Unemployment  Insurance  becomes more  i s generally  pervasive.  regarded  as  more  s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e , s i n c e i t i s something one has earned and serves as a "temporary stopgap" between jobs. the  a p p l i c a t i o n f o r welfare,  there  shame, permanence, dependency and the experience Amundson,  &  experienced  of s o c i a l  Borgen fewer  a  failure.  sense  extreme  concluded high  that  and  of  In s t u d y i n g  assistance recipients,  (1992)  d e p r e s s i o n than those who  comes  With  Klein,  this  low  group  periods  were newly unemployed and  of with  continued unemployment, the peaks and v a l l e y s became more pervasively  low.  T h i s p r o g r e s s i o n of d e s p a i r and  i n c r e a s e d sense of  i r r e v e r s i b i l i t y of unemployment s t a t u s i s a l s o documented i n r e s e a r c h concerning job search a c t i v i t y .  Although  search  job  activity  behaviour  slowly  initially  fluctuates,  decreases  with  (Borgen & Amundson, 1987). term unemployed Feather, 1993)  1990;  (Buss  The  continued  seeking rejection  l i t e r a t u r e on the  & Redburn,  1988;  Fineman,  Engbersen, Schuyt, Timmer & Van  job  long 1987;  Waarden,  suggests t h a t although o b t a i n i n g work was a d e s i r e d  g o a l f o r the discouraged worker, l o o k i n g f o r employment had  virtually  success, any than  active".  ceased.  As  t h e r e was  job search endeavour was  no  expectation  of  more " r i t u a l i s t i c  To address the i s s u e of the c h r o n i c a l l y unemployed, many t h e o r i e s have been p o s t u l a t e d (Buss & Redburn, 1988; Engbersen programs  i t a l , 1993; Feather, have  been  initiated  (Azrin  Goodwin, 1983; Sandler, 1988). of  1990; H i l l , &  1977) and  Philip,  In examining the e f f e c t s  job placement and job search programs, most  r e f e r t o q u a n t i t a t i v e r a t h e r than q u a l i t a t i v e (Feather, 1990; Engbersen e t a l , 1988;  Goodwin,  1983).  1981;  studies measures  1993; Buss & Redburn,  Relatively  little  research i s  a v a i l a b l e on understanding, from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t , the impact o f these programs on  their  experience  of  unemployment  (Feather,  1990;  B e l l a , 1986). Amundson & Borgen (1988) noted t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a  job s e a r c h  group a s s i s t e d  i n moving  people  from a  downward emotional s l i d e t o a more p o s i t i v e e x p e r i e n c e . Klein,  Amundson,  &  Borgen  (1992)  involvement i n a group employment  discovered  that  program was viewed as  a p o s i t i v e f a c t o r i n the experience of unemployment f o r social assistance recipients. and meet  Westwood the  Borgen, P o l l a r d , Amundson,  (1989) r e c o g n i z e d  needs  of  people), structure  community  that  employment  (involvement  with  groups other  ( d a i l y attendance a t s e t times) and  meaning (involvement i n a c t i v i t i e s t h a t can change t h e i r circumstances).  In a d d i t i o n , the p a r t i c i p a n t s are g i v e n  4  a sense of hope, c o n t r o l and s e l f esteem by  recognizing  t h a t they can become employed. A  case  can  also  be  made  f o r the  e f f i c i e n c y of  i n d i v i d u a l employment c o u n s e l l i n g with s o c i a l recipients.  The  long  term  unemployed  assistance  are  not  a  homogeneous group (Engbersen e t a l , 1993; Buss & Redburn, 1988).  As such, i n d i v i d u a l c o u n s e l l i n g  the f l e x i b i l i t y individual  not found i n a group  needs,  barriers,  unemployment (Fineman, 1983). employment clients  agency  by  and  often provides  format t o address  the  experience  of  Data c o l l e c t e d from a Utah  Philbrick  (1975)  indicated  that  r e c e i v i n g i n d i v i d u a l c o u n s e l l i n g were twice as  l i k e l y to obtain counselling.  employment than those who  received  no  He p o s t u l a t e d t h a t c o u n s e l l i n g p r o v i d e s an  on-going s u p p o r t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , g i v e s i d e n t i t y t o the a p p l i c a n t , humanizes the job seeking e x p e r i e n c e , a s s i s t s in  meeting  individual  needs,  and  encourages  active  involvement. In t h i s study, a combination of i n d i v i d u a l and group employment  counselling  assistance  recipients.  i s used  i n working  The Job Search Support  p r o v i d e s p a r t i c i p a n t s w i t h comprehensive search  support  accountable activities.  for  and  a  their  Initially,  with  structure job the  in  search clients  social Program  i n d i v i d u a l job which  they  are  strategies  and  participate  in a  5  series  of  workshops t h a t  focus  on  various  job  search  t o p i c s such as labour market t r e n d s , c r e a t i v e job search techniques, setting.  resume w r i t i n g ,  interview s k i l l s  Subsequent t o these  and  goal  workshops, c l i e n t s  meet  with t h e i r c o u n s e l l o r twice a week while conducting t h e i r job  search. In t h i s  the  Job  e x p l o r a t o r y r e s e a r c h study,  Search  Support  Program  unemployment  for social  examined.  Interviewing  facilitate perceive  an as  employment.  In  or  the  impact  of  experience  of  assistance recipients program  understanding helping  on  the  of  the  hindering  a d d i t i o n , the  will  be  participants  will  factors  that  they  search  for  their  perceived  s t r u c t u r e d c o u n s e l l i n g process w i l l be  impact  determined.  of  a  6  STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM The  primary q u e s t i o n  t h i s research  hopes t o answer  i s : What components o f an employment c o u n s e l l i n g program a s s i s t o r impede s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s ' a b i l i t y t o cope w i t h unemployment?  SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY Although  some r e s e a r c h  has been conducted  on the  experience of Unemployment Insurance r e c i p i e n t s (Amundson & Borgen, 1988) and immigrants (Amundson, Firbank, K l e i n , &  Poenell,  1990),  very  few  studies  document  the  experience o f s o c i a l a s s i s t a n t r e c i p i e n t s ( K l e i n e t a l , 1990). on  Too o f t e n , p o l i c y makers view programs s t r i c t l y  the basis  initiative,  of middle  improving  class  skills,  values  such  and a p p l y i n g  as  taking  f o r jobs.  Behaviours e x h i b i t e d by the long term unemployed such as not  attending  expectations be  having  unrealistic  job  and r e f u s i n g job t r a i n i n g can then seem t o  irrational  program  programs,  (Engbersen  e t a l , 1993).  from the p e r s p e c t i v e  Examining  o f the s o c i a l  a  assistance  r e c i p i e n t would a s s i s t c o u n s e l l o r s and program developers in  providing  perceived  effective  interventions  needs o f t h i s unemployed group.  f o r the  self  In a d d i t i o n ,  t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n would provide c o u n s e l l o r s w i t h a deeper understanding  of  the p e r c e p t i o n s  and  needs  o f the  7 c h r o n i c a l l y unemployed as w e l l as s t r a t e g i e s t h a t would a s s i s t them i n g a i n i n g  employment.  CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW  HUMAN NEEDS  In understanding t h e dynamics o f unemployment,  i t is  important t o examine b a s i c f a c t o r s such as human needs that influence t h i s experience.  T o f f l e r (1980) suggested  t h a t t h r e e broad c a t e g o r i e s o f needs i n c l u d i n g t h e need for  s t r u c t u r e , t h e need f o r community  meaning  a r e necessary  hierarchy  describes  physiological,  for a fulfilled our  safety,  and t h e need f o r  basic  love  human  life. needs  and belonging,  s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n (Maslow, 1968).  Maslow's  higher  be  esteem and  According  lower order needs must be met before  to  t o Maslow, l e v e l needs  can be f u l f i l l e d . The  world  of  work  provides  f u l f i l m e n t o f our b a s i c needs.  an  arena  f o r the  Income from employment  serves t o s a t i s f y t h e p h y s i c a l and s a f e t y needs o f food, shelter,  material  s e c u r i t y and s t a b i l i t y .  g i v e s a sense o f belonging  Employment  g l o b a l l y , o c c u p a t i o n a l l y and  s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r company.  S t a t u s , a sense  8 of worth and the o p p o r t u n i t y t o achieve mastery of are i n c o r p o r a t e d  i n t o the world of work t o g i v e meaning  and  purpose.  and  f u r n i s h e s a r o u t i n e f o r our d a i l y Hayes  continue  Employment i n h e r e n t l y s t r u c t u r e s the week  & to  skills  Nutman work  (1981)  despite  noted  lives.  that  economic  people  would  independence.  He  d e s c r i b e d the f u n c t i o n s of work t o be a source of income, a sense of time s t r u c t u r e , a source of g r a t i f i c a t i o n , a sense of purpose and a source of i d e n t i t y . Jahoda (1982) described  these  functions  as  latent  benefits  of  employment. The  onset of unemployment r e s u l t s i n a needs s h i f t  (Amundson needs. replaced and  &  Borgen,  The  1987)  from h i g h e r  d e s i r e f o r p r e s t i g e and  to  lower  r e c o g n i t i o n may  by the b a s i c s u r v i v a l needs of food,  financial  security.  The  level  degree  of  be  shelter,  decline  in  Maslow's h i e r a r c h y (1968) can i n f l u e n c e the impact of the unemployment e x p e r i e n c e . When p h y s i c a l and  psychological  needs are  not  met  through employment, job l o s s can be a d e s i r a b l e outcome. P a r t - t i m e or c o n t r a c t work may  not f u l f i l the lower need  of f i n a n c i a l  the workers t o remain at  that l e v e l  s e c u r i t y causing  (Earnshaw, Amundson, & Borgen, 1990).  In a  study of unemployed c o l l e g e graduates, Borgen, Amundson, & Harder (1988) found t h a t although i n i t i a l l y e l a t e d i n  9 s e c u r i n g employment, these workers experienced a downward swing  similar  to  embarrassment,  the  unemployed.  difficulty  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with co-workers,  Feelings  with  of  interpersonal  isolation,  and j o b d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n were r e p o r t e d .  hopelessness,  F o r some people  who a r e underemployed, working p a r t - t i m e o r i n v o l v e d i n jobs they f i n d s t i f l i n g , employment c e s s a t i o n i s f o l l o w e d by r e l i e f 1990;  and e x h i l a r a t i o n r a t h e r than d e s p a i r (Kates,  Fineman, 1983).  DYNAMICS OF UNEMPLOYMENT  A. J o b Loss  Unemployment i s t h e l o s s o f a l i f e event - work and all  i t entails.  initial Denial  grieving  process  People plans  1984). (Krystal  delay  prior  & Borgen  (1982) d e s c r i b e an  of denial,  i s often the f i r s t  loss. action  Amundson  reaction  initiating  t o an eminent  shock  and anger.  t o involuntary job  coping  strategies or  lay o f f (Bratfisch,  Others a v o i d a p p l y i n g f o r unemployment b e n e f i t s e t a l , 1983),  may take  v a c a t i o n s , o r go on  spending sprees immediately f o l l o w i n g the t e r m i n a t i o n o f employment (Hayes & Nutman, 1981; H i l l ,  1977).  10 An i n d i v i d u a l ' s reasons f o r job l o s s , attachment t o the  job, p e r s o n a l  expectations initial  finances, s o c i a l  have  trauma  a  direct  and  the  support  bearing  on  the  implementation  s t r a t e g i e s f o r the unemployed worker. t h a t men  who  and  future  degree of  of  coping  Finlay-Jones &  Eckhardt  (1984) found  were d i s m i s s e d  and  women who  r e s i g n e d from t h e i r jobs were a t h i g h e r r i s k of  having a p s y c h i a t r i c d e p r e s s i v e d i s o r d e r than were those who  were  laid  others.  The  resignation personal  off  or  dismissed  authors  postulated  involved personal  responsibility  concurred  with  simultaneously  loss  f o r the  these  findings  that  in  dismissal  and  loss.  with  i n c u r r e d more Feather  his  (1990)  study  where  s i g n i f i c a n t l y h i g h e r d e p r e s s i o n s c o r e s were o b t a i n e d participants  who  reported  t h e i r unemployment. who  attribute  personal  or  responsibility  by for  Feather (1990) proposes t h a t people  their  job  loss  to  internal  factors  experience g r e a t e r d e p r e s s i o n and l o s s of s e l f - e s t e e m . "Legitimately perceive  unemployed"  themselves and  transition  from  work  are  Although  the  to  unemployment  challenged,  circumstances  sense these  people  think others b e l i e v e that  f a c t o r s beyond t h e i r c o n t r o l and blame f o r t h e i r  those  of  self  workers  may  was  caused  who the by  t h a t they were not t o  (Hayes & Nutman, identity  would  experience  1981). not  anger  be and  11 frustration. people who  Amundson  &  Borgen  (1987)  suggest  that  view the cause of t h e i r unemployment s t a t u s as  being beyond t h e i r c o n t r o l may  r e a c t i n a manner s i m i l a r  t o t h a t of v i c t i m s of a s s a u l t .  The p e r c e p t i o n t h a t they  lack personal  power and  t h a t t h e i r a c t i o n s have  i n f l u e n c e over subsequent outcomes may  little  r e s u l t i n "learned  helplessness". The  extent  t o which the person i d e n t i f i e s w i t h  job can determine the degree of trauma.  the  Symbols such as  uniforms, keys, i d e n t i t y cards and behaviours i n v o l v e d i n work are  internalized  and  identity  (Krystal  a l , 1983).  et  can  form p a r t As  of  the  a  person's  duration  of  employment with one company i n c r e a s e s , t h e r e i s a g r e a t e r p r o b a b i l i t y of s e l f worth and i d e n t i t y being with work.  In t h e i r P i t t s b u r g h  (1992)  found  related  t o s t r e s s of  their  that  work r e p o r t e d  distress  study, Leana & Feldman  involvement  job l o s s .  was  individual  and  more p h y s i o l o g i c a l and  causes  his  significantly  Those more i n v o l v e d  as w e l l as a g r e a t e r depressed  Unemployment  1977;  job  intertwined  or  a  her  Kates et a l , 1990).  financial family  behavioral  affect. strain  (Bella,  on  1986;  Hill,  effects  of unemployment f o r those more f i n a n c i a l l y secure. of  paying  bills,  the  Hayes & Nutman (1981) noted  t h a t the l a c k of economic pressure a l l e v i a t e d the  stress  in  changing  lifestyle  The  patterns,  inability funds  to  provide  available  for  for  consequences of  family  social  members and  activity  unemployment.  decreased  exacerbates  Leana  & Feldman  the  (1992)  found t h a t r e p o r t e d f i n a n c i a l problems corresponded with increased  physiological,  distress.  Bostyne  lower income can  and  psychological Wight  and  behavioral  (1987) suggested  that  undermine p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y as  a  status  cannot be confirmed through symbolic consumption. S o c i a l support i n the community and f r i e n d s can  influence  and  degree of stigma i n v o l v e d  in  unemployment as w e l l as the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f esteem  and  coping s t r a t e g i e s . can  the  with family  On  the p o s i t i v e s i d e , the  a s s i s t i n a t t r i b u t i n g the  plant  closure,  emotional  and  economy).  cause as  Family and  f i n a n c i a l support  d e v e l o p i n g coping s t r a t e g i e s Leana & Feldman, 1992).  On  as  community  external  (i.e.  f r i e n d s can  offer  well  as  assist  (Amundson & Borgen, the  negative side,  in  1987;  marital  problems, c h i l d abuse, and c h i l d behaviour problems have been l i n k e d w i t h the a l , 1983;  s t r e s s of unemployment ( K r y s t a l  K i r s h , 1992).  For some, f a m i l y and  friends  et do  not a l l o w f o r a p p r o p r i a t e g r i e v i n g time and  p r e s s u r e the  unemployed i n d i v i d u a l b e f o r e he or she  accepted  loss.  When suggestions and  they may, laziness  an  the  job leads are not acted upon,  in frustration, attribute and  has  unwillingness  to  the move  i n a c t i v i t y to on.  If  the  13 unemployed person  does not wish  t o burden o t h e r s  with  h i s / h e r problems and d i s c u s s the g r i e f , i t can accentuate such misconceptions The  degree  to  ( K r y s t a l e t a l , 1983). which  the  unemployed  worker  feels  c o n f i d e n t i n the r e v e r s i b i l i t y of h i s / h e r s i t u a t i o n an  initial  impact  on  the  intensity  of  the  job  has  loss.  F r y l e r & McKenna (1987) d i s c o v e r e d t h a t the t e m p o r a r i l y laid  o f f group developed  b e t t e r coping  strategies  looked forward t o r e t u r n i n g t o work l e s s than d i d permanently d i s p l a c e d group.  People  who  and the  believe that  they can be re-employed e a s i l y are b e t t e r a b l e t o cope with  the  job  loss  than  are  those  who  believe  p o s s i b i l i t i e s are l i m i t e d or n o n e x i s t e n t (Feather, Hayes & Nutman, 1981;  B. Job  1990;  Leana & Feldman, 1992).  Search  Once the unemployed worker accepts the l o s s , i s a f l u r r y of job search a c t i v i t y and optimism & Borgen, 1984). work and  an  93  found  counselling experience.  There i s s t i l l  unemployed the  that Job  people,  components  helped  or  of  hindered  rejection,  there  (Amundson  a s t r o n g attachment t o  e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t work w i l l  interviewing (1988)  the  be  found.  Amundson group the  financial  &  In  Borgen  employment unemployment  difficulties,  14 unproductive  activity,  pressure  from  friends,  and  i n e f f e c t i v e job search a c t i v i t i e s were c i t e d as h i n d e r i n g factors.  Helpful factors  i n coping  with  unemployment  i n c l u d e d support of f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , job s e a r c h groups or c o u n s e l l i n g , p o s i t i v e t h i n k i n g , and p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t y . The  interchange of p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e f a c t o r s of job  search  resulted  i n mood swings t h a t Amundson & Borgen  (1987) compared t o an "emotional A  social  support  network  r o l l e r coaster". can  aid  in  developing  coping s k i l l s and a c t as a b u f f e r t o reduce the of s t r e s s . a  larger  Research has shown t h a t people who social  network have l e s s  d u r i n g t h e i r unemployment  (Gore,  maintain  depressive  1978).  The  effects  symptoms degree t o  which the i n d i v i d u a l w i l l u t i l i z e t h i s support depends on the  perception  of  others'  attitudes,  of  their  a v a i l a b i l i t y or a c c e s s i b i l i t y and the degree of shame or embarrassment a t being unemployed With  lower  f i n a n c e s , l o s s of s e l f  (Kates e t a l , 1990). esteem, f e e l i n g s  of  shame and apathy, s o c i a l c o n t a c t l e s s e n s as unemployment time  increases  (Engbersen  et  a l , 1993;  Klein  et a l ,  1992) . As standard  unemployment of  living  continues, begins.  adjustment There  is  an  to  a  lower  increasing  problem of f i l l i n g time and a c h i e v i n g a balance between job search  and  leisure  time  as n e i t h e r are  satisfying  15 under the c o n d i t i o n s of unemployment.  L e i s u r e takes  on  a k i n d of i n e r t i a t h a t i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y d e b i l i t a t i n g . The  majority  of  time  i s spent  s t a y i n g i n bed  longer,  watching more t e l e v i s i o n , or j u s t " l a z i n g about" 1977;  Leana & Feldman; 1992;  1992).  Feather, 1990;  (Hill,  K l e i n et a l ,  T h i s i n a c t i v i t y leads t o f e e l i n g s of d e p r e s s i o n ,  boredom and  laziness.  C. S e t t l i n g Down To Unemployment  As the r e j e c t i o n s b u i l d and the job s e a r c h  continues  u n s u c c e s s f u l l y , f e e l i n g s of d e p r e s s i o n , a n x i e t y and self  esteem  accelerate,  become job  predominant.  search  activity  As  these  low  feelings  decreases.  Hayes  &  Nutman (1981) a t t r i b u t e s t h i s downward s p i r a l t o changes in  beliefs  or e x p e c t a t i o n s  obtainable. challenged  The and  concept  resisted  t h a t work i s a v a i l a b l e and of  self  as  initially.  a  worker  With  is  repeated  setbacks being hard t o i g n o r e , the e x p e c t a t i o n of f u t u r e employment becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y n e g a t i v e and d i f f i c u l t  to  overlook.  by  Amundson  The (1988)  "unemployed Learned  self from  concept an  changes,  "unemployed  as  stated  worker"  to  an  person". helplessness  theory  suggests  that  when  people p e r c e i v e t h a t they l a c k p e r s o n a l power t o generate  change r e g a r d l e s s of any a pervasive (Leana  &  sense of Feldman,  a c t i o n on t h e i r p a r t , t h e r e i s  l o s s of 1992;  c o n t r o l over t h e i r  Amundson  &  lives  Borgen,  1982).  Repeated r e j e c t i o n s and/or few job leads have c o n d i t i o n e d unemployed  i n d i v i d u a l s t o become depressed,  apathetic,  and unmotivated t o f i n d work as t h e i r l a c k of success has taught them t h a t t h e i r e f f o r t s are of l i t t l e consequence in  improving  their  powerlessness their  and  situation  intensity  that  situation.  the  sense  increase,  As  the  of  external  they  believe  unemployment  is  feelings control  of  over  with  greater  irreversible.  Being  dependent on the system t o s a t i s f y b a s i c p h y s i c a l needs may  exacerbate  unemployed  this  time  sense  of  increases,  l i k e l y t o adopt the h e l p l e s s  powerlessness.  the  individuals  As are  the more  stance.  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS  While  receiving  individuals feel and they  their  self  have  contributions  unemployment  insurance,  most  j u s t i f i e d i n c o l l e c t i n g these b e n e f i t s concept i s i n t a c t .  earned at  these  work.  benefits  that  through  their  to  social  a s s i s t a n c e , however, can c r e a t e a p s y c h o l o g i c a l  turning  p o i n t (Kates, 1990).  The  They b e l i e v e  transition  H i l l (1977) found t h a t the  majority  17 of respondents f e l t h u m i l i a t e d , h o r r i f i e d and d i s t r e s s e d at b e i n g lumped i n w i t h those f o r whom " w e l f a r e " i s a way of l i f e .  The shame of d e a l i n g w i t h a s o c i a l  assistance  agency can r e i n f o r c e a sense of inadequacy or f a i l u r e . Research  has  identified  several  groups  whose  experience of unemployment d i f f e r s t o the degree of being designated  as  Amundson,  &  sub  groups.  Harder,  1988;  (Borgen, Amundson & B i e l a , o l d e r workers unemployed  Fineman,  (Hayes  1988)  separate  them  All  these  & Nutman, 1981;  have unique  1983),  disabled  and the long term  Hill,  needs and  1977);  groups  can  be  Buss  &  experiences that  from the g e n e r a l unemployed sub  (Borgen,  1987), youth (Feather, 1990),  (Leana & Feldman, 1992)  Redburn,  of  Underemployment  population.  found  on  social  assistance. Underemployment c r e a t e d f e e l i n g s of embarrassment, difficulty  with  interpersonal  relationships  with  co-  workers, i s o l a t i o n , hopelessness, and job d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n (Borgen e t a l , 1988). no  possibility  feelings  of  Temporary o r e n t r y l e v e l jobs w i t h  f o r advancement  failure  and  fails  to  their  expectations to  permanency  discouragement.  achieve economic  lowered (Fineman, 1983).  or  independence  acquire  financial  As  a  through  create person work,  autonomy  is  Furnham (1983) d i s c o v e r e d t h a t  18 people who  work p a r t - t i m e experience s t r e s s s i m i l a r t o  those who  are unemployed.  Youth experience unemployment d i f f e r e n t l y than o l d e r workers. there  There seems t o be no p e r v a s i v e sense of l o s s as  is  often  little  attachment  to  the  workforce.  S t u d i e s (Feather, 1990; B e l l a , 1986; Tiggeman, 1984;  and  Gurney,  and  1981)  unemployed improved  show  school  in their  that  when  leavers, self  comparing  those  esteem  who  and  work a f t e r l e a v i n g s c h o o l demonstrated these a r e a s .  and  represents.  independence  s t r o n g e r attachment financial Outdated  and  l i t t l e maturation finding  securing  to  employment  the o l d e r worker has  a  t o the world of work and f e e l s more  social  skills,  a more  d e l a y i n the passage  that  U n l i k e the youth,  working  had not found  For those s c h o o l l e a v e r s not  work, t h e r e i s a developmental adulthood  were  established  i n t e r n a l l o c u s of c o n t r o l w h i l e those who  in  employed  pressure  family  (Warr & Jackson,  concerns  1984).  and  age  affect  within  the  ranks  their  research  their  experience of unemployment.  LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED  Many subgroups long  term  are  found  unemployed.  In  of in  the the  Netherlands, Engbersen e t a l (1993) developed f o u r groups  or " c u l t u r e s " o f unemployment t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h e v a r y i n g tenets  w i t h i n t h e l o n g term  groups  were  the  unemployed.  conformists  and  The l a r g e s t  fatalists.  The  i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and autonomous groups, although s m a l l e r in  number,  a r e those most l i k e l y  t o abuse t h e w e l f a r e  system through i l l e g a l means o r m a n i p u l a t i o n and r e s i s t employment The  initiatives.  conformist held a t r a d i t i o n a l  work e t h i c .  In  the b e l i e f t h a t i t was t h e i r duty t o work, they made a greater flexible hours,  effort  i n l o o k i n g f o r work.  They were  more  i n demands o f t h e job (wages, t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , duties).  Social  pressure  caused  them  t o be  ashamed o f being unemployed and they e x h i b i t e d a s t r o n g sense o f aimlessness and a l i e n a t i o n .  They d i d n ' t abuse  the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e system. Although  the  fatalistic  group  maintained  a  t r a d i t i o n a l work e t h i c , they were r e s i g n e d t o t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e was no hope o f a p r o s p e c t i v e job and had g i v e n up l o o k i n g . percentage  Of a l l t h e groups,  unwilling  l e a r n new s k i l l s .  to enrol  they  had t h e l a r g e s t  i n training  They made h i g h demands  courses o r on t h e jobs  t h a t they would accept o r courses t h a t they would a t t e n d . I n i t i a l l y r e s i s t a n t t o a c c e p t i n g w e l f a r e , they e v e n t u a l l y considered  i t natural  and e x h i b i t e d  less  shame and  20  embarrassment.  As t h e i r environment became narrower and  more i s o l a t e d , they had l e s s p r e s s u r e t o look f o r work. The  individualistic  group operated  i n a transient  and open s o c i a l network i n which they moved f r e e l y .  This  group c o n s i s t e d mainly o f young people who possessed the ultimate  goal  of obtaining  employment  consumption l e v e l but made l i t t l e  and a  attempt  higher  to find  and had found a l t e r n a t i v e s f o r formal employment.  work  Having  a u t i l i t a r i a n work e t h i c , they viewed work as a way t o g a i n access t o a h i g h e r consumption l e v e l and l i f e s t y l e where they c o u l d pursue p e r s o n a l development as f r e e l y as possible. of  T h e i r requirements  job were  high.  o f wage, content and type  Experiencing  very  little  social  p r e s s u r e , they a p p r e c i a t e d the freedom and l e i s u r e  time  t h a t w e l f a r e gave them.  with  viewing  themselves  Having  little  difficulty  as w e l f a r e dependent, they  had few  problems w i t h m a n i p u l a t i n g t h e w e l f a r e r u l e s . The autonomous were s u b d i v i d e d i n t o two sub-groups. One developed an a l t e r n a t i v e work e t h i c t h a t r e j e c t e d t h e i d e a o f employment as t h e u l t i m a t e g o a l .  The other group  accepted  and  their  alternatives  unemployment  (volunteer  groups made l i t t l e  work,  status  hobbies).  i f any e f f o r t  developed Thus,  both  t o f i n d work, showed  little  shame o r embarrassment a t being unemployed and  viewed  welfare  dependency  as a p r e r e q u i s i t e  to their  21 independent  lifestyle.  They would o n l y accept work t h a t  i n t e r e s t e d them and were not w i l l i n g t o s a c r i f i c e freedom. adjusted  Many f e l t their  w e l f a r e was enough t o l i v e  needs  t o meet t h e i r  limited  their on and  financial  status. Buss & Redburn  (1988),  u s i n g the term  discouraged  worker t o denote long term unemployment, recorded s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o those o f the c o n f o r m i s t and f a t a l i s t groups.  In  discouraged  their  research,  workers s c o r e s  they  found  i n distress  that  the  and a sense of  w e l l being f e l l between the employed and t h e unemployed. The  authors  attributed  these  results  to  a  weaker  attachment t o work due t o the d u r a t i o n o f unemployment. Although they  most d i s c o u r a g e d  wanted t o work, h a l f  conducted  workers  surveyed  stipulated  o f t h e respondents  a j o b search f o r a t l e a s t a year.  had not When f r e e  t r a i n i n g was a v a i l a b l e , none o f the d i s c o u r a g e d workers enrolled. Buss & Redburn (1988) found s m a l l e r sub-groups who maintained s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t d i f f e r from the broad  category  o f discouraged  worker.  The  "detached"  showed a weak attachment t o the labour f o r c e and r e p o r t e d that  they  may  look  f o r work  i n the next  year.  The  " p e r s o n a l l y handicapped" f a c e d c l e a r l y d e f i n a b l e b a r r i e r s to  employment  such  as h e a l t h ,  age, e d u c a t i o n .  The  22  "disconnected" force.  were  attached  to  the  labour  The v a s t d i s t a n c e from employment i n time  motivation  would  make reinvolvement  "never a t t a c h e d " , work,  remotely  were  although  impeded  by  difficult.  more motivated their  total  and The  t o look f o r  lack  of  work  experience. Although appears  the  lack  irrational  of  to  job seeking  middle  class  effort  often  society,  when  p e r c e i v e d from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the d i s c o u r a g e d worker i t can be seen as a r a t i o n a l coping s t r a t e g y . R e s i g n a t i o n and  apathy  are  adapting  Engbersen e t a l , 1993). the  social  (Feather,  R e c i p r o c a l determinism  c o s t of s t r i v i n g  (Feather, 1990). experience  mechanisms  involves  f o r an unobtainable  goal  The repeated r e j e c t i o n s and h u m i l i a t i n g  of l o o k i n g f o r work a t t a c k s t h e s e l f  and r e i n f o r c e s t h e sense of hopelessness. minimize  1990;  the s o c i a l  injury,  and a v o i d  esteem  To save f a c e , admitting  that  t h e r e are no p r o s p e c t s o f ever f i n d i n g work, people  will  p l a c e h i g h requirements on any job t h a t they may c o n s i d e r and  reduce  or eliminate  job s e a r c h  activity.  This  r e d u c t i o n can serve t o p r e s e r v e the i n d i v i d u a l ' s f e e l i n g s of s e l f worth and improve t h e i r o v e r a l l The  structuring  throughout  of time  t h e unemployment  outlook.  i s an ongoing experience.  difficulty  F o r t h e long  term unemployed, the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of time changes from  23 daily  routines  and  the  distinction  of  weekdays  from  weekends t o a n t i c i p a t i o n of "cheque day", a l l o c a t i o n of television  time,  and  seasonal  outdoor/indoor  time.  Boredom and "being i n a r u t " are most o f t e n c i t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s ( K l e i n e t a l , 1992; Engbersen e t a l , 1993). affect their social  Decreased f i n a n c e s g r e a t l y  p o s i t i o n and r e s t r i c t  leisure  time  activities. "Future  time"  is  also  affected  unemployment (Engbersen e t a l , 1993).  by  long  term  I f the f u t u r e i s  p e r c e i v e d as u n c e r t a i n and i n s e c u r e , the i n d i v i d u a l g o a l s become e x c l u s i v e l y s h o r t term.  As they f e e l  powerless  and f o r e s e e no p r o s p e c t s of t h e i r circumstances changing, living  a  day  to  day  existence  becomes  an  adaptive  strategy.  Long term g o a l s and f u t u r e p l a n n i n g such as  retraining  are  luxuries  that  are untenable  s t r u c t u r e t h a t promotes immediate  JOB SEARCH PROGRAMS FOR  Most  social  Nutman,  1981;  motivation,  Laufer,  time  gratification.  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS  assistance  (Engbersen e t a l , 1993;  in a  Leana 1981;  recipients  want  to  & Feldman, 1992; Goodwin,  hopelessness, i s o l a t i o n ,  low  1983). self  work  Hayes & Low esteem,  24 powerlessness,  l a c k of job search s k i l l s and d e p r e s s i o n  impede any e f f o r t s t h a t they may attempt i n l o o k i n g f o r work.  Research ( A z r i n e t a l , 1981; Sandler, 1988) has  shown t h a t g i v e n the proper t r a i n i n g and support, even the long term unemployed can become p r o d u c t i v e members of society.  Merriam (1987) and Amundson & Borgen  (1988)  found t h a t group employment programs helped t o a l l e v i a t e many o f the above b a r r i e r s . The h i g h e r educated and more p r o f e s s i o n a l workers u t i l i z e d more r e s o u r c e s and methods i n t h e i r job search a c t i v i t i e s (Kjos, 1988; Hasan & Gera, 1982). Most s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s do not f i t i n t h i s c a t e g o r y . s u r v e y i n g the needs of the unemployed, Parson,  In  Griffore,  & LaMore (1983) and Yates (1987) c i t e d job s e a r c h s k i l l s and f i n a n c i a l i n f o r m a t i o n as being the h i g h e s t p r i o r i t y . Amundson & Borgen (1987) found t h a t a f a c t o r t h a t helped the  unemployed  employment effects  cope  with  programs. of  their  experience  Jacobson  integrating  job  occupational t r a i n i n g classes.  (1984) search  was  analyzed skills  group the into  The r e s u l t s showed t h a t  the program not o n l y p r o v i d e d the knowledge of how t o obtain  employment  but  also  independence t o u t i l i z e these Goodwin  the  confidence  and  skills.  (1983) i n t e r v i e w e d s u p e r v i s o r s of two job  placement programs f o r s o c i a l  assistance recipients i n  25 Chicago  and New  these people  York.  These s u p e r v i s o r s i n d i c a t e d t h a t  were as p r o d u c t i v e and  e f f i c i e n t as  other  workers and were average t o above average i n w i l l i n g n e s s to  learn  and  i n co-operating with  co-workers.  Ninety  percent of the p a r t i c i p a n t s surveyed r e p o r t e d i n c r e a s e d confidence However,  about o b t a i n i n g and Goodwin  subsidized  to  successful.  states  that  unsubsidized  A 25%  success  h o l d i n g permanent jobs. the  transition  employment r a t e was  was  from  not  attributed  very  to  the  l a c k of job o p p o r t u n i t i e s . A z r i n e t a l (1981) argues t h a t the job openings are available.  He  contends  that  the  problem  lies  i n s u f f i c i e n t job search s k i l l s and behaviours. al  (1980) conducted  Incentive  A z r i n et  a comparison study between WIN  Program)  and  Job  Clubs.  The  WIN  with  (Work  program  p r o v i d e d c o u n s e l l i n g and job placement w h i l e the Job Club emphasized job seeking s k i l l development and independent job  search t e c h n i q u e s .  month p e r i o d .  Follow up procedures spanned a 12  Job Club p a r t i c i p a n t s not o n l y found  jobs  more q u i c k l y and  a t a h i g h e r s a l a r y but r e p o r t e d g r e a t e r  job  and  satisfaction  those  clients  i n the  had WIN  a higher program.  r a t e " a f t e r the 12 month p e r i o d was and 41% f o r the WIN  program.  retention rate The  than  "unemployment  13% f o r the Job  Club  26 In response  to allegations  of a poor  economy  and  d e f i c i e n c i e s of the job seeker as the main b a r r i e r s t o employment f o r s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s , A z r i n e t a l (1981) c i t e d  a p r e v i o u s study  involving  job c l u b s f o r  disadvantaged c l i e n t s w i t h b a r r i e r s of substance criminal  r e c o r d , former  mental  patients.  abuse,  Ninety-five  percent were s u c c e s s f u l i n s e c u r i n g t h e i r own employment. In the r e s e a r c h mentioned p r e v i o u s l y which spanned f o u r cities  throughout  the  United  S t a t e s , the  Job  Club  in  Harlem w i t h a 15% unemployment r a t e r e p o r t e d t h a t 95% of p a r t i c i p a n t s secured t h e i r own Trimmer  unsubsidized jobs.  (1984) r e p o r t e d the  employment programs.  results  of  two  group  The Job F a c t o r y i n Massachusetts  had an 85% employment r a t e w i t h p a r t i c i p a n t i n i t i a t e d job search.  There was  w i t h job placement  a h i g h e r r e t e n t i o n r a t e than o c c u r r e d programs.  A group employment program  implemented i n Nevada f o r s o c i a l  assistance recipients  showed a 25 t o 50% h i g h e r employment r a t e over offices.  As  an  employment  placement  c o u n s e l l o r working  with  d i s l o c a t e d workers i n a f e d e r a l l y funded group employment program, Sandler (1988) r e p o r t e d an approximate rate  of  80%  employment  in self  initiated  success  job  search  activity.  the  In working  with s o c i a l  assistance recipients  past  years, t h i s  author  seven  concurs  with  over these  27 findings.  Being  cognizant  of  the  dynamics  of  this  s p e c i f i c group, the group employment program p r o v i d e s the needs of the community, s t r u c t u r e and purpose previously. regain  control  informed given  In  of  their  realistic  support  become  addition,  search.  c h o i c e s on t h e i r  and  with  a  their  sense  motivation  of  are  encouraged  s t a t u s by  making  job g o a l s and job  search.  hope,  to  are They  confidence, their  job  of the background or b a r r i e r s  the  have, t h i s author has found t h a t c l i e n t s  can  Regardless  c l i e n t may  employment  i n sustaining  instilled  independence  clients  mentioned  secure t h e i r own  i n maintaining  employment.  CHARACTERISTICS OF THE JOB SEARCH SUPPORT PROGRAM  Despite study,  a  the  success  number  of  employment programs.  rate  people  noted refuse  i n A z r i n ' s (1981) to  attend  group  R e c o g n i z i n g t h a t t h i s sub group may  have s p e c i f i c needs t h a t a group program would not meet, the Job Search Support Program was developed by H. & Associates.  Klein  Those i n the program i n c l u d e :  1)  C l i e n t s who  have a l r e a d y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n programs  2)  C l i e n t s who have had such n e g a t i v e s c h o o l experiences t h a t they are u n w i l l i n g t o a t t e n d classroom t r a i n i n g  28  3)  Clients  who  feel  so  s t i g m a t i z e d about  receiving  income a s s i s t a n c e t h a t they are too embarrassed  to  a t t e n d a group program 4)  C l i e n t s who not  have o t h e r time commitments t h a t they do  disclose  as  i t could  jeopardize t h e i r  income  assistance The Job Search Support and  individual  participants search  counselling  with  support  both  and  accountable  for  activities.  The  a  structure  their goal  main  sessions.  It  comprehensive  job of  r e s o l u t i o n with c l i e n t s who The  Program i n v o l v e s both group  objectives  individual  in  which  search  the  provides  they  strategies  program  i s to  job are and  achieve  are accepted. are  to  assist  clients  in  a l l e v i a t i n g t h e i r b a r r i e r s t o employment, r e g a i n a sense of  control  gainfully  and  power  employed  in  over a  job  their of  lives their  and  become  choice.  An  a d d i t i o n a l f u n c t i o n i s t o uncover any employment b a r r i e r s that  need  t o be  successful.  resolved before  job  search  can  be  C l i e n t s w i t h such d i f f i c u l t i e s remain i n the  program u n t i l  active  issues.  the  For  become employed, these c l i e n t s ' search.  a  s t e p s are taken  small  group who  documentation  lack  t o r e s o l v e these  are  unmotivated  i s provided  to  indicating  of m o t i v a t i o n i n c o n d u c t i n g a  job  29 Initially, motivation,  an  time  assessment management,  c o n t r o l i s completed.  of  job  search  attitude  and  skills, locus  of  On the b a s i s of these assessments,  c l i e n t s are e i t h e r r e f e r r e d t o a more a p p r o p r i a t e s e r v i c e such as other c o u n s e l l i n g or group employment programs or they are accepted  i n t o the program.  When the r e s u l t s of  the assessment are shared, both the c o u n s e l l o r and  client  collaborate  either  to  bolster  any  areas  of  weakness  through attendance t o v a r i o u s 90 minute workshops and/or within  the  i n d i v i d u a l sessions.  Through  signing  a  c o n t r a c t , the c l i e n t agrees t o make a commitment t o the program by a t t e n d i n g a t l e a s t 3 workshops, conducting full  time  job  search  and  meeting  twice a week u n t i l employment i s Brown  &  Kottler  (1979)  with  the  a  counsellor  obtained.  noted  that  many  clients  assume t h a t the assessment i s the end of t h e i r e f f o r t s i n s e c u r i n g employment and the c o u n s e l l o r s w i l l f i n d them a job.  They r e i t e r a t e d , i n t h e i r s k i l l development model,  t h a t i t i s more p r o d u c t i v e t o teach c l i e n t s the p r a c t i c a l s k i l l s than promote dependency on the c o u n s e l l o r . skills  include  expectations,  d e c i s i o n making, and  internality  values  i n job  These  clarification,  preparation.  In  a d d i t i o n t o the u n r e a l i s t i c dependency on the c o u n s e l l o r for  job placement, the  job c h o i c e s ,  are  clients restrict  unsure of  t h e i r range of  r e l e v a n t work v a l u e s ,  have  30  unrealistic victims.  expectations The  and a r e o f t e n c o n d i t i o n e d as  Job Search  Support  Program  has  many  components s i m i l a r t o t h i s model. With the aide o f the workshops and the c o u n s e l l o r s , the c l i e n t s complete a j o b s t r a t e g y sheet o f t h e i r job choices.  Many  clients  come  into  t h e program  with  f e e l i n g s o f d e s p e r a t i o n ( " I ' l l take anything, I need the money"), f a i l u r e ("No employer i s going t o h i r e me"), and victimization employer's clients them,  ("There a r e no jobs out t h e r e .  market").  The job s t r a t e g y sheet  t o recognize  focus  the v a r i o u s o p t i o n s  on r e a l i s t i c  job c h o i c e s ,  v a l u e s t h a t a r e important control  over  their  I t ' s an assists  available to  determine  work  t o them and g a i n a sense o f  job s e a r c h .  This  a l s o begins the  process o f f o s t e r i n g an e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t the c l i e n t s a r e independent and r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the e f f o r t s o f t h e i r own job  search. The  a c t i o n plan  i s devised  to provide s t r u c t u r e ,  focus, m o t i v a t i o n , and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . do"  list  I t involves a "to  o f job p r e p a r a t i o n / s e a r c h a c t i v i t i e s t h a t the  c l i e n t agrees t o perform  between s e s s i o n s .  During each  s e s s i o n , the c o u n s e l l o r and c l i e n t review the completed a c t i o n p l a n and develop a new s e t o f a c t i v i t i e s t h a t the client  i s t o complete  counsellor  independently.  i s t o promote these  skills,  The r o l e  o f the  encourage  each  31 c l i e n t t o be d i l i g e n t and e f f e c t i v e i n t h e i r job search by  using  positive  reinforcement  and  keep  the  client  focused on job search a c t i v i t i e s t h a t w i l l maximize the chances of success. In  twenty  participated.  months  of o p e r a t i o n ,  443  c l i e n t s have  A t o t a l of 297 have secured employment, 53  dropped out and 76 were r e f e r r e d t o o t h e r s e r v i c e s . the time of t h i s w r i t i n g , 29 c l i e n t s were s t i l l participating.  At  actively  Of the 76 c l i e n t s who were r e f e r r e d ,  15  had medical problems, 6 were r e f e r r e d t o group employment programs  and  significant  subsequently  found  employment  work,  barriers  15  revealed requiring  c o u n s e l l i n g / t r e a t m e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n s , and 10 had moved out of the a r e a . motivation  There were 30 p a r t i c i p a n t s whose l a c k of  and i n i t i a t i v e  beyond t h e parameters o f the program.  i n pursuing  employment  were  32  SUMMARY  There i s an experience groups.  abundance of r e s e a r c h on  and  The  barriers  of  the  unemployment  effects,  for  various  r e s e a r c h d i s c u s s e d here r e f l e c t s the many  negative i n f l u e n c e s t h a t continued unemployment can have on an i n d i v i d u a l .  Most r e s e a r c h e r s have c a u t i o n e d t h a t  p e r s o n a l f a c t o r s or d i f f e r i n g combinations of s t r e s s o r s cause each i n d i v i d u a l t o d e v i a t e i n some ways from "average"  experience.  Studies  i n d i c a t e the  heterogeneous  rather  examining  the  c u l t u r e s of  needs and  values  fatalistic,  long term unemployed t o be  than  a  homogeneous  unemployment,  become apparent.  the  largest  The  like  believe  to  that  work, they  can  very  In  differing and  typify  the  actively  achieve  a  conformist  groups,  few  group.  the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the discouraged worker. would  the  Although search  employment  and  they  and/or develop  coping s t r a t e g i e s d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y t o d e a l with t h e i r situation.  The independent and e n t e r p r i s i n g groups f e e l  j u s t i f i e d i n u s i n g and/or abusing the w e l f a r e system f o r personal gain.  Both these groups do not look f o r formal  employment  rather  "under  the  but  table",  adapt attend  to  a  lower  school  income,  and/or  live  work an  independent l i f e s t y l e t h a t i s f r e e from the r e s t r i c t i o n s  33 of a permanent j o b . Understandably, these groups do not suffer  the  trauma  experienced  by  the  long  term  unemployed. The s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s have a unique s e t of  e x p e r i e n c e s and needs t h a t separate them from other  unemployed  groups.  Their  sense  of  helplessness,  hopelessness, f i n a n c i a l circumstances, c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s , and  added stigma o f being w e l f a r e dependent a r e f a r more  p e r v a s i v e than i n o t h e r unemployed groups. Despite t h i s , many programs have been extremely s u c c e s s f u l i n a s s i s t i n g these  individuals  i n becoming  members o f s o c i e t y  (Azrin  independent, p r o d u c t i v e  e t a l 1981; Sandler, 1988;  E l l i o t & Speight, 1989; Trimmer, 1984).  Other programs  have had minimal success i n f a c i l i t a t i n g c l i e n t s toward c o n t i n u e d employment (Goodwin, 1983; Mehuron, 1991). In  s y n t h e s i z i n g the l i t e r a t u r e , i t appears t h a t j o b  placement programs  (Azrin  e t a l , 1981; Goodwin, 1983;  Trimmer, 1984), r e t r a i n i n g  (Leana & Feldman, 1992; Buss  & Redburn, 1988) and Workfare programs (Mehuron, 1991; Goodwin,  1983) do  not work  as e f f e c t i v e l y  as  other  programs i n meeting the needs o f t h i s unemployed group. There  i s some evidence  confirming  t h e success of  programs t h a t meet b a s i c needs (Amundson & Borgen, 1988; Klein et a l , what  factors  1992). within  Little  r e s e a r c h c o u l d be found on  a program  the s o c i a l  assistance  34 recipients reentry  thought  into  the  was  helpful  workforce.  or This  harmful  to  their  information  would  a s s i s t program d e s i g n e r s i n d e v e l o p i n g programs t h a t more e f f e c t i v e l y r e f l e c t the needs of t h i s group. In t h i s t h e s i s , research. who  I propose  t o address t h i s gap  By i n t e r v i e w i n g s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e  participated  i n the  Job  Search  Support  in  recipients Program,  i n f o r m a t i o n on what f a c t o r s were most h e l p f u l and harmful i n a program can be a s c e r t a i n e d .  35 CHAPTER  3  METHODOLOGY  T h i s chapter i s comprised subjects approach  of a d e s c r i p t i o n  o f the  i n v o l v e d i n t h e r e s e a r c h , the methodological applied,  the  interviews practised,  structure  and  format  and the data a n a l y s i s  o f the  performed.  R e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y checks t h a t were achieved w i l l be d e s c r i b e d .  Subjects The  s u b j e c t s i n t h i s study were v o l u n t e e r s who had  p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the Job Search Support Program funded by the  Ministry  effect,  each  of S o c i a l  Services.  participant  completed  To a l l o w  f o r halo  the program  minimum o f t h r e e months p r e v i o u s t o t h i s  for a  study.  A t o t a l of 120 l e t t e r s were sent t o p a r t i c i p a n t s who f i t the above c r i t e r i a . perusal  of  Please r e f e r t o t h e Appendix f o r  the c o n t e n t s  stamped, s e l f addressed  of t h i s  correspondence.  A  l e t t e r w i t h a form t o i n d i c a t e  whether they wished t o p a r t i c i p a t e was e n c l o s e d . A t o t a l o f twenty s u b j e c t s , 11 females and 9 males, p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the study, r e f e r t o Table 1 (p. 37) f o r f u r t h e r demographic i n f o r m a t i o n .  There was a range o f 3  months t o one year l a p s e s i n c e t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the  36 program.  A t the time of the r e s e a r c h  i n t e r v i e w s , 9 of  the 15 who found work remained employed, 3 were c u r r e n t l y i n t r a i n i n g programs, 3 were s t i l l  experiencing  medical  d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t cause them t o remain unemployed, 2 were l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e i r c h i l d r e n and not a c t i v e l y l o o k i n g , 1 was s p o r a d i c a l l y i n v o l v e d i n job search and the remaining 3  were  actively  seeking  employment.  For  i n f o r m a t i o n , p l e a s e r e f e r t o Table 2 (p. 38).  further  37  TABLE 1 DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Age  Gender  Education  Marital Status  L a s t Job  1  32  F  College  Divorced  Data Entry  2  32  M  Grade 10  Single  Production  3  41  F  College  Divorced  Sales Clerk  4  52  M  University  Married  Sales  5  33  F  University*  Divorced  Receptionist  6  31  M  University*  Single  Engineer  7  50  F  College  Single  Admin. A s s i s  8  45  F  College  Married  Office Clerk  9  53  M  College  Married  Handyman  10  44  F  Grade 12  Single  Admin A s s i s .  11  38  M  University  Single  Bookkeeper  12  50  F  College  Divorced  Banquet Superv.  13  42  F  College  Divorced  Secretary  M  G.E.D.  Single  Baker  Participant  14  26  15  47  M  University  Divorced  Management Consult.  16  40  M  College  Married  Driver  17  54  F  College  Single  Manager  18  27  M  College  Single  Radio Announcer  19  35  F  College  Divorced  Bouquet Make:  20  38  F  University*  Single  Sales  * i n d i c a t e s e d u c a t i o n from another country  38  TABLE 2 Time o u t of Work  Time on Assistance  Time i n Program  Results a t end o f Program  Current Status  1  7 years  2 years  4 months  Dropped Out  School  2  1 year  1 month  3 weeks  Refer: Medical  Unemployed  3  1 year  3 months  5 months  Home Support Worker  Same  4  1 year  8 months  2 months  Insurance Sales  Same  5  7 months  2 months  2 months  Receptionist  Supervisor  6  2 years  2 years  2 months  Warehouse  Same  7  3 months  1 month  4 months  Merchandising  Secretary  8  5 months  1 month  1+1 month  Refer: Medical  Medical  9  3 years  3 years  1 month  Warehouse  Training  10  2 years  4 months  4 months  Refer: Medical  Medical  11  1 year  2 months  2 months  Dropped Out  Unemployed  12  1 year  6 months  3 months  Catering  Unemployed  13  3 years  3 years  1 month  Office Clerk  Unemployed  14  8 months  2 years  1 month  Office Clerk  Training  15  4 months  4 months  1 month  Dropped Out  Manager  16  3 months  3 months  1 month  Driver  Driver  17  5 years  4 months  1 month  Waitress  Unemployed  18  1 year  10 months  5 months  Refer:Job Club  Bike Courier  19  5 years  l  1 month  Dropped Out  Unemployed  20  3 years  2 .5 years  1 month  Office Clerk  Same  year  39 METHODOLOGICAL  APPROACH  Swinburne (1981) s t a t e d t h a t s m a l l i n depth s t u d i e s were more conducive  t o understanding the thoughts  f e e l i n g s about the e f f e c t s of unemployment than techniques.  and  survey  Borgen & Amundson (1984) s i m i l a r l y suggested  t h a t t h e r e was a need t o a l l o w s u b j e c t s t o f r e e l y d i s c u s s the  impact  provides their  of  the  unemployment. freedom  Open  f o r the  experience without  ended  client  to  interviewing fully  being r e s t r i c t e d  by  explore specific  q u e s t i o n s or t e c h n i q u e s . In t h i s t h e s i s , a combination of phenomenology and critical  i n c i d e n t technique were used as the b a s i s f o r  the methodology. T h i s approach was developed by Borgen & Amundson  (1984)  and  proved  effective  in  identifying  h e l p f u l and h i n d e r i n g f a c t o r s i n the s u b j e c t s ' experience of unemployment.  T h i s approach w i l l f a c i l i t a t e a g r e a t e r  understanding of the p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s of an employment program on the experience of unemployment f o r social assistance recipients. In  phenomenological  research,  Giorgi  (1975)  d e s c r i b e d the f o l l o w i n g e i g h t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e q u i r e d t o meet the m e t h o d o l o g i c a l requirements: "1. F i d e l i t y t o the phenomenon as i t i s l i v e d . . . 2 . Primacy of l i f e 3.  Descriptive  approach...  4.  E x p r e s s i o n of  world... situation  40 from viewpoint  of  subject...  5.  S i t u a t i o n as  unit  of  r e s e a r c h i m p l i e s s t r u c t u r a l approach... 6. B i o g r a p h i c a l emphasis... 7.  Engaged r e s e a r c h e r s . . .  meaning..." (page 99-101). a  phenomenological  understanding  approach  (1954)  Searching  provides  a  comprehensive  as i t i s l i v e d .  critical  incident  u t i l i z e s the n o n - d i r e c t i v e i n t e r v i e w e r approach. of h e l p f u l and  for  F i s c h e r (1979) contended t h a t  of the experience  Flanagan's  8.  technique Reports  h i n d e r i n g events of the experience  from  the s u b j e c t s ' p e r s p e c t i v e are p l a c e d w i t h i n a v e r i f i a b l e classification  system.  In  utilizing  various  methods,  Andersson and N i l s s o n (1964) determined t h a t the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t approach was  both r e l i a b l e and v a l i d .  Applying  t h i s methodology t o the study of unemployment, Borgen & Amundson subjects  (1984)  pointed  viewpoint  and  out  that  allows  it  f o r the  emphasizes elaboration  the of  s p e c i f i c behavioural i n c i d e n t s . In summary, the methodology of t h i s study  elicited  from the phenomenological the emphasis of the s u b j e c t s ' perspective. in  Critical  drawing out  being  helpful  unemployment.  i n c i d e n c e s r e s e a r c h was  f a c t o r s t h a t the and  hindering  in  subjects their  utilized  perceived experience  as of  41 THE  INTERVIEW  The  i n t e r v i e w s were conducted  by the r e s e a r c h e r , a  Masters graduate, and a Masters c a n d i d a t e . A l l t h r e e work as  employment  Program.  counsellors i n  Each  counsellor  the  Job  Search  interviewed  p a r t i c i p a n t s w i t h whom they had no p r e v i o u s  Support  only  those  involvement.  P r i o r t o the commencement of the i n t e r v i e w , the s u b j e c t s were g i v e n a consent The  form t o read and  sign.  i n t e r v i e w f o l l o w e d the format used by Amundson  & Borgen (1988) i n t h e i r study on the f a c t o r s t h a t helped and  hindered i n group employment c o u n s e l l i n g .  ended i n t e r v i e w w i t h a minimum of s t r u c t u r e was used  to e l i c i t  open  initially  as much i n f o r m a t i o n as p o s s i b l e on  s u b j e c t s ' experience of unemployment. encouraging  An  and c l a r i f y i n g s k i l l s ,  With the use  the of  i n t e r v i e w e r s allowed  every o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s t o s e l f - d i s c l o s e a d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e i r experience and the f a c t o r s t h a t caused this  p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e emotional  initial  i n f o r m a t i o n was  gathered,  shifts.  After  more s t r u c t u r e d  q u e s t i o n s were asked t o a s c e r t a i n the c r i t i c a l  incidents  a s s o c i a t e d with the group and i n d i v i d u a l a s p e c t s of t h e i r involvement  with the program.  The i n t e r v i e w c o n s i s t e d of the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s . Some have been used by Amundson & Borgen (1984) i n t h e i r  studies  on the experience of unemployment  employment c o u n s e l l i n g .  and  Others have been adapted  group from  Flanagan (1954) . 1)  I'd  like  you  to  tell  your  own  story  experience o f being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . any  story,  of  your  Just l i k e  t h e r e i s a b e g i n n i n g , middle  and end.  Could you begin w i t h b e f o r e you were unemployed and continue  to describe  your  experience i n terms o f  thoughts, f e e l i n g s , a c t i o n s and job s e a r c h . 2)  Think back  t o when you f i r s t  Search Support Program.  heard about  the Job  I'd l i k e you t o r e f l e c t on  your thoughts and f e e l i n g s a t t h a t time? 3)  When you d i d the a c t i o n  plans,  what f e e l i n g s d i d  t h a t r a i s e f o r you? 4)  How d i d the meetings w i t h the c o u n s e l l o r a f f e c t your overall  5a)  moral?  Think back When  t o your  you t h i n k  involvement w i t h the program.  o f the p o s i t i v e  program, what p a r t s d i d you f i n d b)  factors  o f the  helpful?  Now I'd l i k e you t o t h i n k o f the n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s and t e l l me what p a r t s you thought h i n d e r e d you i n your job s e a r c h e x p e r i e n c e .  6)  I'd  like  you  to  reflect  f e e l i n g s s i n c e t h a t time. 7)  on  your  thoughts  and  What has i t been l i k e ?  What a r e your e x p e c t a t i o n s o f the f u t u r e r i g h t now?  43 Immediately a f t e r the  i n t e r v i e w , p a r t i c i p a n t s were  asked t o c h a r t t h e i r experience  by drawing a " l i f e  This  spanned  graphic  representation  unemployment b e f o r e , d u r i n g and with  the  program.  The  the  period  after their  participants  line".  involvement  were  asked  i n d i c a t e on t h e i r l i n e p o i n t s t h a t were s i g n i f i c a n t critical requested  in their  experience.  of  to or  In a d d i t i o n , they were  t o mark where they entered  and  left  the  Job  Search Support Program.  DATA ANALYSIS  The by  model used f o r the data  Borgen  and  Amundson  (1984).  i n c o r p o r a t e s these f o u r  steps:  1.  and  Transcribing  a n a l y s i s was  developed  This  summarizing  approach  the  taped  interviews. 2. (a)  Listing  all  emotional  shifts  and  s i t u a t i o n a l f a c t o r s on r a t i n g sheets  related developed  by Borgen & Amundson(1984). (b)  Checking  reliability  of  the  rating  c a t e g o r i e s and the number of s h i f t s 3. (a)  Sorting  critical  establishing  incidents  categories  hindering factors.  via of  sheet  recorded. themes  helpful  and and  44 (b)  Checking  reliability  of these  categories.  A  Masters graduate was asked t o s o r t through the r a t i n g sheets and p l a c e the c r i t i c a l into  the  categories  researcher.  organized  incidents by  the  An agreement r a t i o o f 80 percent  was s e t as the base l e v e l f o r a c c e p t a b i l i t y . 4. (a)  E s t a b l i s h i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n of the f a c t o r s and a  tally  of  critical  incident  frequency.  I n d i v i d u a l sheets were w r i t t e n on each s u b j e c t with  a corresponding  total.  These were  added t o a r r i v e a t a group t o t a l  then  (Tables 3 and  4). (b)  Checking  validity  telephoning  of  the  final  25% of the respondents  outcome  by  to verify  whether the d e s c r i p t i o n s a c c u r a t e l y r e f l e c t e d their  experience.  The a n a l y s i s of t h e data from the i n t e r v i e w s focused on  the h e l p f u l  and h i n d e r i n g c r i t i c a l  incidents  that  r e f l e c t e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experience i n t h e Job Search Support  Program.  45 VALIDITY CHECK  A t o t a l o f 10 (50%) o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s were chosen through ease o f a c c e s s i b i l i t y t o c o n t a c t f o r a f o l l o w up telephone  interview.  Respondents  were  given  a  brief  o u t l i n e o f the data a n a l y s i s i n v o l v e d and t o l d t h a t they would be read a summary o f t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e .  The summary  c o n s i s t e d o f a breakdown o f c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s as w e l l as a t a l l y o f the frequency r a n k i n g . respond  to  experience.  the  accuracy  of  They were requested t o the  summary  of  their  A l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t the summary  was a c o r r e c t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e i r  experience.  RELIABILITY CHECK  A t o t a l o f 293 c r i t i c a l  i n c i d e n t s were p l a c e d i n t o  27 c a t e g o r i e s . A Masters graduate was g i v e n the data f o r 10 i n t e r v i e w s and requested critical  incidents  reliability  t o independently  s o r t the  i n the c a t e g o r i e s p r o v i d e d .  This  check achieved a r a t i n g o f 87% agreement.  46  CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND  The basis  results  of  the  of t h i s s e c t i o n .  DISCUSSION  data  analysis  constitute  A comprehensive d e s c r i p t i o n  the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Job Search Support Program on experience  of  the  unemployment  for  the  of the  social  assistant  r e c i p i e n t , a d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of the c r i t i c a l  incidents  and  included.  a summary of t h e i r o v e r a l l experience are  CRITICAL INCIDENTS ANALYSIS  A  total  incidents  of  were  two  hundred  elicited  and  from  ninety-three  the  transcripts  critical of  the  twenty i n t e r v i e w s .  They were d i v i d e d i n t o twenty-seven,  15  hindering  helping  and  12  seventeen i n c i d e n t s  categories.  of these h e l p i n g  hundred  (73%) were p l a c e d i n the h e l p i n g  s u g g e s t i n g t h a t the o v e r a l l experience was most p a r t i c i p a n t s .  Two  area  positive for  Table 3 l i s t s i n rank order a summary categories.  47 HELPING CRITICAL INCIDENTS CATEGORIES  Each o f the c a t e g o r i e s where a minimum of 20% o r 4 participants described. described  indicated A  by  range examples  critical within of  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experiences.  each  varying  incidents  will  be  category  will  be  responses  i n the  Excerpts from the i n t e r v i e w s  w i l l be used t o i l l u s t r a t e the c a t e g o r i e s .  48  TABLE 3 HELPFUL CRITICAL INCIDENTS  Rank o r d e r o f H e l p f u l C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t s Category  Number o f Incidents  Number o f Subjects Per Incident  M o t i v a t i o n through c o u n s e l l o r  53  18  Focus p r o v i d e d by A c t i o n P l a n  27  15  Interview/Job Search workshops  25  14  Focus through meetings w i t h c o u n s e l l o r  20  13  Knowledge/advice o f c o u n s e l l o r  19  12  Entered program p o s i t i v e l y  13  11  job options  9  8  Developing an resume  8  8  P o s i t i v e o f f i c e environment  9  7  11  6  Resources  9  6  U t i l i z i n g telephone technique  7  6  G e t t i n g out o f house  3  3  Job Leads  2  2  Resolved p e r s o n a l problems  2  2  Generate  Group i n t e r a c t i o n  TOTAL  217  49  M o t i v a t i o n Through C o u n s e l l o r  T h i s category d e a l s w i t h the f e e l i n g of having  the  c o u n s e l l o r g i v e support and a boost i n morale d u r i n g the job  search process.  Range  Many  participants  indicated  that  a  significant  f a c t o r i n t h e i r meetings was the c o u n s e l l o r s ' a b i l i t y t o listen,  understand  concerns.  and  Participants  a t t i t u d e and enthusiasm in  their  sense  of  care also  about  the  commented  participants'  on  the  of the c o u n s e l l o r being a f a c t o r  well  being.  Some noted  s e s s i o n s with the c o u n s e l l o r i n c r e a s e d t h e i r and that  hopefulness the  positive  i n finding  employment.  c o u n s e l l o r s ' encouragement  that  the  confidence  Others  enabled  stated them  to  continue t h e i r job s e a r c h when they became f r u s t r a t e d and wanted  to  stop.  Some  participants  compared  their  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the c o u n s e l l o r t o t h a t of a f r i e n d .  I1lustrations  "She  was  W e l l , she  great.  She was  j u s t wonderful.  She was  good.  ... My morale d e f i n i t e l y came up when I spoke  50  to her.  She was always so e n t h u s i a s t i c .  w i l l i n g t o put out and  I t made me more  look f o r a job when i t ' s a hard  t h i n g t o look f o r a job any time so she was me  lots  of  suggestions.  oomph  was  get  up  and  go  and  a  Gave  lot  of  11  "Counsellor She  to  great.  j u s t had  a way  of p i c k i n g up  j u s t so c h e e r f u l and  your morale.  she wouldn't l e t you  feel  discouraged or gloomy f o r long and she made you look a t things  more  realistically  instead  of  all  out  of  p r o p o r t i o n because, I t h i n k , I tended t o make a mountain out of a mole h i l l  ... I came f o r a long time.  have come f o r q u i t e a few  months  . . . almost  I must  every  day  and, each time, she wasn't l i k e the f a i r weather person. She  was  always c o n s i s t e n t l y  time t o take f o r you.  n i c e and  p l e a s a n t and  had  You never f e l t rushed or h u r r i e d . "  Focus P r o v i d e d by A c t i o n P l a n  T h i s category focuses on the a b i l i t y of the A c t i o n Plan,  a  "to do"  list  developed  by  the  counsellor  c l i e n t , t o keep the p a r t i c i p a n t on t a s k and  and  organized.  51 Range  Statements range from the A c t i o n job  search  focused  Plan  keeping the  i n a c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n t o making a  commitment and being h e l d accountable f o r completing the series  of tasks.  Many commented on how f o l l o w i n g the  a c t i o n p l a n decreased t h e i r tendency t o p r o c r a s t i n a t e . Some p a r t i c i p a n t s a p p r e c i a t e d them organized search. in  how the forms helped keep  i n t h e i r t h i n k i n g as w e l l as i n t h e i r job  Others s t a t e d t h a t they use a s i m i l a r s t r a t e g y  their  every day l i f e  and thought  i t was u s e f u l i n  t h e i r j o b search.  Illustrations  "Well, what  i t gave me a c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n . to  do  constantly,  because  we  I knew always  put i t together  every  s o . . i t was e a s i e r t o go t h a t way.  day,  I always  knew what t o do f o r a c e r t a i n day, when t o c a l l  back,  when t o make a f o l l o w up.."  " I t gave me a g o a l each week and r e a l l y d i d n ' t want t o do a  l o t o f them,  put them  o f f but i n the end, I d i d  complete i t and I d i d r e s o l v e some o f the problems I was having  so I thought  i t was very  good.  I'm g r e a t a t  52 p r o c r a s t i n a t i n g and r e p o r t t o and  because t h e r e  was  look over what I had  i f I d i d n ' t do what I was  someone I had  to  accomplished, I know  suppose t o do then I would hear  about i t so i t s o r t of gave me a k i c k i n the b u t t t o keep me  going  i n the  right direction.  good because i t was too s e l f motivated.  So,  I felt  that  was  e x a c t l y what I needed because I'm  not  I need t h a t push."  Interview/Job Search Workshops  T h i s category i n c l u d e s the  information  received  in  the v a r i o u s workshops t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s were r e q u i r e d to  attend.  Range  The  range  spread  from  simple  comments  that  the  workshops were u s e f u l t o exuberant recommendations t h a t a l l job seekers should a t t e n d . t h a t the Interview useful.  and Role Play workshops were the most  Many found the  very h e l p f u l .  Most p a r t i c i p a n t s s t a t e d  c r e a t i v e job s e a r c h  techniques  53 Illustrations  "I found very h e l p f u l a l l the m a t e r i a l s . those the  questions job  to  what  and answers e s p e c i a l l y the answers f o r  interview.  perspective.  Thinking  I knew before  ... both  t h i s s o c i e t y , i n t h i s new  think  the b i g g e s t  interviews.  from  the  employer's  I found i t very h e l p f u l and comparing them  u s e f u l , very h e l p f u l , very  "I  For i n s t a n c e ,  courses,  important.  i t was  I should  very  say i n  country."  thing  was  where  we  d i d mock  When we d i d the i n t e r v i e w s , t h a t was a f t e r  we l e a r n e d what t o say i n an i n t e r v i e w . i n t e r v i e w s t h a t I had b e f o r e I was s a y i n g t h a t I shouldn't  I realized i n  ... t h e r e were t h i n g s t h a t have s a i d  ... I f you keep  eye c o n t a c t and t h a t ' s . . . t h a t was the b i g t h i n g and the cold c a l l s to f i n d  ... l e a r n i n g about c o l d c a l l s and not t r y i n g  ... i f you looked  i n t h e paper a l l the time  . .  There a r e people who a r e up super e a r l y i n the morning . . maybe  they've  doorsteps think,  got the funds  t o show  up  on  people's  and g e t p r o f e s s i o n a l resumes and t h a t but, I  . . t h e r e was another t h i n g t h a t we p i c k e d up on  t h a t was resumes .. You shouldn't so impersonal  ..."  f a x them because i t ' s  54 Focus M a i n t a i n e d Through Meetings w i t h  This  category  counselling  sessions  includes t o guide  the  Counsellor  ability  t h e j o b search  of  the  back on  t a r g e t when t h e p a r t i c i p a n t began f e e l i n g s c a t t e r e d and unfocused as w e l l as h o l d the p a r t i c i p a n t r e s p o n s i b l e f o r completing Action  the job search  activities  outlined  i n the  Plan.  Range  Although t h e A c t i o n Plan i t s e l f helped p a r t i c i p a n t s , many i n d i c a t e d t h a t having t o r e p o r t more s i g n i f i c a n t tasks.  impact  Some r e p o r t e d  t o someone had a  on completing  that  t h e job search  t h e meetings were a  focal  p o i n t when t h e f r u s t r a t i o n s o f t h e job s e a r c h s t a r t e d t o make them f e e l desperate and become unfocused.  Illustrations  "The  thing  earlier,  about  the Action  i t pushed me.  Plan  was as I mentioned  I t backed me i n t o a c o r n e r .  I  had t o r e p o r t t o my c o u n s e l l o r t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e A c t i o n Plan  which nobody had f o r c e d me t o do i n any o f these  other agencies b e f o r e .  I t was s o r t o f f r e e , you know .."  55  "The  v i s i t s themselves were good because they gave you a  grounding.  They gave you a f o c a l p o i n t t o work with and  they, s o r t o f , brought you up .. brought you up s h o r t i f you were wandering o f f t h e path, i f you were f e e l i n g s o r t of s c a t t e r b r a i n e d o r not c o n f i d e n t i n what you were doing and  i t gave me a chance t o d i s c u s s o p t i o n s  . .  11  Knowledge/Advice o f C o u n s e l l o r  This counsellor  category  incorporates  as a person  the  knowledgeable  view  of  the  i n the f i e l d of  employment and job search.  Range  Many p a r t i c i p a n t s commented on the knowledge  that  counsellor  that  they  r e c e i v e d good advice and ideas from the c o u n s e l l o r .  Some  the  noted  that  possessed.  the c o u n s e l l o r  answers f o r any questions t h e i r j o b search.  Many  was a b l e  thought  t o give  them good  t h a t they may have had about  56 I1lustrations  "Somebody e l s e ' s i n p u t i s always good because, a t t h i s p o i n t , I d i d n ' t have any i n p u t .  The o n l y i n p u t I had was  from  then,  the  social  worker  and  of  course,  the  c o u n s e l l o r ' s which was an i n t e l l i g e n t i n p u t ... The n i c e t h i n g about (the program) . . I c o u l d say something t o the counsellor  ... like  I could  say, "What do you t h i n k ? "  l i k e , "What should I do?" o r "What do you t h i n k I should do?"  and he would have answers.  He had t h e answers f o r  me."  "I  found i t (meetings) p r e t t y e f f e c t i v e .  Again though she  ... I t h i n k  . . because she c o u l d  seemed t o have more o f a knowledge.  seemed t o understand r e g a r d i n g able t o g i v e good i n s t r u c t i o n s .  Entered  . . again  She  really  the job market and was 1 1  Program P o s i t i v e l y  T h i s category for  She was O.K.  i n c l u d e s those p a r t i c i p a n t s who asked  the j o b search  they were r e f e r r e d .  program o r were eager t o j o i n when  57 Range  For  t h e most  expectations  to  part,  learn  p a r t i c i p a n t s reported something  conducting t h e i r j o b s e a r c h .  new  or  their  helpful i n  T o p i c s t h a t were mentioned  i n c l u d e d making a resume, d i f f e r e n t methods o f f i n d i n g jobs  and l e a r n i n g  about  labour  market  trends.  Some  looked t o t h e program as a way o f g e t t i n g them out o f t h e r u t and motivated. of  their  j o b search  Others r e f e r r e d t o t h e hopelessness and a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t  t h e program  would h e l p them be more s u c c e s s f u l .  I1lustrations  "When I f i r s t  heard  about  i t , I remember I t a l k e d t o  someone from t h e s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e o f f i c e .  I thought i t  was g r e a t ... I thought i t was a g r e a t i d e a because I had run  out o f ways t o g e t jobs and t h e o n l y  seemed t o g e t were j u s t hopeless  jobs  I could  jobs..."  "The worker t o l d me about i t and i t seemed l i k e j u s t what I needed.  I hadn't been t o i n t e r v i e w s , I needed a resume  put t o g e t h e r , I needed a k i c k i n t h e b u t t a c t u a l l y ... a little  b i t o f pushing  a c t u a l l y because  i t really i s  e a s i e r t o s t a y a t home. . . and l i v e on what they g i v e you.  r  58 I was  p r e t t y embarrassed because i t ' s , a l l  you  would look i n the newspaper and see what was wasn't out  looking.  I didn't  feel  . . . mostly, I lacked confidence  do  I was  i t ...  just  scared  t o go  out  I  t h e r e but I  I could.  f e e l I had  have.  I didn't  t o get out  and  do  and  it.  I  i n c o r p o r a t e s the p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g  of  didn't f e e l I could."  Generate Job  Options  T h i s category  the p a r t i c i p a n t i n the g e n e r a t i o n p o s i t i o n s t h a t they may  of d i f f e r e n t areas or  pursue i n t h e i r job  search.  Range  This excited skills  category about  to  ranges  looking  increase  at  their  from  participants  interests job  options  opportunities within a certain f i e l d . the  positive  aspect  of  looking  for  and or  becoming  transferable increase  job  Some commented on a  position  i n c l u d e d i n t e r e s t s r a t h e r than j u s t g e t t i n g any  that  job.  59 I1lustrations  "You go ... O.K.  ... What are you i n t e r e s t e d i n and you  take one t h i n g and i t ' s u n r e a l how many companies .. You put down d r i v e r and you go . . yea . . and then you r e a l i z e t h a t t h e r e are the b o t t l e d water companies, medical l a b s and  t h e r e was the p r i n t shops . . . There's a l l kinds of  delivery things.  You say d r i v e ... t h e r e ' s an awful l o t  II  "This and  a c t u a l l y f o r c e s you t o r e a l l y t h i n k about  things  analyze them as w e l l . I t helped me when I d i d t h a t  with the c o u n s e l l o r .  I t k i n d of helped me d i g down and  really  I was  look  a t what  willing  r a t h e r than j u s t what I can do. gas;  and wanting  t o do  I can go out and pump  I can go out and work behind the counter a t 7-11.  I don't want t o pump gas; I don't want t o work behind the 7-11  counter.  I want t o work doing  c a r e e r doing t h i s o r t h a t . out  some of those t h i n g s .  this.  I want a  I t k i n d of f o r c e s you t o weed When you're i n a s i t u a t i o n  where a l l you're t h i n k i n g about i s a job r i g h t now. l o s e your job yesterday.  You t h i n k .  "O.K.  You  I've got t o  get a job w i t h i n two weeks because then t h e r e n t has t o be p a i d again and I ' l l be broke and out on the s t r e e t . " You  automatically  think,  "O.K.  I ' l l j u s t g e t another  60  job."  .. There's no p l a n t o t h a t .  There's no fun.  There's no  strategy.  I t h i n k t h a t ' s even worse than a dead-  end job because you're f o r c i n g y o u r s e l f t o be dead-ended. So t h i s allows no one t o r e a l l y s i t down and t h i n k about i t . . ."  Developing a  This  BPRIHHP  category  assisting  includes  comments on  i n r e v i s i n g or developing  the  counsellor  a resume.  Range  All  p a r t i c i p a n t s commenting on  pleased  w i t h the  never had the one  this  category were  resume t h a t they r e c e i v e d .  a resume w h i l e others  Some  were d i s s a t i s f i e d  had with  t h a t they possessed.  I1lustrations  "When I wanted a resume, I showed ... O.K., out.  Here's  counsellor  what  would  I've  give  me  done an  idea  judgment on t h i s , t h i s , and t h i s . t h i s on.  That s o r t of t h i n g .  with or  my  so I wrote i t life  would  and give  the me  a  Put t h i s on, don't put  So he s o r t of cut i t down,  61 k i n d o f ... Me ... I would have had 15 pages o f resumes but he s o r t o f s a i d , "O.K. use t h i s , do t h i s , l e t ' s see how t h i s  looks..."  "As f a r as my resume because I've been around f o r so many years and I have so much s t u f f t h a t I f e l t was p e r t i n e n t s t u f f t h a t should be going on t h e resume and I t r i e d ... and t h i s i s what happened w i t h t h e other c l u b t h a t I had been  going  to.  (chronological) (functional)  They that  so t h i s  said I  instead  could  i s what  go  o f going more  we had done  with  into  a  the  and i t j u s t  seemed l i k e ... I mean, I got no response o f f resumes ... off  that  said,  at all...so  "No.  cyclically  t a l k i n g w i t h t h e c o u n s e l l o r , she  I t just  depends  ...  like  i t goes  ... how employers a r e going t o r e a c t t o what  types o f resumes they want." day  on  So anyway, we went back t o  1 again, o f course, and , you know, i t takes f o r e v e r  t o g e t a resume done up c o r r e c t l y but, anyway, we f i d d l e d around w i t h i t and . . . g o t i t a l l s e t up and had a p r e t t y good resume s e t up I thought.  11  Group I n t e r a c t i o n  T h i s category i n v o l v e s the i n t e r a c t i v e p a r t o f t h e workshops r a t h e r than t h e c o n t e n t .  62  Range  Most p a r t i c i p a n t s responding t o t h i s c a t e g o r y c i t e d the impact  o f not f e e l i n g a l o n e .  In a d d i t i o n , s h a r i n g  experiences and mixing w i t h other people was an important factor.  Some i n d i c a t e d  t h a t they f e l t  positive  about  being a b l e t o h e l p o t h e r people w i t h i n the group s e t t i n g .  Illustrations  "I  must  say t h a t  I enjoyed  the group  sessions.  Not  s p e c i f i c a l l y any one p a r t i c u l a r group s e s s i o n but i t was interesting  ... I needed t o f i n d  people i n the same boat.  out t h e r e were other  The other t h i n g was t h a t people  were not from the same walks o f l i f e and you're not the o n l y person t h a t ' s i n the same .. i n .. a trauma o f t h a t kind.  So I found t h a t was u s e f u l .  interaction  There's  t h a t goes on i n the groups  a l o t of  and t h a t ' s the  t h i n g t h a t came out o f t h a t i s t h a t maybe i n the group s e s s i o n s you a l l o w people t o mix and mingle f o r a w h i l e because  they c o u l d share e x p e r i e n c e s . "  "I was a l s o a b l e t o share my experience w i t h the group so I saw myself as an i n t e r a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t h e l p i n g some other people who were perhaps going through a job s e a r c h  63  for  the f i r s t  time and f o r t u n a t e l y  the i n s t r u c t o r  was  a b l e t o use me as a r e s o u r c e person i n t h a t d i a l o g u e so t h a t was k i n d o f neat."  P o s i t i v e O f f i c e Environment  This  category  participants positive  felt  consists  that  of  statements  the o f f i c e  environment  where was  a  influence.  Range  Most  respondents  f r i e n d l y atmosphere One p a r t i c i p a n t  i n this  category  mentioned  i n the o f f i c e as a p o s i t i v e  commented on the absence  f e e l i n g s ("don't f e e l h u m i l i a t e d " ) .  a  factor.  of negative  Another s t a t e d  that  being i n an environment o f people working motivated her t o be more d i l i g e n t i n her job s e a r c h .  Some mentioned  the e f f i c i e n c y and/or f r i e n d l i n e s s of a l l s t a f f members.  I1lustrations  "Everyone i n the o f f i c e had a good morale so you j u s t f e l t b e t t e r when you came i n . "  64  "... many people working  i n t h e o f f i c e so and t h a t g i v e  me another push o r i n v o l v e d t o go on and look f o r work."  Resources  This  category  includes  statements  about  the  d i s c o v e r y o f d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t o r i e s p a r t i c i p a n t s c o u l d use i n t h e i r job s e a r c h as w e l l as c l e r i c a l support p r o v i d e d through t h e program.  Range  P a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t they were p l e a s e d t o f i n d out t h e number o f d i r e c t o r i e s a v a i l a b l e a t t h e o f f i c e o r library.  Several i n t h i s  category  liked  the c l e r i c a l  support o f having a f a x and p h o t o c o p i e r a c c e s s i b l e f o r them.  Some mentioned t h e convenience  o f having  their  cover l e t t e r s and resumes typed.  Illustrations  "The  clerical  letters,  p a r t was n i c e enough,  so i t was t h e r e a l  help.  putting  together  From t h e b e g i n n i n g  they e x p l a i n e d , f o r example, how t o use a l i b r a r y , t h e  65  r e s e a r c h m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e , l i k e those books of t a r g e t marketing and a l s o the d i r e c t o r i e s .  "There's  the  computer.  There's  the  copier,  the  fax.  You've got job d i r e c t o r i e s , you've got a phone, you've got a message c e n t e r . would r e a l l y  I don't r e a l l y know what more I  see because  even i n what I see a t CEC  you  r e a l l y have more here than CEC seems t o have t o o f f e r .  U t i l i z i n g Telephone  This telephone  category  Techniques  involves  comments  t o c o n t a c t employers  f o r an  on  using  the  i n t e r v i e w as  a  primary a c t i v i t y i n the job s e a r c h .  Range  Some p a r t i c i p a n t s  stated  that  although  they  were  apprehensive a t f i r s t , they found the c a l l s an e f f e c t i v e tool  in  their  job  search.  e n t h u s i a s t i c about the  approach.  A  few  were  extremely  66  I1lustrations  "To  be a b l e t o phone p l a c e s you wanted t o work a t and  have a l i t t l e b l u r b t o say and t o i n t r o d u c e y o u r s e l f and t a l k t o the people t h a t would be the ones t h a t would be h i r i n g you and i n t e r v i e w you and a c t u a l l y g e t t i n g t o t a l k to  them ... w i t h them by j u s t phoning  impressed w i t h t h a t . well.  That's  them.  I was very  I t seemed so easy and i t worked so  one t h i n g ,  I'm  going  t o be u s i n g  these  techniques a g a i n . "  " L i k e I was kinda a f r a i d t o c a l l people on the phone and ask them, "Do you have a job opening?" but then i f you're kind  of started  you  just  go  on  and  i n the end you  say,"Oh, I can do t h i s ! " and i t r e a l l y helped  me."  HINDERING CRITICAL INCIDENTS CATEGORIES  Most  participants  found  something t h a t was h i n d e r i n g .  i t difficult  to  find  Some i n d i c a t e d t h a t the  program l a c k e d i n some area but p o i n t e d out t h a t they d i d not c o n s i d e r t h i s d e f i c i e n c y a hindrance.  Most of the  h i n d e r i n g c a t e g o r i e s were the i n v e r s e of those found t o be h e l p f u l .  S e v e n t y - s i x i n c i d e n t s (27%) were c l a s s i f i e d  67 i n 12 h i n d e r i n g c a t e g o r i e s .  Table 4 l i s t s i n rank order  a summary of these h i n d e r i n g c a t e g o r i e s .  TABLE 4  HINDERING CRITICAL INCIDENTS  Rank order summary o f h i n d e r i n g c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s  Category  Generating  Number o f  Number o f  Incidents  Subjects Per I n c i d e n t  10  10  F r u s t r a t i o n i n j o b search  10  9  C o u n s e l l o r l a c k o f understanding  15  8  U t i l i z i n g telephone  11  7  F e l t f o r c e d t o e n t e r program  6  4  Offended  6  4  Pressured by A c t i o n Plan  7  4  Program was waste o f time  4  3  C o n f l i c t e d with o u t s i d e support  2  2  Lack o f s t r u c t u r e  2  2  Location  2  1  No job leads  1  1  TOTAL  job options  technique  by o f f e r o f course  76  68  Generating Job Choices  T h i s category i n v o l v e s comments by p a r t i c i p a n t s who felt  forced  t o look  a t more  than  one  job c h o i c e  d i s l i k e d the job c h o i c e s t h a t were suggested  or  t o them.  Range  S e v e r a l respondents  i n t h i s category f e l t upset a t  having t o c o n s i d e r o p t i o n s other than t h e one i n which they  were  looking  trained  at their  generating that  they  obtain. job  o r had experience. interests  ideas.  Others  and a b i l i t i e s felt  One p a r t i c i p a n t thought i t was  a  disliked  as a way o f  f o r c e d t o pursue  d i d not t h i n k t h a t they  openings,  Some  waste  could  areas  successfully  t h a t , as t h e r e are few of  time  to  focus  on  i n t e r e s t s as one had t o take what one c o u l d g e t .  I1lustrations  "What t h e c o u n s e l l o r was t r y i n g t o do was t o g e t me t o focus on s p e c i f i c types o f companies.  J u s t maybe t h e r e  might be a demand f o r what I do but, u n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h e r e wasn't  when  starting  we  from  d i d i t that  page one.  way.  Maybe  So  basically  I ' l l g e t some  I'm  little"  69  company t h a t may have an opening, that  way,  j u s t through  through the c r a c k s .  "In  looking  sheer  Might g e t something  . . . something w i l l  Who knows?"  f o r work o n l y  for a  ... as an  c l e r k o r as an o f f i c e c l e r k i n an accounting some  o f the c o u n s e l l o r ' s  something e l s e . have f o r other is  what  (country) best.  What other jobs.  I'm b e s t  fall  advice abilities  was  accounting department  t o look  at  and a t t i t u d e s I  I d i d n ' t q u i t e agree because t h i s  a t and I worked f o r e i g h t  years i n  and t h r e e years here and t h i s i s what I do the  I s t a r t e d the program t w i c e .  First,  c o u n s e l l o r and the second, I had another  I had one  . . . the f i r s t  was b e t t e r .. the advice was c l o s e r t o what I wanted from the program o r what I wanted t o do.  11  F r u s t r a t i o n w i t h J o b Search  This  category  r e f e r s t o the up and down f e e l i n g s  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l o o k i n g f o r work.  Range  Many p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t they went through a  series  o f highs where they  conducted  an  energetic,  70  confident  job search  and lows  where  they  stopped o r  p r o c r a s t i n a t e d i n completing t h e i r A c t i o n P l a n s . indicated  extreme  frustration  over  seemingly  Some  getting  nowhere as they were unable t o o b t a i n any i n t e r v i e w s .  Illustrations  "Presumably  each person should be motivated enough t o . .  t h a t they should be a b l e t o g e t up i n t h e mornings and on t h a t telephone and phone a l l day l o n g . that.  But you don't do  You t h i n k , "Oh w e l l , I ' l l j u s t watch t h i s one t a l k  show." o r " I ' l l j u s t watch t h i s show on TV." o r whatever and then, "Oh, I don't f e e l l i k e phoning r i g h t now."  So  you watch another one, r i g h t and then t h e t h i n g i s b e f o r e you know i t , t h e day i s gone and, I mean, i t ' s so easy like.  You can come i n and you can be v e r y w e l l motivated  by . . w h i l e t h e c o u n s e l l o r i s t a l k i n g t o you and t h a t but then you go home and you may work f o r a day o r two, r i g h t or maybe t h a t a f t e r n o o n ... "  "I f e l t v e r y .. c o n f i d e n t and I , j u s t ... maybe i t ' s j u s t me .. I always t h i n k t h a t t h i s i s going t o be my j o b o r t h i s time I'm going t o .. I'm going t o g e t t h i s  position  but a g a i n , I went through disappointments, through ups and downs..."  71 C o u n s e l l o r ' s Lack o f Support  T h i s category i n c l u d e s p a r t i c i p a n t s '  f e e l i n g s of not  being heard o r understood.  Range  Most  respondents  i n this  category  felt  that the  c o u n s e l l o r d i d not understand t h e i r s p e c i a l circumstances and a s s i s t them e f f e c t i v e l y felt  that  i n their  the counsellor  wasn't  job search.  listening  to  Some their  concerns about t h e job c h o i c e s t h a t were b e i n g generated or  their  objections  technique.  over  One p a r t i c i p a n t  utilizing  the  telephone  thought t h a t t h e c o u n s e l l o r ' s  l a c k o f experience h i n d e r e d h i s a b i l i t y  t o understand her  p o i n t o f view.  Illustrations  "Again, t h e b i g g e s t problem at t h e s t a r t o f f .  I f e l t t h a t I had was r i g h t  U.I., S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e , and even here  was t h a t I was coming from a much d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e than  their  specific  mandate.  times  I was a p r o f e s s i o n a l .  and v e r y  specific  instances,  In very I  very  d e f i n i t e l y f e l t l i k e I was f a l l i n g through t h e c r a c k s and  72  nobody  was  manager.  listening  t o help  as  a  professional  I f I'd been a t e c h n i c i a n , i f I was a l a b o u r e r ,  tremendous amount o f h e l p . wasn't  me  understanding  where I was coming  I f e l t that the counsellor  . . wasn't  actually  understanding  from."  "Well, t h e c o u n s e l l o r had i d e a s .  I d i d n ' t want t o f o l l o w  through and he was pushing me t o do i t .  F o r example, i n  (country) I worked f o r a t r a n s p o r t a t i o n company f o r s i x years and he was pushing me here t o go i n t o and c o n t a c t transportation good  idea  there.  companies here  because  I cannot  11  I cannot  but I s a i d ,  " I t ' s not a  use any experience  I had  use anything here. I had t o know t h e  area which I don't know . . and a l s o t h e system here i s t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t so i t wouldn't h e l p me a t a l l but he still and  pushed me i n t o i t so I c o n t a c t e d those companies  I had very bad responses  worst  response  from  this  from every one.  group  than  with  I had a  any o t h e r  groups."  U t i l i z i n g Telephone  This  category  Technique  includes  participants'  f e e l i n g s over making c o l d c a l l s t o employers.  negative  73  Range  P a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s category had v a r y i n g degrees o f dislike  f o r making  apprehensive  calls  t o employers.  Some  felt  i n t h e b e g i n n i n g but s t a t e d t h a t they  felt  b e t t e r as they c o n t i n u e d t h e c a l l s .  Others thought t h a t  they were b o t h e r i n g t h e employer o r begging f o r a job by telephoning.  One respondent thought t h a t h e r accent was  a b a r r i e r i n her e f f e c t i v e l y  u s i n g t h e technique.  I1lustrations  "I was t e r r i b l y w o r r i e d about b e i n g on t h e telephone and t a l k i n g t o people.  I felt  i t was e a s i e r t o go w i t h a  resume .. I f i n d i t v e r y hard t o speak t o somebody, you know.  I s t a r t t o e x p l a i n t o somebody what's going on and  I start  s t u t t e r i n g and, you know, they don't  for t h i s .  They got a customer o r t h a t .  have time  I find i t really  hard."  "I was not begging people t o l e t me come i n and see them and t h a t ' s r e a l l y how I f e l t .  I f e l t l i k e a beggar when  they put me i n a p o s i t i o n l i k e t h a t . you  t o l e t me  Please  see me  come  i n and t a l k  today."  "Hi,  I'm  t o you about  Anything  that  begging a job.  got me  the  74  interview.  I t looked good on paper.  your s o c i a l  worker.  I t looked good t o  I t looked good t o the people  were above you i n t h i s program i n any way. interview.  who  Oh, he got an  Great, he c a l l e d up and got i t on h i s own.  They're probably a t the o t h e r end nine times out of t e n , i t ' s out of sympathy. hour.  It'll  We'll t a l k t o t h i s guy f o r h a l f an  make him happy.  d i d t h i s and h e ' l l go away.  H e ' l l go away and say he  That's r e a l l y what I f e e l i t  ends up being i s a burden on people."  "I guess what I d i d n ' t l i k e was p i c k i n g phone numbers out of the phone book, c o l d c a l l i n g because I have such an education.  I have a l o t o f good c l e r i c a l background and  I j u s t f e l t t h a t f o r me p e r s o n a l l y t h a t wasn't the way t o go.  I t might w e l l work f o r somebody e l s e but p i c k i n g  companies out of the Yellow Pages and c o l d didn't p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e . all.  calling,  I  I d i d n ' t enjoy doing t h a t a t  I t embarrassed me f o r some unknown reason."  F e l t Forced t o E n t e r Program  T h i s category encompasses any f e e l i n g s of p r e s s u r e from S o c i a l S e r v i c e s t h a t p a r t i c i p a n t s thought gave them no c h o i c e i n a t t e n d i n g the program.  75 Range  Participants felt  forced t o attend  assistance. ranged that  i n this  although  and e f f e c t  t o intense.  they  reported  felt  o f these  anger  forced  during  t o attend,  the interview  t h e i r f e e l i n g s o f being f o r c e d . feelings  they  feelings  Some respondents  p e r c e i v e t h i s as something t h a t was good. exhibited  that  o r they would be c u t o f f s o c i a l  The degree  from m i l d  category  of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n that  stated  they  Others  when  now still  discussing  One respondent r e p o r t e d being  a single,  white  male, he was f o r c e d t o a t t e n d over other groups on s o c i a l assistance.  I1lustrations  "I  was k i n d o f h e s i t a n t because I'd a l r e a d y  taken some  k i n d o f j o b search and then they s a i d I had t o take i t so I was f o r c e d t o go. it.  I t was r e a l l y n i c e t h a t I d i d take  I t helped me a l o t .  I don't r e g r e t i t a t a l l .  At  the time, I t o l d myself t o f o r g e t i t , j u s t f i n d my job i n my own way. f i r s t day,  Then, I guess, I don't have any c h o i c e .  I d i d f e e l t h a t way but afterwards i t was k i n d  of n i c e being here."  The  w i t h people because I don't know anybody  76  "I had no .. They gave me no . . They s a i d e i t h e r do i t or you're not going t o get a n y t h i n g . (I f e l t ) trapped. don't get any money i f you don't go .. I l i k e b e i n g pushed. when I was working  so I have t o go.  I l i k e t h a t cuz t h a t ' s the way  i n warehouse, I was  You  ...  b e i n g pushed and  e v e r y t h i n g and I d i d n ' t mind t h a t a t a l l . "  Offended by O f f e r o f Course  T h i s category i n c l u d e s comments made by p a r t i c i p a n t s t h a t they f e l t  s l i g h t e d i n some way  by the r e f e r r a l  to  the program.  Range  Respondents i n t h i s category f e l t  that r e f e r r a l to  t h i s course was an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t they were p e r c e i v e d as being i n c a p a b l e of f i n d i n g work or t h a t t h e i r worker a t the M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s thought not l o o k i n g  t h a t they were  f o r employment.  Illustrations  "When  I  first  heard  about  i t , I was  a  b i t negative  because I thought, "What more can they do f o r me than  I'm  a l r e a d y doing?" I had my doubts.  I thought they c o u l d n ' t  do any more f o r me than I'm a l r e a d y doing.  I guess t h e r e  are  I wasn't too  so many job programs on the market.  hopeful.  "What e f f e c t ! W e l l , I'm guess  t h a t ' s what I'm  j u s t t o l d I was to  happen.  (worker)  not sure how you were t o l d and I talking  going t o t h i s .  Pressured!  just t e l l i n g  he's g o i n g t o c u t me  me  this  incompetent  to  go  ..  what was  to  he's or  that I can  a week, I ' l l get a job. that  t o send me w i t h a bunch of dummies who I'm  worker i s not l o o k i n g a t you.  people  who  I are  You don't have  don't know how  b e t t e r than t h a t .  to The  The worker i s j u s t l o o k i n g  has a b a r r i e r  t h e r e ' s got t o be a reason.  going  There's  I don't need them!  i n g e t t i n g a job need t o go.  at you as a person who  was  i s what I have t o do  places  make a telephone i n t e r v i e w .  I  It's like  o f f without a dime.  do i t without them! Give me need  Actually,  T h i s was  Forced!  f e e l i n g of I don't need them.  don't  about.  t o employment  and  T h i s i s going t o h e l p him,  I hope, get him o f f the t h i n g and on steady employment r a t h e r than, as I say, r e a l l y t h e i r case l o a d .  . . there i s a f e e l i n g  Dump me on someone e l s e ' s  problem."  . .  78  P r e s s u r e d by t h e A c t i o n P l a n  This  category  includes  feelings  of pressure  and  s t r e s s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e completion o f t h e A c t i o n P l a n .  Range  U n l i k e t h e h e l p f u l category,  some respondents  felt  t h a t t h e r e was a n e g a t i v e pressure p l a c e d on u n r e a l i s t i c e x p e c t a t i o n s of the A c t i o n P l a n s .  Some i n d i c a t e d t h a t  making t h e telephone c o n t a c t s was merely a numbers game.  I1lustrations  "For me, I f e e l sometimes angry because I f e e l t o o much p r e s s u r e t o come two times per week and t o show t h a t I am looking.  When I have t o show people where I apply, then  they telephone.  Two times per week sometimes when I show  the p l a c e s , t h e c o u n s e l l o r say, " T h i s i s n o t enough. You need more." and  I have t o go t h e r e .  I apply t o t h e a i r p o r t  apply t o many warehouses t h e r e and back I say, "I  went t o f i v e p l a c e s . " What can I do.  and he say, "That i s not enough."  I think  i t was t h e worse  r e c e i v e t o o much p r e s s u r e . "  f o r me t o  79 "I  felt  like  I was p l a y i n g  numbers game r a t h e r u s e f u l important  a numbers  game, p u r e l y  a  than a c t u a l l y t r y i n g t o make some  contacts."  80 DISCUSSION  For  the  involvement  majority in  the  Job  perceived p o s i t i v e l y . more  than  50%  of  of  the  respondents,  Search  Support  their  Program  was  Six helping categories contained  the  participants  responding.  The  h i n d e r i n g c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s had o n l y one c a t e g o r y which obtained  a  50%  c a t e g o r i e s had results  response.  Each  l e s s than a 50%  of  response.  i n d i c a t e t h a t the respondents  combination structure search  of  of  support  and  the A c t i o n  skills  were  focus  Plans  the  the  and  most  remaining The  thought  by  the  overall that  the  counsellor,  acquisition  significantly  of  job  helpful  factors. Three  participants  waste of time.  stated  that  the  program was  Only one of these however thought  a  that  t h e r e was n o t h i n g h e l p f u l a t a l l about the program. T h i s person  also  clarified  that  t h e r e was  nothing  harmful  either.  The remaining two noted s e v e r a l h e l p i n g f a c t o r s  such  as  learning  with  whom t o d i s c u s s o p t i o n s , and  telephone  t e c h n i q u e s , having focusing  someone  their  job  search through the a c t i o n p l a n s . The h i g h e s t frequency of remarks c e n t e r e d around the pivotal negative  role  of  the  counsellor.  c a t e g o r i e s focused  around  Both the  positive  and  participants'  81 perception  of  understand and  the  counsellor's  ability  support them i n t h e i r  to  job  listen,  search.  The  t h r e e mentioned p r e v i o u s l y had a h i g h frequency r a t i n g on the c o u n s e l l o r ' s l a c k of understanding.  Conversely, the  category of m o t i v a t i o n by the c o u n s e l l o r was mentioned by 90% of the p a r t i c i p a n t s and had the h i g h e s t frequency i n c i d e n t s ) of any The as  a way  category.  A c t i o n Plan was of  (53  seen by  keeping them on  75%  of the  task.  respondents  Many p a r t i c i p a n t s  noted t h a t r e p o r t i n g t o the c o u n s e l l o r had a g r e a t impact on  completing the  activities.  One  p a r t i c i p a n t who  had  attended other agencies p r o v i d i n g one-to-one employment counselling  stated  suggested, he was  that  although  never r e q u i r e d  amount i n an a l l o t t e d time frame.  activities  were  t o complete a c e r t a i n Althouqh a t times he  d i s l i k e d the A c t i o n Plan, the p a r t i c i p a n t thought t h a t he was  more a c t i v e i n h i s job search as he was  required  to  r e p o r t back t o someone. The  acquisition  of  job  search  predominant among the h e l p i n g i n c i d e n t s .  skills  These i n c l u d e d  the workshops (70%), resume w r i t i n g (40%) technique (30%).  The  perception  were  and  telephone  of the c o u n s e l l o r as a  knowledgeable resource appeared t o be q u i t e important t o 60%  of  the  program was  participants.  One  participant  d e f i c i e n t o n l y i n terms of the  found  the  inexperience  82 of  the c o u n s e l l o r .  preferred  t o work  She with  stated  someone  that else  she would have but thought  she  d i d n ' t have a c h o i c e . Four of the h i n d e r i n g c a t e g o r i e s were the i n v e r s e of those  found  to  be  helpful.  Although  75%  of  the  p a r t i c i p a n t s found the A c t i o n Plans u s e f u l , 20% thought f u l f i l l i n g the requirements became o v e r l y s t r e s s f u l . the  Generation  respondents  of Job  found  Options  category,  increasing their  40%  In  of the  job c h o i c e s h e l p f u l  w h i l e 50% were f r u s t r a t e d i n u t i l i z i n g t h e i r i n t e r e s t s t o expand  alternative  percent  of  the  understanding  employment  possibilities.  participants  and s u p p o r t i v e .  found  counsellor  Forty percent  the c o u n s e l l o r l a c k e d understanding their  the  Ninety  indicated  i n some aspect o f  relationship.  The appeared  hindering to  be  category  linked  with  of  generating  the  options  counsellor.  The  p e r c e p t i o n of the c o u n s e l l o r ' s i n a b i l i t y t o understand the importance one  t o the p a r t i c i p a n t of m a i n t a i n i n g t h e i r  job c h o i c e  caused  some  participants  d i s c u s s i o n of any o t h e r o p t i o n s .  Others f e l t  to  resist  desperate  i n t h e i r job s e a r c h and were exasperated over having t o focus on c e r t a i n areas as they thought l i m i t e d job openings  available.  t h a t t h e r e were  83 From the p e r s p e c t i v e of the p a r t i c i p a n t s experience of  unemployment,  indicated effective roller  on  their  coaster r i d e " noted  and  assistance  evident.  Job  suggested the  found  by  negative by  Support  Klein  5).  The  was  &  slide  being  et  of  al  as an  "emotional  Amundson  E n t r y i n t o the program caused  participants  Program  representation  (see Table  more p o s i t i v e movement.  some l o s t  Search  graphic  intervention  (1984) was social  the  Borgen  (1990)  on was  an upswing t o  At the end of the program, most  maintain t h i s p o s i t i v e outlook.  Although  j o b s , the drop i n t o the d e p r e s s i v e emotional  s t a t e d i d not appear t o be as dramatic as job l o s s p r i o r t o the program.  For those p a r t i c i p a n t s who  l o s t t h e i r jobs or are c u r r e n t l y f o r the f u t u r e remains  positive.  found work,  looking, t h e i r outlook  84 TABLE  5  A.  L o s t Job  B.  A p p l i e d f o r Unemployment  C.  Job Search  D.  Applied f o r Social Assistance  E.  Entered Job Search Support Program  F.  Job Search  G.  Secured Employment  H.  Continue job s e a r c h / t r a i n i n g  I.  L o s t j o b / c o n t i n u e d h e a l t h problems  Insurance  85 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND  This program  study that  recipients results  examined the helped  in their  indicated  or  SUMMARY  factors  hindered  experience  that  the  of  of  an  employment  social  assistance  unemployment.  program  was  a  The  positive  influence i n t h e i r experience. This  chapter  will  examine  the  theoretical  i m p l i c a t i o n s , the l i m i t a t i o n s of the study, i m p l i c a t i o n s for  further  counselling,  and  implications  for  further  research.  THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS  Engbersen e t  al  (1993) and  Buss  & Redburn  (1988)  found t h a t the long term unemployed were not a homogenous group. the  In t h i s study, we can f i n d some r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  fatalist  and  Engbersen.  One  independent participant  groups  described  expressed  the  fatalist  individual history, wants  to  group.  has  has be  a a  with  Unemployed f o r over a year, t h i s  fairly  stable,  traditional  employed  by  extreme  hopeless view and sense of powerlessness a s s o c i a t e d the  of  yet  long  term  work e t h i c , believes  employment  and  there  is  sincerely no  work  86  a v a i l a b l e f o r him.  As h i s d e p r e s s i v e s t a t e was  d u r i n g the s e s s i o n s , he was counselling following  before  evident  encouraged t o seek p e r s o n a l  resuming  quote i s i n d i c a t i v e  his  job  search.  of h i s b l e a k  The  outlook  on  life. " B a s i c a l l y , I've got my own r o u t i n e g o i n g . I read the papers. I f t h e r e ' s a p o s s i b l e job i n the paper, I ' l l apply f o r i t , though c y n i c a l l y . I mean, I have got as much chance g e t t i n g t h a t job as winning the lottery. Basically, I've got everything rationalized. I have a d a i l y r o u t i n e . I do some job search and b a s i c a l l y I do some r e a d i n g on my own and watch TV i n the evenings maybe. And b a s i c a l l y t h a t ' s my l i f e . I wish you c o u l d do more about i t but I'm s o r t of l i m i t e d by c i r c u m s t a n c e s . There a r e n ' t a l o t of jobs out t h e r e . ... what more can I do. I mean the f u t u r e of t h i s country and t h i s p l a n e t doesn't look good. I mean, I don't t h i n k people out t h e r e are doing a l o t of good. People are j u s t b a s i c a l l y out f o r themselves. You know p r o t e c t i n g t h e i r own t u r f a t b e s t . ... You know i t dawned on me, "Hey t h e r e ' s never going t o be a middle c l a s s way of l i f e f o r you buddy." I mean b a s i c a l l y the way through technology or t r a d e d e a l s is the middle c l a s s i n t h i s country i s going d o w n h i l l and you're not going t o be a p a r t of i t . I t r y not t o take i t out on myself. You know i t ' s sort of like social forces beyond anyone's individual control. I j u s t keep going day t o day and t r y t o s u r v i v e . "  Another p a r t i c i p a n t expressed sentiments s i m i l a r t o those i n the independent group,  the  individual  group. has  C h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s  little  social  pressure  to  o b t a i n and maintain employment, l a c k s a t r a d i t i o n a l work ethic,  and  training.  believes that  the  system  "owes" him  some  T h i s p a r t i c i p a n t had been through a s i x month  87 program t h a t a s s i s t e d him education  and  a  i n upgrading  job c l u b p r i o r  Search Support Program.  h i s high school  t o a t t e n d i n g the  During h i s two y e a r s on  Job  social  a s s i s t a n c e p r i o r t o the program, he h e l d f i v e jobs t h a t each l a s t e d a maximum of f o u r months. he secured two  A f t e r the program,  jobs f o r a s i m i l a r amount of time. He i s  p r e s e n t l y a t t e n d i n g a cooking course. "...what I hate about our s o c i e t y , our s o c i e t y i s too f a r bred i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t work i s i t . I f you don't work, you're a bum or you're a l o s e r , or you're a d i s a b l e d person. I don't t h i n k i t ' s f a i r . My b e l i e f s , can go on f o r hours about what I f e e l about people having t o work.. I f e e l f o r c e d t o work f a r too much of our l i v e s than we s h o u l d f o r what we get p a i d and t h a t but i t ' s a f a c t of l i f e . . . I got a job completely out of what I was l o o k i n g f o r or wanted t o do .. o f f e r e d me a good p o s i t i o n . I was l u c k y t o have been l a i d - o f f , r e a l l y l u c k y , because i t was a p r e t t y good job, good pay but i t wasn't what I wanted t o do. The feedback I got from f r i e n d s afterwards was l i k e , "Thank God, you're not i n t h a t job anymore." Well why? "Because you are not the k i n d of i n d i v i d u a l f o r t h a t j o b . " too s t r u c t u r e d f o r me, they say. You got t o work every day a t 8:00, having t o be t h e r e on the dot and having t o be t h e r e u n t i l 5 and t h i s i s what you do every day. I agreed i t was s t r u c t u r e d , t h a t was p a r t of the reason I d i d n ' t want t o take the job. I'm not the o f f i c e type. That s t r u c t u r e d r o u t i n e i s not me, i t i s n ' t but i t gave me a chance t o t e s t myself. That's p a r t of the o t h e r reason I took the job was a t e s t . ... The l a s t two jobs ( s i n c e the program) gave me more than enough of an opportunity to get Unemployment Insurance which I wanted. T h i s i s the f i r s t time I wanted Unemployment Insurance but I f e l t they owed me the e d u c a t i o n t h i s time. They've screwed me a couple of times out of what, I f e e l , I was r i g h t f u l l y e n t i t l e d t o which was e d u c a t i o n and t h i s time, I f e e l they owe i t t o me and t h e y ' r e g i v i n g i t t o me."  88 The  majority of p a r t i c i p a n t s  who experienced  long  term unemployment were r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e c o n f o r m i s t group who h e l d t h e t r a d i t i o n a l work e t h i c and wanted t o find  employment.  evidence  that  Although  such  groups  this  exist,  i s not conclusive i t does  support t h e  theory o f d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s o f unemployment. When their  initially  unemployed,  people  j o b s e a r c h and a r e unconcerned  (Bratfisch, those  1984).  participants  positions  with  tend  w i t h f i n d i n g work  In t h i s study, t h i s was e v i d e n t i n who  had  long  one company.  term,  Lulled  professional  into  a sense of  s e c u r i t y w i t h severance pay, they had minimal pressures.  Having  t o delay  a solid  financial  e d u c a t i o n and work h i s t o r y  background, they thought t h a t a p o s i t i o n would q u i c k l y be secured, once they began t h e i r  job search.  When they  d i s c o v e r e d t h e job was not forthcoming and t h e money was running roller  o u t , these coaster ride  participants  began  t h e emotional  as d e s c r i b e d by Amundson & Borgen  (1984) . The  demoralizing  transition  from  Unemployment  Insurance t o s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e noted by Kates (1990) was a l s o e v i d e n t i n t h i s study. emotional  shift  participants. embarrassed  The p s y c h o l o g i c a l downward  was expressed Many s t a t e d  and degraded.  by t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e  that  they  f e l t humiliated,  One respondent  s a i d t h a t she  89 sold  a l l her possessions  social assistance.  t o avoid  having t o apply f o r  Another s t a t e d t h a t he f e l t  l i k e he  was l e t t i n g h i s f a m i l y down because he wasn't " b r i n g i n g i n t h e money". Klein  e t a l (1990)  noted  that  social  assistance  r e c i p i e n t s found f i n a n c i a l concerns, f a m i l y problems and embarrassment  over  being  on w e l f a r e  t o be  prevalent  negative f a c t o r s i n t h e experience o f unemployment. study confirms these f i n d i n g s .  This  A l l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  i n t h e study remarked on t h e f i n a n c i a l h a r d s h i p t h a t they i n c u r r e d w h i l e on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . it  as b a s i c  survival.  Some  Several r e f e r r e d to  participants,  currently  employed, d i s c l o s e d t h a t they were s t i l l paying o f debts that  were  accumulated  while  they  were  on  social  assistance. Most  participants  associated  family  difficulties  w i t h t h e f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n i n which they found themselves. One male s t a t e d  that  h i s wife  another  was c l o s e  breakdown  while  constantly  having t o say no t o t h e c h i l d r e n when they  asked f o r something.  discussed  t o a nervous  the  stress  of  One p a r t i c i p a n t , a s i n g l e mother  stated: "I've always been a housewife and I worked p a r t time and my husband l e f t . I t was t e r r i b l e . We had been use t o l i v i n g a middle c l a s s l i f e and I had my own c a r and a u t o m a t i c a l l y , I d i d n ' t have anything so... I t ' s d e f i n i t e l y been up and down l i k e a c h a r t . When  90 I was working and n e a r l y o f f w e l f a r e ! In f a c t , I d i d go o f f w e l f a r e f o r 2 or 3 months. I f i n a l l y was steaming a l o n g . I t was good while I was working but I was l o o k i n g .. a l o t of ups and downs. I've got two teenage sons and a 12 year o l d daughter and the ups and downs have a l o t t o do w i t h them. I t ' s j u s t hard f i n a n c i a l l y . My mom bought me a c a r but now it's s i t t i n g t h e r e because I c a n ' t a f f o r d the i n s u r a n c e on i t . T h i s sounds l i k e a t a l e of woe, doesn't i t ? I t j u s t . . . found i t r e a l l y degrading ... I s l e e p a h e l l of a l o t when I f e e l l i k e t h a t because u s u a l l y ... I'm q u i t e s o c i a b l e and an a c t i v e type of person but I found when I have no money . . not even t o put gas i n my c a r or put i n s u r a n c e on my car, i t j u s t stops me from l o o k i n g f o r a job so ... When I was working and had my c a r going, e v e r y t h i n g f e l l i n t o p l a c e l i k e i t always does, n a t u r a l l y . " The  review  of  research  shows  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of d i v e r s e groups.  studies  As e a r l i e r  on  the  expected,  these v a r i o u s subgroups whose experience of unemployment d i f f e r s can be seen i n t h i s study. of  T h i s sample c o n s i s t e d  40% long term unemployed (2-7 y e a r s ) , 25%  20% s i n g l e p a r e n t s , 30% people who  completed  immigrants, some r e c e n t  t r a i n i n g and 30% p r o f e s s i o n a l s .  Of the p r o f e s s i o n a l and  student  underemployed  groups,  temporary jobs.  some had  been  or  found  As one p a r t i c i p a n t s t a t e d :  "I worked very, very hard f o r those t e n years and I was p r e t t y t i r e d so I was g o o f i n g o f f r e a l l y f o r t h a t f i r s t f i v e or s i x months and I thought t h e r e was l o t s of time t o be a b l e t o f i n d work and then I worked f o r awhile and then I was o f f and then I went i n f o r r e t r a i n i n g or r e v i e w i n g of my s k i l l s and I thought, "Well now I'm going t o r e a l l y go and I d i d f i n d work w i t h i n a month's time but then, of course, a f t e r t h r e e months the job f e l l through and i t s o r t of a l l j u s t k i c k s a t you and you r e a l l y have t o s t a y r e a l l y up or .. and i t was going on .. i t ' s p r e t t y  91 w e l l been f o u r years s i n c e I've a c t u a l l y worked f u l l time." This  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s too  differences  w i t h i n the  small  realm  of  to  distinguish  social  any  a s s i s t a n c e or  between those groups on Unemployment Insurance and those on  welfare.  (Engbersen  It  et  does,  a l , 1993;  however, Buss  &  support  Redburn,  research  1988)  that  p u r p o r t s t h a t s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s are comprised of  a heterogenous Amundson  &  group. Borgen  (1988)  found  group  employment  c o u n s e l l i n g t o be an e f f e c t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n i n a s s i s t i n g U.I. r e c i p i e n t s i n coping with unemployment.  Attendance  t o the program caused an emotional s h i f t t o the p o s i t i v e regardless  of  employment.  whether  Similarly,  the  participants  secured  the Job Search Support  Program  showed a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e s h i f t i n the experiences of social assistant The  recipients.  combination  of  workshops,  completion of an A c t i o n P l a n appeared needs  of  structure,  participants  indicated  community that  and  meetings  and  t o meet T o f f l e r ' s meaning.  the A c t i o n P l a n  (75%)  Most and  biweekly s e s s i o n s (70%) p r o v i d e d a s t r u c t u r e and r o u t i n e . F o l l o w i n g along a "to do" l i s t p r o v i d e d s t r u c t u r e w h i l e having  someone t o  "answer  complete the a c t i v i t i e s .  to" provided motivation to  Although 70% i n d i c a t e d t h a t the  92 workshop  content  was  helpful,  30%  expressed  the  importance  o f s h a r i n g experiences and having a sense o f  not  alone  being  while  35% commented  e f f e c t s o f the o f f i c e environment.  on t h e p o s i t i v e  Ninety p e r c e n t of the  participants  found the support from the c o u n s e l l o r  beneficial.  Some p a r t i c i p a n t s  more d a i l y r o u t i n e  expressed a d e s i r e  s i m i l a r t o that  most for a  p r o v i d e d by a group  employment program. The  results  Philbrick's receiving  of  this  quantitative  data  some c o u n s e l l i n g  chances o f f i n d i n g work.  qualitative  study  (1975) t h a t  intervention  support  job seekers  increase t h e i r  These p a r t i c i p a n t s concur  that  the c o u n s e l l o r / c l i e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the program's e f f e c t i v e n e s s .  Of equal importance t o the  p a r t i c i p a n t s i s the a c q u i t i s i o n o f the j o b s e a r c h s k i l l s found i n the model developed by Brown & K o t t l e r These  skills  include  increasing  overcoming  frustration  procrastination a t some p o i n t  tolerance,  counsellor  employers.  failure,  resisting  i n t h e i n t e r v i e w , mentioned t h e i r need t o  indicated  that  of  job s e a r c h .  Several  they found t a l k i n g w i t h the  a s s i s t e d them i n d e a l i n g  frustrations  of  and s e l l i n g o n e s e l f . Most p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  have a "push" t o c o n t i n u e t h e i r respondents  feelings  (1979).  the j o b s e a r c h  e f f e c t i v e l y with the and  rejections  from  93  LIMITATIONS OF  The social  results  STUDY  of t h i s study are  assistance  Mainland  recipients  in  There was  the  of  Lower  a mixture  of and  I n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o a more s p e c i a l i z e d group  different  results.  As  conducted i n an urban area, the from  reside  a sample  m a r i t a l status, education, occupation,  citizenship. yield  based on  who  i n B r i t i s h Columbia.  gender, age,  may  THE  those  found  in  a  research  r e s u l t s may  rural  be  setting.  across  distinct  Since  p r o v i n c e s may  y i e l d results that r e f l e c t t h e i r particular For  these  g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of t h i s study may The than  sample drawn was  at  random.  transient the  As  the  letter  selection not  this  group  to  program.  has  a  be  high  had  the  program and  rather  rate  of  moved between  the  time of  these p o s s i b l e p a r t i c i p a n t s  may  the have  results.  participants sent  reasons,  limited.  l i f e s t y l e , many p a r t i c i p a n t s  study. E l i m i n a t i n g  The  be  other  through a c c e s s i b i l i t y  time t h a t they l e f t the  affected  country,  the  rate  situation.  the  was  unemployment  employment  differs  this  to  them  process may  were  required  about  the  of  the  respond  research.  have skewed the  representative  to  to  This  a  self  sample c a u s i n g i t  participants  in  the  94 Another l i m i t a t i o n o f t h i s study i s t h e d u r a t i o n o f time s i n c e t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the program.  Some of  the p a r t i c i p a n t s found i t d i f f i c u l t t o remember  clearly  the d i f f e r e n t f a c e t s o f the program and how they f e l t o r thought.  Maintaining  participants this  may  a  produce  three  month  period  alternative  for  conclusions  all from  study.  IMPLICATIONS FOR COUNSELLING  In  considering the i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r c o u n s e l l i n g ,  counsellors personal  should  views,  begin  with  biases  and  an examination stereotypes  assistant recipients.  Misconceptions  initiative  o f the system  and  abuse  of t h e i r of  social  about the l a c k o f may  inhibit  c o u n s e l l o r from t r u l y l i s t e n i n g t o the c l i e n t .  the  In t h i s  study, many p a r t i c i p a n t s expressed f e e l i n g s o f anger and o f f e n s e a t being r e f e r r e d t o the program.  Some thought  that  character or  the r e f e r r a l  ability  while  established conducting  was  others  as  no  a slight thought  one  a job s e a r c h .  on t h e i r that  believed  the r e f e r r a l  they  were  A few respondents  was  genuinely felt  that  they were being dumped on someone e l s e as no one seemed to  care about t h e i r  represented  in  situation.  inappropriate  These f e e l i n g s may be behaviour  that  the  counsellor  c o u l d misconstrue  as  lack  of m o t i v a t i o n t o  secure employment. C o u n s e l l o r s need t o be aware of the importance  of  the g r i e v i n g process not o n l y of job l o s s but a l s o the sense  of  giving  p a r t i c i p a n t s who  up  an  occupation.  The  m a j o r i t y of  i n d i c a t e d the g e n e r a t i o n of job c h o i c e s  as a n e g a t i v e f a c t o r were p r o f e s s i o n a l s , i n d i v i d u a l s held  a l o n g term  completed  position,  a training  unsuccessful  or people who  program.  i n obtaining  Although  employment  some time, most were r e s i s t a n t  had  recently  they had  i n that  who  been  area f o r  i n moving on t o another  1  option.  These i n d i v i d u a l s , s i m i l a r t o those d e s c r i b e d by  K r y s t a l (1983), had a l o t i n v e s t e d i n and i d e n t i f i e d with t h i s work and found d i f f i c u l t y i n r e l i n q u i s h i n g i t .  It  i s important t h a t c o u n s e l l o r s understand and a s s i s t the c l i e n t i n p r o g r e s s i n g through t h i s g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s . In p r o v i d i n g  counselling  services  for this  group,  the most pronounced f a c t o r i n the r e s u l t s of t h i s study was the respondents f e e l i n g of b e i n g heard and understood (90%).  As i n o t h e r f a c e t s of therapy, c l i e n t s t h i n k of  their  experience  group  programs,  lacking.  As  a  as this  unique.  D e s p i t e the  individualized  result,  participants  i n s i g n i f i c a n t and a l i e n a t e d may  benefits  approach already  may  of be  feeling  cope b e t t e r i n a course  s i m i l a r t o the Job Search Support Program.  A second and almost e q u a l l y important f a c t o r o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p with the c o u n s e l l o r i s the p e r c e p t i o n o f the c o u n s e l l o r as a f o c a l (65%) and knowledgeable (60%)  force  behind  skill  their  job search.  The  facets  o f the  development (Brown & K o t t l e r , 1979) d i s c u s s e d were  preceived  previously  by the p a r t i c i p a n t s as being  helpful.  Many o f t h e respondents found the A c t i o n Plans worked i n combination w i t h the "push" p r o v i d e d  by t h e c o u n s e l l o r .  These r e s u l t s may suggest t h a t c o u n s e l l o r s need t o c o n s i d e r t h a t empathy alone may not be enough t o address the c l i e n t s ' needs.  The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study were  aware o f r e q u i r i n g a s s i s t a n c e i n " g e t t i n g out of t h e r u t " and a p p r e c i a t e d t h e p a r t s o f the program t h a t helped them i n t h i s area.  The commitment t o the A c t i o n Plan  the i n c e n t i v e t o accomplish some a c t i v i t i e s . techniques,  strength challenges,  promoting a p o s i t i v e  Reframing  and m o d e l l i n g  by the c o u n s e l l o r s a s s i s t e d i n m a i n t a i n i n g and  provided  utilized  the momentum  outlook.  Although some s t a t e d t h a t the c o u n s e l l o r was someone t o t a l k t o l i k e a f r i e n d , many looked as an expert receiving  i n the f i e l d o f employment and a p p r e c i a t e d  clear, practical  regarding interviews application  t o the counsellor  labour and was  market  job search evident  answers t o t h e i r trends,  employment  strategy.  This  i n t h e development  questions issues, practical o f the  97  program. was  A f t e r a 14 month p e r i o d , Labour Market Trends  eliminated  from  the choices  o f workshops  as the  c l i e n t s showed r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n the o v e r a l l theory.  The r e s u l t s c o n f i r m the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s  decision  as  none  o f the respondents  of t h i s  mentioned  this  p a r t i c u l a r workshop i n t h e i r i n t e r v i e w s . As the c l i e n t s preferred  the p r a c t i c a l  application to their  specific  area o f i n t e r e s t , the i n f o r m a t i o n was adapted t o f i t the individual  sessions.  In c o n c l u s i o n , the r e s u l t s o f t h i s r e s e a r c h i n d i c a t e that  counsellors  need  c o u n s e l l i n g process instructor. be  aware  of not only  the  but a l s o t h e i r r o l e as a coach and  In a s s i s t i n g s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s t o  effective  in a  knowledgeable, information. important  t o be  j o b search,  practical In  force  the view  counsellors  base of  in  these  i n maintaining  focus  require  labour  market  respondents, during  a  an  t h e job  search r e s t s with the c o u n s e l l o r .  IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH  The f i n d i n g s o f t h i s p r e l i m i n a r y study i n d i c a t e t h a t a program p r o v i d i n g both i n d i v i d u a l and group c o u n s e l l i n g assists s o c i a l assistance recipients i n t h e i r of unemployment.  experience  Further research i n t o the e f f e c t i v e n e s s  98 of  such a program  beneficial  f o r the v a r i o u s  would  be  i n a s c e r t a i n i n g unique h e l p i n g or h i n d e r i n g  facets i n t h e i r experience. include  subgroups  immigrants,  professionals.  Examples of such subgroups  single  Additional  parents,  research  youth,  could  and  explore  difference  and/or  similarities  of  the  experience  between  Unemployment  Insurance  the  unemployment and  Social  A s s i s t a n t r e c i p i e n t s i n these same subgroups. Utilizing  Engbersen's  (1993)  four  cultures  of  unemployment, r e s e a r c h comparing the p r o f i c i e n c y of such a  program  in assisting  the  fatalist,  autonomous groups would g a i n new employment programming.  independent  insight into  and  effective  With such a study, the p e r c e i v e d  h e l p i n g and h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s c o u l d be addressed i n the p l a n n i n g and d e s i g n i n g o f i n t e r v e n t i o n and s p e c i a l needs groups t a r g e t e d . One of  the  aspect o f t h i s study i s t h a t the e f f e c t i v e n e s s program  participant. research  i s viewed  through  of  the  To g a i n f u r t h e r i n s i g h t , r e p l i c a t i n g  this  from the c o u n s e l l o r ' s  the  eyes  perspective  i n working  w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group would be advantageous. 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(1981). p o s t i n d u s t r i a l age: counselling Journal of Employment Counselling.  Unemployment i n the redundant workers. 18 ( 4 ) , 183-189.  Sandler, S. (1988). D i s l o c a t e d workers: A response. Journal of Employment Counselling. 25, 146-148. Swinburne, P. (1981). The p s y c h o l o g i c a l impact of unemployment on managers and p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a f f . Journal of Occupational Psychology, 54, 47-64. Tiggemann, M. & W i n e f i e l d , A.H. (1984). The e f f e c t s of unemployment on the mood, s e l f - e s t e e m , l o c u s of c o n t r o l , and d e p r e s s i v e a f f e c t of s c h o o l - l e a v e r s . Journal of Occupational Psychology. 57, 33-42.  105 Trimmer, H. (1984). Group j o b s e a r c h workshops: a concept whose time i s here. Journal of Employment Counselling. Sept., 103-116. T o f f l e r , A. (1980). Third Morrow and Company Inc.  Wave.  New York:  William  Warr, P.B. & Jackson, P.R. (1984). Men without jobs: Some c o r r e l a t e s o f age and l e n g t h o f unemployment. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 57, 77-85. Warr, P.B., Jackson, P.R., & Banks, M.H. (1982). D u r a t i o n o f unemployment and p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l being i n young men and women. Current Psychological Research, 2, 207-214. Yates, C. (1987). Job h u n t e r s ' p e r s p e c t i v e s on t h e i r needs d u r i n g t h e j o b s e a r c h p r o c e s s . Journal of Employment Counselling, 24, 155-165.  Appendix A Consent L e t t e r  107  Dear I am a graduate student a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia conducting r e s e a r c h f o r my Masters t h e s i s t i t l e d : F a c t o r s t h a t Help and Hinder the Experience of Unemployment f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s . T h i s study i s under the s u p e r v i s i o n of Dr. Norm Amundson a t the Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology. The purpose of t h i s r e s e a r c h i s t o understand the f a c t o r s t h a t have helped or h i n d e r e d p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the Job Search Support Program w h i l e s e e k i n g employment. T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l a s s i s t i n d e s i g n i n g more e f f e c t i v e employment programs f o r s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . In a d d i t i o n , the r e s u l t s w i l l be used t o improve the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the Job Search Support Program. P a r t i c i p a n t s w i l l be asked 7 q u e s t i o n s about t h e i r experience of unemployment and involvement i n the Job Search Support Program. At the end of the i n t e r v i e w , each p a r t i c i p a n t w i l l be asked t o draw a l i f e l i n e of t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . The time r e q u i r e d t o complete these a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be approximately one hour. The f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s would a p p l y : 1.  P a r t i c i p a t i o n i s v o l u n t a r y and withdrawal from t h i s study i s p o s s i b l e a t any time. P a r t i c i p a n t s do not have t o respond t o any q u e s t i o n s t h a t they may f e e l uncomfortable i n answering.  2.  Any q u e s t i o n s t h a t p a r t i c i p a n t s may have about the study w i l l be answered t o t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n b e f o r e the i n t e r v i e w begins.  3.  Although the i n t e r v i e w s w i l l be taped, no identifying i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be r e c o r d e d . Only the r e s e a r c h team w i l l have access t o the tapes which w i l l be d e s t r o y e d a f t e r the study i s complete. A l l i n f o r m a t i o n i s c o n f i d e n t i a l .  P l e a s e complete the f o l l o w i n g form and m a i l i t i n the enclosed stamped s e l f addressed envelope. I f you have any f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n s , p l e a s e c o n t a c t myself a t 435-6966 or Dr. Amundson a t 822-5259. Thank you f o r your time and consideration. Sincerely, Janet M a c L e l l a n  r  Appendix B Sample I n t e r v i e w  109 Co:  I'd  like  you  to  tell  your  own  story  of  your  experience of being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , j u s t l i k e  any  s t o r y , t h e r e i s a beginning, middle  you  begin w i t h b e f o r e you  and  were unemployed  end. and  Could  continue  d e s c r i b e your experience i n terms of thoughts, a c t i o n s and  to  feelings  job s e a r c h .  CI: That r e s u l t e d i n a l a y o f f . When the o f f i c e c l o s e d w i t h the company I working  for.  I  was  suddenly  whereas i n p r e v i o u s q u a l i f i e d as I was  found  myself  on  assistance  i n s t a n c e s I have normally  haven't  s e l f employed but, i n t h a t i n s t a n c e ,  I d i d q u a l i f y because I was  employed by a company i n the  East and the i n i t i a l . . I mean t h e r e ' s a c e r t a i n amount of shock i n v o l v e d because I had t o scramble  around t o see  what I c o u l d do. I wasn't p a r t i c u l a r i l y w o r r i e d because fortunately flexible  I have an  in  my  qualifications...  education which a l l o w s me  employment. but  I can  I  won't  t u r n my  go  to  into  hand t o a  be my  certain  number of s k i l l s so I wasn't w o r r i e d about f i n d i n g a job. It  was  finding  the  right  job  with  the  right  salary  because I have c e r t a i n d o m i s t i c committments t o take care of so we scrambled f o r a few months and I guess the shock i s the f i r s t month t o s i x weeks and your  i n a s t a t e of  110 panic  because  you're...you  got  to  find  that  right  v o c a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n and i t ' s o b v i o u s l y not going t o t u r n up i n t h a t week. I t ' s going to take a few months. Typically any  one  day,  i f I look through the Globe and  Mail  on  i t ' s u s u a l l y weekly. They have the ads  in  Wednesdays. . .the  job  ads  in  the  Globe  and  Mail  on  Wednesdays but i f I look i n on any p a r t i c u l a r Wednesday, there  usually 4  are  given  the  or  5  opportunity,  situation.  So  positions that given  under those  the  I could  right  circumstances  take  competitive I sent  out  a  whole c a r t l o a d of resumes... So the problem was t h a t I had a g e o g r a p h i c a l problem, I d i d n ' t want t o move but f o r the r i g h t money I might have. So  i t took a w h i l e  month p e r i o d  I was  ...6  starting  weeks t o about the t o get  about whether the r i g h t job was  a b i t more  three panicy  going t o t u r n up and urn  t h i s i s about when I go i n t o the program and um I s t a r t e d t o broaden my h o r i z o n s t o look a t v a r i o u s other p o s i t i o n s and be l e s s s e l e c t i v e about i t and I was a c t u a l l y s t a r t e d t o look a t t h i n g s l i k e gas s t a t i o n s and gas pumping stuff  like  t h a t , you  know, j u s t  and  t o make some income,  because I was running s h o r t of my l i m i t e d savings f o r the r e n t and we were s t a r t i n g t o be i n a panic s i t u a t i o n the  ..I  initially  qualified  for  U.I.,  I  don't  and know  whether you were aware of t h a t but I o n l y had a c e r t a i n  Ill number stopped  of  weeks  pretty  left soon  after  the  qualifications  a f t e r w a r d s and  U.I.  a s s i s t a n c e d i d n ' t even pay the r e n t . My 1100  a  month  so  i t didn't  ...  so i t  and  social  r e n t was  i t was  a  about  real  panic  problem. I was u s i n g my savings up a t a goodly r a t e . . . $ l 000 a month from your savings doesn't l a s t too l o n g . So by the end of the t h i r d o r f o u r t h month. . .1 don't know which you were i n we were i n a r e a l p a n i c s i t u a t i o n . 1  decided  t o broaden my  horizons  and  started  looking  around. My w i f e s t a r t e d l o o k i n g around f o r a job. She's not looked f o r 8 o r 9  y e a r s , I can't remember. I t ' s been  some time however. She was because the have  w o r r i e d about f i n d i n g a job  ..she's a s e c r e t a r y  changed  i n the  time  and the o f f i c e  because  the  skills  computers  have  changed them, t h i n g s l i k e t h a t so she d i d n ' t know i f a person w i t h her experience so she was i n a p a n i c as w e l l .  I t h i n k t h a t was one o f the b i g g e s t problems because she was debt  near t o a nervous breakdown because we were i n  around  $40,000 w i t h the c a r s ,  you  know, and  the  o t h e r t h i n g s you buy you know so we were shedding our debts as f a s t as we c o u l d g e t t i n g r i d of our a s s e t s as f a s t as we c o u l d . You do s t a r t t o run i n t o a p a n i c and even though I wasn't w o r r i e d about a job, I guess, t h a t ' s the key t h i n g .  112 I mean, I even t a l k e d t o the c o u n s e l l o r about t h i s t h i n g about working i n t h i s i n s t i t u t e and I would never have c o n s i d e r e d t h a t otherwise. I use t o do l e c t u r i n g and the odd t e a c h i n g t h i n g so I was l o o k i n g i n t o t h a t . I'm an e l e c t r o n i c s t e c h n i c i a n by p r o f e s s i o n so n o t o n l y was I looking  at  expertise,  broadening  my  horizons  i n my  field  of  I was a l s o l o o k i n g a t a l t e r n a t e employment  such as t e a c h i n g and t h i n g s l i k e t h a t . When I a c t u a l l y started  the j o b s e l l i n g  insurance,  which  I've heard  happens t o a l o t o f people when they g e t t o my age, i t ' s not because t h e y ' r e f o r c e d i n t o i t ..they j u s t g e t f e d up w i t h the r a t race i n the e l e c t r o n i c s b u s i n e s s but I'm now working as an insurance salesman and i t s a c t u a l l y much more f r u i t f u l You  go  than the e l e c t r o n i c s b u s i n e s s . through  this  phase  in  the  middle  where... where... your i n a p a n i c . You're not g e t t i n g the r e s u l t s you wanted t o g e t so you broaden your h o r i z o n s but i n so doing, you're i n a state..because  you're i n a  s t a t e o f c a t a t o n i a you can't c o n c e n t r a t e on what's going on. You can't a s s i m i l a t e what's going on and i f you apply for  a job I've found  outside  my  field  of  that's s p e c i f i c a l l y , expertise  I  I found i s  really  couldn't  c o n c e n t r a t e on going f o r t h e i n t e r v i e w because you can't focus your a t t e n t i o n on t h a t p a r t i c u l a r type o f job so. . . I'm ...I use t o teaching..when I do l e c t u r e anybody i t ' s  113 u s u a l l y i n the e l e c t r o n i c s b u s i n e s s but b e f o r e I came t o apply a t Compucollege...I a p p l i e d t h e r e . . I c o u l d n ' t get my  mind  wasn't  s e t around l e c t u r i n g about computers because I i n the f i e l d of computers.  I'm i n the f i e l d  of e l e c t r o n i c s t h e . . .components. . . s o r t of e l e c t r o n i c s and so when you go f o r an i n t e r v i e w , you don't f e e l prepared for  i t . Anyway  t h i r t y minute shot anyway.  .. so you might go  f o r t e n , twenty o r  i n t e r v i e w s and you r e a l l y . . . . i t ' s  a long  There's r e a l l y not a l o t of p o i n t going f o r  you because you don't f e e l c o m f o r t a b l e about i t when you go, and you go because i t s what you have t o do.  I think  t h a t was one of the b i g g e s t problems and I t a l k e d t o the c o u n s e l l o r about t h a t because, you know, he has t h i s form for  i n t e r v i e w . . . so I f i g u r e d I should t a l k t o him about  the  k i n d of companies  you'd  like  t o work f o r and  that  p a r t worked because i t helped me t o focus on what I was doing and not t o apply f o r a l l these l o s e r group jobs. So having gone through t h a t phase, we're i n t o about the  s i x t h month, June, i t a c t u a l l y s t a r t e d about June,  the  end of May sometime, June f i r s t .  So i t was about the  s i x t h month when I a c t u a l l y decided and I took the job with the insurance company and I decided t h a t I've got t o do  something,  trying  rather  than  float  around  t o look f o r the golden apple, and  about concluded the s e a r c h .  anymore,  just  I think  that  114 Co:  Think  Search  back t o when you f i r s t  Support  thoughts  Program.  heard  I'd l i k e  about t h e Job  you t o t e l l  me you  and f e e l i n g s a t t h a t time.  CI: Uh, t h a t was i n t e r e s t i n g .  We had a very n i c e s o c i a l  worker, and she was very s u p p o r t i v e , very c a r i n g , um, and um, we got t o l i k e her a l o t , she was r e a l l y n i c e . she  first  When  mentioned t h a t she was going t o r e f e r me t o  t h i s p l a c e , you know I was s o r t o f offended, but I don't know i f I ' l l r e a l l y time,  a b l e t o judge  but I was s o r t  o f offended  my r e a c t i o n a t t h a t t h a t she would  t h i n k t h a t she c o u l d n ' t do i t , t h a t she c o u l d n ' t it,  because  thought  I felt  comfortable  with  even  handle  h e r , you know, I  a t t h e time, you know, I must have thought,  why  do I need t h a t because I'm self-employed, o r I used t o be self-employed, and I'm q u i t e t h e g r e g a r i o u s type, which you've probably n o t i c e d by now. slightly  offended,  And so I s o r t o f f e l t  I guess t h a t i s t h e e x p r e s s i o n , and  I'm n o t sure i f t h a t ' s t h e t y p i c a l r e a c t i o n you g e t . . .any body t h a t ' s employed by BC Hydro o r BC T e l f o r 25 years they  probably  get that reaction  but you know, she  e x p l a i n e d what i t ' s a l l about, so I thought l e t ' s g i v e i t a t r y , i t ' s b e t t e r than keeping So  ... e v e r y t h i n g e l s e .  I came along and I r e a l l y  d i d n ' t know what t o  expect. . . um. . I wasn't sure when i t was d e s c r i b e d t o me,  115 I wasn't sure i f i t c o u l d be a support program f o r me, because o f the technology i n v o l v e d i n t h e j o b t h a t I was working  with.  high-tech  Because a t t h e time  jobs.  s e l l to profs  I was l o o k i n g f o r  I'm used t o s e l l i n g t o u n i v e r s i t i e s , ,  .... and I know how a l l t h e i r  experiments  work and a l l t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g with them i n a h i g h - t e c h industry  so I'm used  t o having t h i n g s  like  t h a t and I  wasn't sure i f t h e Job Support Program c o u l d h e l p me f i n d a job i n t h a t s o r t o f work.  I don't want t o sound super-  s e r i o u s o r anything l i k e t h a t but i t ' s j u s t , I guess wasn't  sure  i f t h e Job Search  Support  Program  I  would  understand what I was l o o k i n g f o r and t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g . But then,  I come along and t a l k t o t h e c o u n s e l l o r and  i t ' s q u i t e i n t e r e s t i n g t h e way the mind s e t works.  Co:When you d i d t h e A c t i o n P l a n s , what f e e l i n g s d i d t h a t r a i s e f o r you?  CI: Urn, Again, b e i n g self-employed and doing these types of t h i n g s anyway i t was a f a i r l y standard p r a c t i c e f o r me to  do t h a t  photocopies projects  type  of t h i n g .  I have sheets  of t h e same sheet  and t h a t  but I would  I was working  that  almost  do i t  on when I was  for  self-  employed. . That d i d n ' t bother me a t a l l , i t was f i n e and I would do t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g anyway.  Even f o r t h e when  116 I was a p p l y i n g  f o r jobs  t h a t were o u t s i d e  e x p e r t i s e , I would put down a p r e f e r e n c e  my f i e l d of  a n a l y s i s sheet  and I j u s t wrote t h e jobs on one s i d e and a l l t h e f a c t o r s I l i k e o r d i s l i k e d about i t on t h e other s i d e , and c h a r t it.  So I used t o do those s o r t s o f t h i n g s anyway, so i t  d i d n ' t worry me a t a l l .  Co: How d i d t h e meetings w i t h t h e c o u n s e l l o r a f f e c t your o v e r a l l morale?  CI: I t h i n k they were very h e l p f u l , they were very good, yeah.  The o n l y drawback I f e l t was t h e t r a v e l l i n g t h i n g .  At t h e time, we were d e s t i t u t e by then, we had no money at  a l l and t h e s o c i a l  assistance  people  paid  us some  e x t r a money f o r gas f o r t h e c a r . . . s o t h a t wasn't bad but you  still  f e l t g u i l t y t h a t you were u s i n g t h e money f o r  gas t o come out t o see t h e c o u n s e l l o r when you should be buying m i l k f o r your k i d s .  Those s o r t o f t h i n g s were, I  don't know, a b i t h e a v i e r ,  I guess.  We l i v e d i n North  Burnaby which i s you know a 20 minute d r i v e would  have  counsellor  certainly were  felt  t o come  more  down  away.  comfortable  t o the l o c a l  I  i f the offices,  something l i k e t h a t would have been more u s e f u l f o r me. But,  no, t h e v i s i t s  they gave you a grounding.  themselves were good  because  They gave you a f o c a l  point  117 t o work w i t h and they s o r t o f brought you up, brought you up s h o r t i f you were wandering  o f f the path, i f you were  f e e l i n g s o r t o f s c a t t e r b r a i n e d o r not c o n f i d e n t i n what you were doing and i t gave me a chance t o d i s c u s s the o p t i o n s , you know, what should I do t h i s ,  should I do  t h a t , I'm not sure what the c o u n s e l l o r thought about i t but I found i t was p r e t t y good because  I mean.. h a l f the  time, i n one i n s t a n c e I had a l r e a d y done the t h i n g s he was going t o suggest I do anyway, but i t was good f o r me because  i t gave me a f o c u s , so I l i k e d i t .  Co: Think back t o your involvement w i t h t h e program. When you t h i n k o f the p o s i t i v e f a c t o r s of t h e program, what p a r t s d i d you f i n d  helpful.  CI: I must say t h a t  I enjoyed the group  s e s s i o n s . Not  s p e c i f i c a l l y any one p a r t i c u l a r group s e s s i o n but i t was interesting...  I needed t o f i n d  people i n the same boat.  out t h e r e were  other  The o t h e r t h i n g was t h a t people  were n o t from the same walks o f l i f e and you're not the o n l y person t h a t ' s i n t h e same  i n . . . . a trauma o f  t h a t k i n d . So I found t h a t was u s e f u l . The o t h e r ...the s u b j e c t matter i n the group was v e r y good, I thought. I t gave you a good b a s i c understanding o f what was needed.  118 I would have l i k e d t o see more group s e s s i o n s although i t would have been d i f f i c u l t f o r me t o have p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a l l of them but..so.. I  think  for  the  majority  of  people  who  find  themselves i n the p o s i t i o n I was i n , i t would probably be good t o take down more s e s s i o n s , I  would t h i n k .  Because  t h e r e ' s a l o t of i n t e r a c t i o n t h a t goes on i n the groups and t h a t ' s the t h i n g t h a t came out of t h a t i s t h a t maybe i n the group s e s s i o n s you a l l o w people t o mix and for  a while  t h e r e was,  because they  c o u l d share  mingle  experiences  and  I don't know... I was a t a p o i n t a t the group  s e s s i o n s where I was something  thinking,  11  Why  can't I t h i n k of  t h a t can employ a l l these people because a l l  these people are l o o k i n g f o r jobs and they want t o work." and i t ' s r i d i c u l o u s and I'm  use  situations  to  and  actually  that  because  I was  ..  running a l l the  was  one  getting  companies running  of the a  myself  around  things that  b i t scattered  and  start  business  so  bothered  me  because  I  was  t h i n k i n g where can I employ a l l these people as t h e y ' r e a l l workers l i k e  me.  So I found t h a t was very u s e f u l . The group s e s s i o n s were good because,  you know, the handouts t h a t we  got.  i  They gave you a good i d e a and focus and t h i n g s l i k e t h a t . The q u e s t i o n s and answers were good t o o .  119 Co: Were t h e r e any other p a r t s you found h e l p f u l ?  CI: Well t h e r e wasn't much e l s e t o i t . There was o n l y the dialogue  and group s e s s i o n s  t h a t we d i d . Most o f the  forms I'd do myself.  Co: Now I'd l i k e you t o t h i n k o f the n e g a t i v e aspects and t e l l me what p a r t s you thought hindered search  you i n your job  experience.  C l : I don't t h i n k t h e r e was any r e a l hinderance i n v o l v e d . The  time  aspect  o f being  i n t h e program  wasn't  a  hinderance because i t wasn't a g r e a t d e a l o f i t . I t was only a week o r something l i k e  t h a t . I t wasn't a g r e a t  problem.  I had was t r a v e l l i n g  The o n l y  minutes a c r o s s  objection  Burnaby t o g e t here.  In f a c t ,  I never  come t o Metrotown, I never been i n the shopping because we l i v e i n North Burnaby. but  center  Anyway t h a t ' s j u s t me  i t i s a long way even i f somebody comes from  Burnaby  even  though  you  20  are r i g h t  i n the  g e o m e t r i c a l l y i n the middle i t i s s t i l l  south  middle,  a long way from  n o r t h o r south Burnaby t o the middle. I t causes problems e s p e c i a l l y f o r people who a r e t r a v e l l i n g by bus. wa^s the b i g g e s t negative aspect  I found.  So t h a t  120 I t h i n k most people c o u l d a f f o r d t o spend t h a t time i n t h e group s e s s i o n s . I d i d n ' r e a l i z e you had c o f f e e and donuts o r I'd been down here b e f o r e . I d i d n ' t r e a l l y f i n d anything f r u s t r a t i n g .  Co: I'd l i k e you t o r e f l e c t on your thoughts and f e e l i n g s s i n c e t h a t time. What has i t been l i k e ? CI: Now I've s t a r t e d t h i s job t h a t j u s t happens t o be two blocks  away so I do come t o Metrotown c e n t e r but I o n l y  go down t o t h e o f f i c e  to pick  because I work from home s t i l l . I keep t h i n k i n g  I should  up and drop t h i n g s o f f Every time I d r i v e p a s t ,  drop by and see how t h e guys  a r e . I don't know whether t h e r e ' s much r a p p o r t between us t h a t I should drop i n . I guess, when I r e f l e c t on i t , i t was a worthwhile program. I t was i n t e r e s t i n g , more than i n t e r e s t i n g . I was t h i n k i n g when I g e t some more money, I made a promise t o myself t h a t I would send flowers t o the  counsellor. Right  months  now  living  I've been from  penned  payday  up f o r t h e l a s t  t o payday  since  working so u n t i l  I g e t some f r e e cash.  program  A t t h e time, I was being  still  i n May.  being  t r a i n e d . There  was a p e r i o d  s t a r t e d w i t h t h e Insurance company t h a t  few  I started  I f i n i s h e d the t r a i n e d , I'm there  when I  I was t o dome  121 down here. actually  So t h e r e was a b i t o f a c r o s s o v e r .  So I  , probably f i n i s h e d so what was t h e q u e s t i o n .  My b i g g e s t f e e l i n g i s s t i l l one o f p a n i c because any one o f these c r e d i t o r s c o u l d put me i n bankrupcy r e a l l y and  I'm  still  trying  t o fend  o f f t h e wolves,  were... t h e whole t h i n g from c o l l a p s i n g .  as i t  Maybe i t would  be b e t t e r i f I d i d j u s t d e c l a r e bancrupcy. I hate t o say t h a t but a t l e a s t t h e p a n i c would go away. I s t i l l wake up a t n i g h t i n a sweat because I expect somebody t o phone me up a t 8:00 i n t h e morning. They always phone a t 8:00 in of  t h e morning. D i d you know t h a t ? I f you've g o t a bunch creditors,  morning.  they  always  phone  You know i t ' s a c r e d i t o r  you a t 8:00 every time.  computer s p i t s out numbers, i t automatic d i a l s . the  i n the Their That's  b i g g e s t problem cuz i t keeps you awake a t n i g h t . So  now  since  the  program's  finished  and  I'm  e f f e c t i v e l y working t h e b i g g e s t problem i s s t i l l w o r r y i n g about t h e c r e d i t o r s . You never know.  I j s u t bought a l o t t e r y  ticket.  You j u s t have t o work through i t .  We  t a l k e d t o everybody and sent them l e t t e r s and t o l d them what was going on. We t a l k e d i n person t o as many people as  we  could  get t o , the l o c a l  l e t t e r s t o the r e s t . we're d o i n g .  creditors  and we  sent  They know where we're a t and what  We get $600 a t t h e end of t h e month t h a t we  s h e l l out t o everybody.  That's t h e way i t goes and i f  122 somebody i s n ' t happy then we  j u s t have t o t a l k t o them  again.  worry.  That's  the  biggest  I  guess  i t ' s the  ongoing problem.  Co: What are your e x p e c t a t i o n s  about the f u t u r e  right  now?  CI: My p r o g n o s i s i s good. I have a good job and i t w i l l pay  good  when I get i t a l l swinging, when I get the  commissions g o i n g . I t ' s t o t a l expect  to  be  making  a  high  commission by the way. enough  salary  to  I  get  e v e r y t h i n g p a i d o f f i n the next few months so. In f a c t I've now g o t t e n t o the p o i n t where I can a c t u a l l y  relax  a b i t where I can a c t u a l l y spend some time w i t h the k i d s i n s t e a d o f spending time p a n i c i n g  t o send out resumes,  although I do tend t o overwork. Anyway, but no you have a mental s h i f t once you've got a p o s i t i o n and I should imagine anyone who  g e t s a 9 t o 5 job would have a much  b e t t e r time of i t because they can s w i t c h o f f a t 5:00 and the s a l a r y comes i n every 2 weeks. With me i t ' s d i f f e r e n t because I'm s e l f employed on commission so I work i n the evenings, weekends, and whenever I can but a t l e a s t I can grab a pop With- the k i d s  o r take them out somewhere.  There i s o m e n t a l adjustment, d e f i n i t e a t i t u d e s h i f t once  123 you got some r e l i e f from e v e r y t h i n g but t h e r e ' s s t i l l sleepless nights.  the  

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