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The experience of job insecurity for women university graduates in temporary and contract jobs in Vancouver Earnshaw, A. P. Russell 1987

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The Experience of Job Insecurity for Women University Graduates in Temporary and Contract Jobs in Vancouver  by  A. P. Russell Earnshaw B.Sc.(Honours) 1961, University of London; Ph.D. 1973, McGill University  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 March 1987 © A. P. Russell Earnshaw, 1987  In  presenting  degree  at  this  the  thesis in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this or  publication of  thesis for by  his  or  that the  her  representatives.  It  this thesis for financial gain shall not  Department The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3  for  an advanced  Library shall make  it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be  permission.  DE-6(3/81)  requirements  British Columbia, I agree  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  be allowed without my written  ii ABSTRACT Field research was used to document the psychological and contextual experience of job insecurity for 15 graduate women in jobs with limited tenure and protection. Single, hour-long, intensive focused interviews were used, employing a projective technique. Transcripts of taped interviews were analyzed for factors associated with positive and negative emotional shifts. Factors were categorized and grouped into domains, which included: the nature of the subjects'job insecurity; effects on work performance, work relations, emotional and physical health, finances, leisure, and, personal and family life. The experience was shown to fit a transition model of loss and adaption to change. Major stressors were uncertainty, financial fears, pressure to perform, loss of trust, job search and career fears. Typical cognitions included: self doubt; feeling unappreciated, disillusioned, powerless and isolated. Cynicism and feeling compromised were less common reactions. Work relations, and work performance were generally adversely affected as were leisure activities and family life. Financial retrenchment •0 was common. All subjects reported stress and anxiety; some reported depressive symptoms. Thirteen coping strategies were identified.  Cognitive coping was prominant, in  particular, denial-like processes used to maintain optimism. "poor coping" profiles were developed from the data.  "Good coping" and  i i i T A B L E OF  CONTENTS  Abstract  n.  List of Tables  v i i  List of Figures  V  1  1  1  i x Acknowledgements CHAPTER  1  I  The Problem Background Purpose  1 1 4  Definitions  5  Significance of Study  6  CHAPTER  8  II  8  Literature Review  8 9  Introduction Overview of Studies on Job Security Herzberg's Influence Super's Influence Maslow's Influence Difficulty of Defining Job Security Recent Studies on Job Insecurity Organizational Focus  " .  Nature of job insecurity Explanations and recommendations Specific effects of job insecurity  9 10 11 12 13 13 13 14 14  Individual Focus As part of broader study Studies on job insecurity per se Job Insecurity as a Stressor Quality of Working Life Cultural Nature of Quality of Working Life Values  15 15 16 17 18 19  Professional Workers' Quality of Working Life Values Women and Work Aspirations and Attitudes of Professional Women Dual Roles and the Work/Family Interface Work Stressors for Women The Implications of Job Insecurity Projections for the Future Job Market Dehumanization of the Work Place  19 20 20 21 22 23 23 24  1  iv  Predicted Rise in Union Activity  25  Corporate Solutions  25  Responsibility  26  Implications for the Individual  27  CHAPTER III  29  Methods  29 29  Introduction  30  The Interview General Treatment  30  The Ethnographic Interview  31 32  Source of Data Subjects and Sample Size  32  Data Collection  33  Voluntary Nature of Subject Participation  33 34  Procedures Comparison with Borgen & Amundson (1984) Study  34  Interview Design  35  Ethical Considerations  36 37  Pilot Interview  37  Pilot Interview Questions Subject's assessment  38  Final interview guide  39 40  The Interview  40  Establishing Rapport  40  Setting the subject at ease  40  Course of Interview  41  Data Analysis  41  Method  44  Reliability check  45  CHAPTER IV  45  Results and Discussion Section 1: Results  45 45  Format for Presentation of Results Interpreting the Tables  47  Overlapping Nature of the Categories  48  48  The Data The Subjects  49  Domains of Enquiry  51 51  The Nature of the Subjects' Job Insecurity (Table I) Effect on Work Performance and Work Relations (Table II)  . . . .  56  V  . Effect on Financial Concerns (Table III)  61  Effect on Emotional and Physical Health (Table IV)  64  Effect on Family and Personal Life (Table V)  67  Effect on Leisure Activities (Table VI)  70  Factors Increasing the Stress of Job Insecurity (Table VII)  . . . .  73  Factors Alleviating the Stress of Job Insecurity (Table VIII)  . . . .  79  Negative Emotions and Cognitions Experienced in  84  Job Insecurity (Table IX) Career Aspirations and View of the Future (Table X)  88  View of Self in Relation to Job(s), Experienced over Time (Table XI)  93  Coping Strategies (Tables XII, XIII)  97  Interpretive Description of Psychological Experience of Job Insecurity for Graduate Women Working in Temporary and Contract Positions  100  The Projective Technique  104  Section 2: Discussion  107  Introduction  107  Limitations of the Study  108  Job Insecurity as a Transition Experience  109  Shock and Immobilization  110  Denial  Ill  Depression  112  Letting Go  113  Search for Meaning  115  Testing Options  116  Integration  116  Job Insecurity as a Stressful Life Event  118  Major Stressors in the Experience of Job Insecurity  119  1. Not Knowing: Powerless  119  2. Financial Fears  121  3. Loss of Trust  122  4. Pressure to Perform  123  5. Having to Look for Another Job  124  6. Sense of Isolation  126  7. Career Fears, Feeling Cheated  127  Adapting and Coping with Job Insecurity  129  Coping Profiles  129  The good coping profile: "Levelling up"  129  The poor coping profile: "Levelling down"  130  The Sample Group as Good Copers  130  Personality Factors and Ability to Cope  132  vi  Denial-like Processes in the Illusion of Control in  133  Job Insecurity Recurrent Themes  137  Investment  138  Betrayal  139  Who am I  140  Powerlessness  140  Grieving and Renewal  141  CHAPTER V  143  Implications, Recommendations and Summary Implications  143 143  General Remarks  143  Career Change  147  Consolidating the Research Findings  148  The Effect of Personality Variables  149  A Measure of Job Insecurity  150  Adapting and Coping with Job Insecurity  151  Changing Attitudes and Values  151  Implications and Recommendations for Counselling  154  1. Transition Stages  154  2. Normalizing the Experience  155  3. Refraining  155  4. Search for Options  156  Summary  157  REFERENCES  160  APPENDICES A: Subject Consent Form and Ethics Committee Approval  171  B: Interview Protocol  173  C: Demographic Data of Subjects  176  D: Previous and Current Occupations  177  E: Current Job and Career Aspirations  .  178  F: Abbreviated Protocol No. 1  179  G: Abbreviated Protocol No. 2  185  H: Abbreviated Protocol No. 3  192  I: Abbreviated Protocol No. 4  202  vii  LIST OF  TABLES  Table I:  Nature of Job Insecurity  52  Table II:  Effects on Work Performance and Work Relations  57  Table III:  Effects on Finances  62  Table IV:  Effects on Emotional and Physical Health  Table V:  Effects on Personal and Family Life  68  Table VI:  Effects on Leisure  71  Table VII:  Factors Increasing the Stress of Job Insecurity  74  Table VIII:  Factors Alleviating the Stress of Job Insecurity  80  Table IX:  Negative Emotions/Cognitions Experienced  .  85  Table X:  Career Aspirations and View of the Future . .  89  Table XI:  View of Self in Relation to Job(s): Experi- .  . .  65  with Job Insecurity  94  enced Over Time Table XII:  Coping Strategies Reported/Demonstrated . .  98  Table XIII:  Coping Attitudes Expressed  99  Table XIV:  Major Stressors in the Experience of Job Insecurity  120  LIST OF  FIGURES  Psychological Experience of Job Insecurity for Graduate Women in Contract and Temporary Jobs.  ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  The idea for this research project developed out of my involvement with Dr. Norman  Amundson as a member of the research team on the effects of unemployment  and job insecurity. I am grateful to both him and Dr. Bill Borgen for presenting me with the opportunity to complete this study, and also for their many helpful suggestions and comments. The fifteen women who  co-operated with me as research subjects deserve  my  special thanks. Without their willingness to talk with me, this research could not have been done. They remain anonymous, but our conversations are a vivid memory. Hopefully this account will go some way to speak for their experiences. Dr. Don Fisher provided useful and probing comments, and I wish to thank him for opening up to me a research methodology with which I was unfamiliar. I wish to thank Gloria Thiessen for her work in transcribing some of the tapes, an arduous chore. Finally, I would like to thank my colleague Celia Lewis for her competence and unfiapability, despite many delays, in preparation of the manuscript.  X  "Part of the problem is, having done this [contract work] for most of my life, it's very hard to know what else to do. Getting off the train ... It's like the train is barely moving down the tracks ... it's ... well, that's it! I guess the illusion is I'm clinging, and I'm trying to get on, and I'm running along the track with this damn train, and I'm trying to get on board. I'm trying to leap onto that train, but I've been running for years now and at some point I hope I will get smart and let go, fall by the wayside and find something else. I mean the worst scenario is when I will really be 60 and I'll still be running after that train."  Subject # 14  1  Chapter I T H E PROBLEM  Background The 1980's is a period in which workers' job security is increasingly threatened (Spreading the work around, 1984) but, surprisingly, there have been few studies which explore the effects of this threat. Those studies which have done so, have tended to focus on the effects for organizations, rather than for the individual worker. Thus the personal experience of job insecurity has received little attention from researchers. Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984) review the literature and present a model of job insecurity from an organizational perspective. These authors define job insecurity as "perceived powerlessness to maintain desired continuity in a threatened job situation." (p. 434). In their paper they note that the nature, effects and moderators of job insecurity are not well understood. They state that very little research has been undertaken to clarify the relationship between structural job insecurity  2  (terms of employment) and subjectively experienced job insecurity. Such research, they conclude, is necessary before an adequate measure of job insecurity can be developed. To date, studies on job insecurity have dealt with threatened job loss for full-time, permanent employees as a result of company-wide layoffs or closures. Amongst these, only two have reported on the reactions of women. An aspect which has not been studied, is the experience of job insecurity for workers in jobs which have limited tenure or protection. Workers in such jobs routinely face the possibility of job loss as budgets are reviewed and contracts come up for renewal. The number of workers in this situation is likely to increase with the continuing trend towards both cut-backs and lay-offs, including privitization of the public sector (Hirschhorn and Associates, 1983). A shrinking job market is predicted in which the proportion of permanent jobs will decrease, while that of temporary and part-time positions will continue to rise (Evans, 1979; Hall, 1984). In addition, forecasts also predict that womens' increasing participation in the workforce will be largely in these temporary and part-time jobs (Evans, op. cit.; Hall, op. cit.; Stromberg & Harkess, 1978). A study of the reactions to job insecurity of women currently in this situation is therefore timely and useful, for such experiences are likely to become increasingly the lot of women in the work force. Studies on persons working in professional occupations have shown that they generally tend to value work-intrinsic rewards (autonomy, influence, achievement,  3 the opportunity to contribute and to develop skills and abilities) over work-extrinsic rewards (salary, benefits, job protection) (Manheim &; Cohen, 1978; Ross, 1981). Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984), have speculated that persons who value job intrinsic rewards, or for whom career advancement is important, are likely to have a stronger reaction to job insecurity. In selecting university graduates as subjects I have chosen from a group likely to be working in professional occupations. The intent in doing so was to interview women experiencing the threatened loss of both intrinsic and extrinsic job rewards.  This study used an in-depth interview technique to examine the subjective experience of job insecurity for a small sample of women. The data provide a new and useful contribution to existing knowledge, particularly with regard to the workand life-worlds of its subjects, and to the reactions of women in temporary and contract positions. Further, the focus of this study on individual experience will provide information useful for counselling those who are job insecure. The impetus for this research came from a workshop conducted by Dr. Norman Amundson's Adult and Secondary Counselling Team of the Department of Counselling Psychology of the University of British Columbia, in February 1985. Job insecurity received considerable attention during the participants' discussion because of its impact on their own lives. This discussion generated the research questions posed below.  4  Purpose The aim of this research was primarily to develop a description and interpretation of the experience of job insecurity for women university graduates working in temporary or contract positions in the Greater Vancouver area that will answer the following questions: 1.  What is the psychological meaning for the individual of job insecurity as it affects: feelings of self-worth; career aspirations;  and  expectations of the future. 2.  What is the perceived effect of job insecurity on: work performance and interpersonal work relations: family and personal life; leisure activities; financial concerns;  and  emotional and physical health.  The problem was addressed by using an ethnographic approach. Single, in-depth, focussed interviews (Bailey, 1982) with each subject were analyzed from transcriptions of the taped interviews. The analysis in part followed the method used by  5 Borgen & Amundson (1984) in identifying and categorizing emotional shifts and related situational factors. In addition, the method of analysis focussed on the commonalitites in the experience. This allowed the emergence of themes that not only reflected the relationship among the categories but also expressed the meaning of the experience for the subjects (Spradley, 1979). A further aim of this study was to provide information of use specifically for professional counsellors. For this purpose, the emphasis has been on personal experience and the discussion of thoughts and feelings. It was considered important to select an interview design and method of analysis that would facilitate mapping the emotional aspects of the experience over time.  Definitions For the purposes of this study, job insecurity is defined as: "the perceived threat of loss of continuity in a job situation" (Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt, 1984, p.434). Continuity will be understood to include continuity of either or both tenure and job content. The use of the term "perceived threat" will be taken to imply that such continuity is desired. Temporary employment is understood to mean: employment at temporary rates of pay with no written contract as to termination date.  6 Contract work is understood to mean: employment with an agreed written termination date and may or may not (although it generally does) mean employment at temporary rates of pay. This difference in employment agreement was in practical terms less marked than might be supposed, because continuance in both categories was often dependent on availability of funds. A temporary position would continue, or a contract be renewed if there were funds. The essential feature for both types of agreement was that there was no guarantee of tenure. Both categories were included in the study because I did not want to exclude an aspect of the structural insecurity I was interested in, namely jobs with limited tenure or security. In the discussion on occupational mobility, career change is understood to mean a change to an occupation which requires different skills and training. Vancouver is taken to mean the Greater Vancouver Area.  Significance of Study The significance of this study is that it contributes to our knowledge of the subjective experience of job insecurity and the factors which influence it. This study provides detailed information on the reactions of women to job insecurity that is not available in earlier accounts (Machlowitz, 1983; Martin & Wallace, 1984). More  7 particularly, i t records the experience of women i n a work situation which  will  become increasingly common for the female work force. T h e a i m of this research is to focus on the personal accounts a n d reflections of these women, a n d i n doing so to capture a n d document the meanings that they ascribe t o t h e i r j o b insecurity.  8  Chapter II  LITERATURE REVIEW  Introduction The 1980's is a decade in which the combined effects of economic recession, organizational decline (see below) and technological change have had a profound effect on workers' attitudes to job security (Deteriorating labour relations, 1985;  Engel,  1984; Greenhalgh, 1983; Hall, 1984; Katz, 1984; Kilgour, 1983; Restraint tightening, 1984; Seeking private sector, 1984). Despite this, few researchers are addressing the problem of job insecurity and its significance for the individual worker. No adequate measure of job insecurity exists, and the nature and meaning of job insecurity for those who experience it is not well understood. Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt (1984) state that researchers have paid little attention to job insecurity. Prior to 1970 job insecurity had only been considered as a component of job satisfaction/dissatisfaction, or of work motivation (Thompson & Davis, 1956; Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman, 1959; L.W. Porter, 1961;  Williams,  g  1965). This lack may be partly due to research on job satisfaction being carried out mainly in stable, well managed organizations. Greenhalgh &; Rosenblatt (op. cit.) note that the construct of job security in organizational research has diverse interpretations that stem from the influence of a number of theorists' views on security; in particular, the theories of Herzberg, Maslow and Super. A brief overview of these studies is relevant to placing the construct of job insecurity in perspective.  Overview of Studies on Job Security Herzberg's Influence Herzberg's Two Factor Theory of the motivation to work (Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman, 1959) views security as a job dissatisfier; that is, a factor whose presence does not necessarily promote job satisfaction but without which, a job will fail to satisfy. Other dissatisfiers include: company policy, salary, working conditions, supervision, and inter-personal relations, as opposed to work-intrinsic "motivators" or job satisfiers necessary for full satisfaction in a job. Job satisfiers include: achievement, recognition, responsibility, and the content of the work itself. Herzberg's work on job satisfaction has merit in that it was grounded in data derived from intensive interviews with a large number of subjects. It is unique in this respect.  10 He propounded his theory of the bi-polar nature of the motivation to work in the influential "Work and the nature of man"  (1966). In recent years however, the  theory has been criticized on the grounds that it is simplistic and overlooks dependent relationships between the variables it uses (Fair, 1977). The criticism points up the complex nature of job satisfaction and the different meanings it may have for an individual, depending on his or her situation (House & Wigdor, 1967). Within Herzberg's theory job insecurity found expression only in its reverse, job security, which may  account for its virtual absence as a construct in studies influenced by  his work (Borgatta, Ford & Bohrnstedt, 1973; Whitsett & Winslow, 1967). The fact that Herzberg interviewed his subjects in prosperous times may  also have had  a bearing on his analysis giving little consideration to job insecurity.  Super's Influence In contrast to Herzberg, Super (1957) saw security as one of the dominant needs and one of the principle reasons for working. His definition of security is rooted in seniority, tenure and a stable company. Stemming from Super's work, Blum (1975) derived a theoretically based nineteen point Security Scale which included such items as: freedom from ups and downs, existence of similar jobs in other companies, assurance of a certain standard of living, compensation, promotion, retention based on seniority, and routine and certainty. Although not an empirical scale, it was quite comprehensive, and he was able to show that security needs were correlated  11 with vocational choice. Again, job insecurity is inferred only as the absence of the items on this scale.  Maslow's Influence Maslow(1954) stated that the expression of safety needs is found in "... such phenomena as ... the common preference for a job with tenure and protection" (p. 87). Like Super, he saw security as a motivator, but as basic to the higher needs of belonging, esteem, and self-actualization in his five-level hierarchy of human needs satisfaction. He believed that the higher needs could only be met when the lower safety needs had been satisfied. L. W. Porter (1961) developed a theoretical measure of job satisfaction based on Maslow's needs hierarchy, and found that for bottom and middle-level managers, both security and self-actualization were important areas of need satisfaction.  In a review of studies that had been influenced by  Maslow's theory, Whaba &; Bridwell (1976) concluded that a two-level hierarchy of "maintainance" and "growth" needs explained research results better than did Maslow's five-level heirarchy. In this notion of maintainance and growth, we see some similarity to the Herzberg concept of dissatisfiers versus motivators, despite the difference in approach. These authors also cited L .W. Porter's (op. cit.) results in noting that security needs became dominant when they were unsatisfied. People with less security want it more.  12 Alderfer (1969) further adapted Maslow's concept, allowing for more complex relationships between the various maintainance and growth needs, which he considers might all exist in varying proportions at any one time for an individual.  Difficulty of Defining Job Security Herzberg defined job security as ... those features of the job situation which a  lead to an assurance of employment either within the same company or within the same type of work or profession." (Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman, 1959, p.8). Borgatta, who developed the notion of a security-conscious type, describes a secure job as one "... easy and pleasant to do that would provide a good life for a family and sufficient comfort and leisure" (Borgatta, 1967, cited in Greenhalgh &  Rosenblatt, 1984, p.  phrase such as  439).  Another approach is to describe security with a  "feeling secure about my job", a general statement that ignores  the situational complexity of job security (Hackman Sz Lawler, 1971, p. 271). In an attempt to deal with this complexity, Mitchel & Moudgill (1976) included the following aspects in their consideration of job security: the amount of predictability in a job, ambiguity of expectations, level of interference in personal life, threat of obsolescence and, feelings of insecurity about one's job.  It seems then, that a model  is still lacking to show the relationships among the many factors that influence the sense of security at work. Thus, despite the wealth of research on job satisfaction and work motivation, in which security needs are examined, there is no unified definition of the construct "job security" (Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt, 1984).  13  Recent Studies on Job Insecurity Organizational Focus Nature of job insecurity From the mid 1970's on, there has been a small, but increasing, interest in job insecurity per se, as a subject of research in North America. Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt (1984) present a model of job insecurity, summarize the existing knowledge, pinpoint deficiencies, and identify further research directions for understanding the nature, causes, and consequences of job insecurity. These authors studied workers' reactions to job insecurity in a declining organization. Greenhalgh (1983) defines "decline" as a failure to adapt to economic and market changes. Using data from an earlier study (Greenhalgh, 1979), these authors derived a model of job insecurity with an organizational focus. Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984) see the two major components of job insecurity as the threat of job loss and the powerlessness to prevent it. They define job insecurity as "... perceived powerlessness to maintain desired continuity in a threatened job situation" (p.438), and consider this definition to include both continuity of tenure and job content. In their description of this model, Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt detail various ways in which modifiers can play a part in the perceived threat of job insecurity. They state that the sense of powerlessness is an important element in job insecurity, because it exacerbates the threat. In their model, the elements of powerlessness include: lack of protection (unions, seniority systems, contracts),  14 unclear expectancies, the nature of the organizational culture, and employee beliefs about the nature of the organization's standard operating procedures for dismissal.  Explanations and recommendations A majority of papers on job insecurity with an organizational focus consist of analyses or explanations of job insecurity, of recommendations to management as to how  to deal with its effects (Bolt, 1983; Corporate responsibility, 1983;  Engel,  1984; Gaylord k Symons, 1984; Greenhalgh, 1983; Hoerr, 1983; McNeff, McNeff, O'Connell & O'Connell, 1978; Mooney, 1984; Retraining, 1983; Rosow & Zager, 1985; Whitney, 1983). The recession, retrenchment and technological change are seen as the major causes of the layoffs and cutbacks that have resulted in job insecurity for workers. Recommendations are geared to allay worker anxiety, in the hope of preventing either loss of productivity, or an increase in union activity. They include giving advance warning of layoffs, increased use of temporary and part-time work, redeployment of workers, contracting out and retraining, and helping workers find new  employment.  Specific effects of job insecurity Other authors whose work has had an organizational focus have examined some specific effects of insecurity on the work force. Thus, Fox Sz Staw (1979) report that administrators under the dual pressure of job insecurity and lack of organizational support, are more likely to remain inflexible to change in the face of  15 negative consequences. In considering the propensity to leave an insecure position, Greenhalgh & Jick (1979, cited in Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt, 1984) suggested that the most valuable workers tended to leave first, and that this could directly effect organizational decline. Several researchers have examined the relationship between job insecurity and job satisfaction. Martin and Schermerhorn (1983) suggest that individuals whose jobs are threatened, but who  remain because recession effects make it difficult for  them to find another job, are likely to experience anxiety, which is finally resolved in a change of attitude or in job dissatisfaction. Maguire (1983) suggests that unemployment rates in a recession affect the usual predictors of job satisfaction, that individuals are less likely to leave, and only those who  are most dissatisfied  will do so. Finally, Kinicki (1985) has produced a model showing the relationship between individual costs and reaction to job insecurity. He predicts that stressful life events and a strong work orientation will increase the personal cost of job insecurity. Well educated, young, male mainstream employees will be the least threatened by job insecurity, and less employable individuals will delay their job search.  Individual Focus As part of broader study A few  authors have discussed the reaction of individual workers to job in-  security within a broader study. Thus Beynon (1973), in Britain, described the resentment and sense of powerlessness of autoworkers facing possible layoffs, and  16 Hearn, Mertens & Fariciella (1983) in an account of a plant closure, noted that fatalism and resignation were common reactions. As part of an extensive and detailed study of women working in the recession in Britain, Martin & Wallace (1984) examined the reactions to redundancy of several hundred women from five different industrial plants. They used a combination of questionnaires and interviews. Shock, disbelief, sadness and resignation were typical reactions, and being 'kept in the dark' was a source of bitterness and anger. Fatalism, however, was not a common reaction: a majority took steps to find alternative work before the redundancy took effect; and a small minority were involved in active opposition to the redundancy.  Studies on job insecurity per se A few studies have examined the reactions of individuals to job insecurity. Hershey (1972) looked at the reactions of workers who knew they would be laid off, and those who did not receive layoff notices. He found no change in work productivity or absenteeism. In contrast, Machlowitz (1983) using unpublished interview data, reported a "survivor syndrome" in workers surviving a companywide layoff. Survivors tended to withdraw, and felt vulnerable and isolated. There was a loss of team spirit and morale, and a feeling of loss of power in career choice. In another study, Hall & Mansfield (1971) used questionnaires and group interviews to examine the reactions of research scientists working for a company  17 under threat of retrenchment. The study spanned a twenty month period, during which the scientists experienced a variety of attitudinal changes. Security and self-actualizing needs showed the greatest change in the subjective perceptions of the subjects. Although self-esteem remained constant, there was a less supportive atmosphere in which self-interest predominated, and there was a loss of faith in the organization. The researchers focussed on short-term work objectives and felt they had less chance for innovative and challenging work. One  study which had an individual focus used a loss model to explain the  experience of job insecurity in psychological terms. Greenhalgh (1979), using questionnaires, found that the anticipation of job loss produced the same reactions as anticipated death. Workers began the grieving process in anticipation of the loss and withdrew from the job. It was hypothesized that denial and depression were elements in this grieving process, as evidenced by loss of committment and work effort, and by a decrease in group loyalty and morale. His subjects were workers who remained after a cutback and their disinvolvement  is echoed in Machlowitz's  "survivor syndrome" mentioned above.  Job  Insecurity as a Stressor  Some studies on the effects of job stress have implications for the job insecure. Increasing job stress leads to personal life strain, but coping skills moderate this life strain (Bhagat, 1983). People who are treated inequitably in allocation of rewards  18  experience possible threats to self esteem, and there is evidence for a strong relationship between job and life stresses and mental health" (Martin & Schermerhorn, 1983). Social support has been shown to have a moderating effect on stress reactions in the workplace (Monat & Lazarus, 1985), and Bhagat's (1983) study showed that social support influences the relationship between personal life stress and job involvement. It is very likely, therefore, that social support will be an important moderator of individual response to job insecurity. Catalano & Dooley (1983) studied longitudinal survey data to seek a relationship between economic instability and illness in the work force. They concluded that economic contraction increased the incidence of undesirable job and financial events that, in turn, increased the incidence of illness and injury. These data have clear implications for the job insecure.  Quality of  Working Life  In the Western literature on work motivation and job satisfaction, terms like personal growth, self-actualization, belongingness, security, achievement and relationship suggest that work is an important part of life that fulfills a number of basic needs. Indeed, there is a vast array of literature on the construct, quality of working life, in which is revealed our cultural view of the meaning of work. Two examples are selected as relevant to the topic of this study.  pertinent  19  Cultttral Nature of Quality of Working Life Values Hofstede (1984) points out that North American culture is one in which the quality of work life is associated with a very central position for work in peoples' life concept. It is the product of a society stressing self respect through job challenge, achievement, and satisfaction of intrinsic needs. In work people find an answer to the questions, "who am I?," "what status do I have?," and, "how can I be a useful member of society?." In some other cultures the answer to these questions may not be expected to be found in the world of work. Hofstede also notes that work values expressed by persons in different levels of occupation differ. The more skill and influence a person has in their job the more he or she will be invested in its content. The less skill and influence they have, the more they will stress security and benefits as important.  Professional Workers' Qnality of Working Life Vahiea In a survey of several thousand professional men and women in the U. S. A. (Ross, 1981), the following five items were ranked top out of a total of eighteen: • a chance to do something that makes me feel good about myself; • a chance to accomplish something worthwhile; • chances to learn new things; • opportunities to develop skills and abilities; • the amount of freedom I have on the job.  20 For these workers, pay and fringe benefits ranked Number 12 and 16, respectively. According to Ross there is a growing trend for work to be seen as a vehicle for personal growth. The implications of a shrinking job market on these aspirations and expectations, as seen in the literature, will be considered below.  Women and Work Aspirations and Attitudes of Professional Women The last twenty years has seen an enormous growth in the literature related to women and work. Only a few examples will be cited here to illustrate themes relevant to this research topic. In a longitudinal study of 311 women graduates of Columbia University, Yohalem (1979) concludes that there have been irreversible changes in the way women view themselves. She predicts that more women will give precedence to their careers, and will develop strong career motivations. The career conflict they experience will be from external (market) causes and not from internal or values conflict causes. There will be accelerated competition with men. Both part time work and underemployment will increase, but even with these barriers, she predicts an increasing number of women will eventually fulfill their career goals. In support of a changing self concept for women with regard to their work, a number of studies over the last fifteen years have found little or no difference in  21 the career aspirations and work attitudes of professional women and men (Agassi, 1982; Blum, 1975; Murray & Atkinson, 1981; Rosenbach, Daly, & Morgan, 1979). With respect to women's view of themselves, Bielby & Bielby (1984) found that graduate women's work commitment and aspirations were not influenced by sex role attitudes.  Dual Roles and the Work/Family Interface Although organizational studies have neglected this area of research until recently (Kopelman, Greenhouse <k Conally, 1983), it has been quite extensively researched in the sociological literature on the family. A useful summary of recent work can be found in Women in the workplace: Effects on families (Borman, Quarm & Gideonse, 1984). Thus, Grubb and Lazerson (1984) noted that women are increasing their participation in the work force and that independence within the marriage is important to women. In addition, women experience stress and strains because of their dual roles at home and at work, and this produces a private struggle in the family. Jeylan and Sorensen (1984) state that it is now well recognized that work and family worlds are linked and dependent on one another despite their institutional separation. Role spill-over occurs and results in role conflict. Work affects family life in the areas of economic resources, constraints on time, and on the attitudes, values and personality of the working member. They also state that most working mothers do not earn enough to alter their traditional responsibilities and  22 as long as women are restricted (as they are) to low or lower paying jobs, then restriction of their occupational careers is the most rational economic response. Thus women's dual roles can be viewed as a very real handicap in career advancement, particularly for those in temporary and contract work where rate of pay is generally lower than in full time work.  W o r k Stressors for W o m e n Jick and Mitz (1985), in a review paper on sex differences in work stress, noted that nineteen studies indicated that women tend to report higher rates of psychological distress, and that men are more prone to severe illness. They suggest that the fact that women more often seek help and use social support networks and health care services than men, may enable them to avoid the more serious illnesses that men are more prone to. Men, on the other hand, have better "coping skills" that may, however, only be effective in the short term. Nelson and Quick (1985) consider that professional women have a number of work stressors that are typically the same as for men. These stressors include: role, job, environmental, and interpersonal demands. Women also have a set of work stressors that are unique to themselves. These are: discrimination, stereotyping, the marriage/work interface, and social isolation. In a study they conducted, 7 1 % of the professional women contacted reported stress related symptoms.  23  The Implications of Job Insecurity Projections For the Future Job Market Articles over the last fifteen years in The Futurist have predicted the following trends: disappearing jobs in the wake of computerization; a big rise in part time work which will increasingly be performed by women; smaller numbers of high-skill, high-status, specialist jobs; and, an increase in work for the flexible generalist (Jobs and people, 1980; Gilchrist & Shenkin, 1981; OToole, 1982; Porter, A., 1986). Ken Hall, writing in the International Journal of Manpower (1984), is less optimistic than The Futurist writers, who seldom concern themselves with the future of the unskilled. He predicts continuing high levels of unemployment which he interprets as a world phenomenon in the developed nations. He states that there will be increasingly pessimistic forecasts as to the nature of the future job market, in which there will be three major trends: 1.  world wide economic recessions of increasing amplitude,  2.  growing labour market participation trends of women,  3.  changes in employability due to technological change.  As a result of technological change, Bluestone & Harrison (1982) predict a continuing redeployment of unskilled work out of the developed nations. Evans (1979) points out that temporary work in the U. K. has mushroomed. More women are taking up part time work, and he predicts 7 million part time positions by the year 2000, as compared with 4 million in 1979. Smith's (1979) projections for the labour  24 force in 1990 in the U. S. A. conclude that there will be more women in the labour force, and most will be married with children under 18 years. Hall (op. cit.) notes that in Japan a high percentage of women are already in part time employment. These women bear the brunt of job insecurity, for any job loss will occur in this area first.  Debnmanization of the Work Place Bluestone and Harrison (1982) in their account of plant closings in the U.S.A. from 1969 to 1976, provide data on some 22 million jobs destroyed versus 25 million created, mostly in the service area for minimum wages. They describe managers as buyers and sellers of firms eager to abandon local communities and the work force for short term profit. Sandkull (1980) states that technological change is geared towards capital interest, especially computers, and robotics, which results in workers feeling that they have lost the power to understand or contest management decisions. Cherns (1980) considers that the withdrawal of work poses a threat to the foundations of urban society. In Martin and Wallace's (1984) study on women working in recession, one women who had been laid off commented: "You're just a number. They don't seem to have any feeling for you" (p. 138). It seems possible that this sense of impersonal treatment and lack of care for workers is likely to be recorded for the public service as well, with the continuing policies of retrenchment and cut backs (McNeff et al, 1978; Deteriorating labour relations, 1984).  25  Predicted Rise in Union Activity Several authors predict a rise in union activity as existing unions fight for job security and as non-unionized professions seek a greater sense of security. A Conference Board of Canada report (Job Security, 1984) showing that unions expected to seek job security more intensely over the next few years is backed up by union reports (Katz, 1984). The same forecasts have been made in the U. S. A. (Laying off lay-offs, 1S84; Rosow & Zager, 1985). With respect to non-unionized professionals, Greenwald (1978) studied the reactions of 719 scientists in the San Francisco Bay area, and showed that the economically insecure tended to favour unionization whereas the secure had a more independent viewpoint typical of the traditional individualism of technical professionals. Kilgour (1983) also predicts a rise in union activity amongst white collar workers.  Corporate Solutions Not suprisingly, a considerable portion of papers in the organizational literature deal with the problem of how firms and public service departments can best respond to union demands for job security. Bolt's paper (1983), euphemistically titled "Job Security: Its time has come", provides a representative example. He recommends the following measures to create job security for a reduced "lean" work force:  •  increase contracting out;  26 »  increase part time and temporary workers: they can be laid off without affecting full time workers, a practice already in use in British Columbia's school system;  o  retraining workers to become generalists, who can easily be deployed to a variety of positions;  o  redeploy excess Research and Development workers;  o  initiate work sharing, where employees work less time for less pay;  o  establish a probationary period for new employees;  ©  maintain a lean work force;  o  mandatory overtime. These suggestions, which are made by a number of different authors, point up  the development of a small elite "secure" full-time work force and an ever growing marginal work force of insecure part time and temporary workers, working without fringe benefits.  Responsibility Few writers in the organizational literature tackle the problem of employers' responsibility to workers with regard to job security.  Rosow and Zager (1985)  however, do make a case on more than utilitarian grounds for providing some form of security of employment.  They list the crippling effects of redundancy  for workers, and publicize the names of 44 firms in the U. S. A. which have  27 provided some sort of security for their workers. Some editorials have addressed this problem, for example: "Corporate responsibility during layoffs" (1983) and, "Retraining, the new imperative" (1983). In the United States, Levine (1979) noted that no one had addressed the issue of a public employer's responsibility to its terminated employees. Since then, Johnson (1982) carried out a series of interviews related to public service obligations to employees, and presented a report and recommendations. No such study, apparently, has been done in Canada, although a Conference Board of Canada report notes growing unrest among public sector employees (Restraint tightening, 1984).  Implications for the Individual In considering the implications for the individual I will focus on a few studies which are more pertinent to the lives of graduate women. Mottaz (1984) studied the relationship between educational level and job satisfaction for 1348 workers. For both men and women, higher education was associated with a greater importance placed on autonomy, interest and meaning in work. Further, in jobs in which the rewards for these values were limited, better educated workers were less satisfied. He suggests that increasing educational attainment, may give rise to increased aspirations which, when advancement is blocked, could result in less job satisfaction. Hudson (1985) notes that a positive expectation of the future is an important component of job satisfaction. With an increasingly difficult job market, does this mean that women in temporary and contract work  28 will experience less satisfaction with their jobs, because their expectations will not be realized? Hall (1984), in noting that threats of unemployment affect one's personal sense of control, predicts that workers may  be willing to accept a lower rate of pay for  security. In contrast to Ross (1981), O'Neill (1981) concludes that security needs will replace achievement and challenge needs in the motivation to work for many. Milward (1981), in giving suggestions for survival to the job insecure, points out some of the ways in which we are trapped by our cultural values: You are what you do, or you are what you have, and therefore can lose your identity when you lose your job. He notes that the obligation of success is imposed on all of us: "Failure is not acceptable ... you must be seen to be successful." (p.15). He also points out that traditional expectations are becoming outmoded, a view echoed by other writers. Thus, Johnstone (1972) and Anthony (1980) also note that the traditional work ethic is undergoing erosion. They believe that a new  sense of meaning and  purpose in life must emerge, based on personal growth, worth and achievement, and not on identity with the work role.  29  Chapter III METHODS  Introduction  The intent of this research is to document these women's experience of job insecurity; and further, to interpret and clarify the meanings they attach to it. This requires a method that is able to make full use of first hand accounts; one that can facilitate the expression of sensitive thoughts and feelings; and, one that uses a method of analysis that can do justice to the richness of data. This study has been influenced by the methods of ethnographic research which seek to explain the meanings that events have for individuals, and which follow procedures that allow the subjects to speak for themselves (Bruyn, 1970). The object of study is the lived experience of the individual: description and interpretation are major techniques within the methodology. A field researcher studies how meaning is constituted in particular cultures or cultural settings,and the ethnographic interview allows a broad approach which emphasizes contextual detail and relationship.  30  At the same time this strategy is flexible enough to also allow the emergence of themes that emphasize psychological process and its meaning for the individual. These techniques then, are particularly appropriate for the counselling psychologist, whose interest is so often the experience of the individual within a particular context. The use of the single intensive interview was selected as an appropriate research strategy.  The Interview General Treatment A starting place for information on the interview as a research tool is found in Borg & Gall's Educational Research (1983). These authors discuss advantages and disadvantages of the interview, consider response effects (including response to threatening questions), and describe the purpose of the pilot study. They also describe the preparation of an interview guide as well as faults commonly found in interview research. A much more detailed treatment is given by Gorden (1975). He discusses selection of respondents, interview design, and compares interviews with questionnaires as data gathering tools. He also discusses reliability and validity of unstructured interviews and notes their superiority in situations where communication would be impeded by use of a rigid schedule with fixed questions.  31 Bailey (1982) describes the design of the focussed interview. This is a semistructured interview in which the subjects are known to have been involved in a particular situation. The researcher already has some provisional analysis of the situation. The researcher develops an interview guide which sets forth the areas of inquiry to be covered, but beyond that the interview is open-ended. The focus is the subjective experience of the respondents and their definitions of the situation. The interview may elicit unanticipated responses which may generate new hypotheses or alter the existing tentative ones. In this research these tentative hypotheses have been given in question form in Chapter I.  The Ethnographic Interview Hammersley and Atkinson (1983) briefly discuss the ethnographic interview which they describe as reflexive, rather than unstructured. They point out that interviews are always structured in some way by respondent and interviewer, but the use of non-directive techniques has the aim of minimizing the influence of the interviewer on the subject. The use of reflexivity emphasizes the subjective experience of the informant. Spradley (1979), in his text on the nature and purpose of ethnographic interviews, provides a detailed step-by-step method for their analysis. This method can be adapted to any set of unstructured or semi-structured interviews. He describes  32 the means by which categories (units of symbolic meaning) are derived from data and how the relationships between them are clarified. He also suggests how cultural and universal themes can be elicited from the examination of relationships amongst categories and their organizing domains.  Sonrce of Data Subjects and sample size The sources of data for this study were transcripts of taped interviews with women university graduates working in temporary and contract positions in Vancouver, British Columbia. The focus was each subject's personal experience of job insecurity. Background information on the subjects can be found in Appendices C,  D  and E. Fifteen women were interviewed. Studies which used similar methods were carried out in the Department of Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia and showed that a sample size of 10-15 is able to reveal both detail and commonalities in the experience of a phenomenon for a selected category, for example unemployment for university graduates (Hatch, 1985).  33  Data Collection 1.  Access: Subjects were selected from volunteers obtained through personal referral: that is, through personal and professional contacts whose work roles bring them into contact with women experiencing job insecurity. The referees were persons working in the public sector (Education, Human Resources), and in the private sector (service agencies, organizations, union offices).  2.  Categories: Subjects were women university graduates working in temporary or contract jobs in which they would have preferred continuity either of tenure or content.  Voluntary natnre of subject participation Care was taken that no subject felt obligated to participate in the project. Each subject was approached by a third party, who  explained the project to her,  and she was given an opportunity to consider the request for one or two days before making a decision to become a participant. The researcher did not contact the subject until she knew the latter wished to participate in the project. It was made clear to each volunteer that she was free to withdraw at any time, and that she was free to not answer a question in the interview, if she so wished (Subject Consent Form, Appendix A). The fact that subjects were volunteers had the disadvantage of presenting a non-random sample whose data cannot be generalized to all women in the described  34 category. For example, the data might be biased by inclusion of only those who felt job insecure. This lowers the external validity. On the other hand, a volunteer sample has the distinct advantage of selecting subjects for whom the experience of job insecurity is salient, and who are not reluctant to talk about it.  Procedures Comparison with Borgen fc Amnndson (1984) Study The methods used in this study are modified from the procedure of Borgen and Amundson (1984), developed by these authors in their study on the experience of unemployment. The major differences between the two procedures are as follows. In the Borgen and Amundson study an unstructured, free story interview design was used. In this study a semi-structured, focussed interview design was used (described below). Both studies employed a non-directive interview style, in order to facilitate the discussion of sensitive and more personal issues. Both studies also used a projective technique, drawing a "life-line" to facilitate the subject's engagement in recalling their experience. In both studies, transcripts were analyzed for emotional shifts: that is, changes in affect from more to less positive, and vice versa. These shifts were either verbalized by the subject or readily apparent in the context. In the Borgen and Amundson study a critical incident analysis was used (Flanagan, 1954; Hatch, 1985) to develop categories of positive and negative incidents. In this study, a broader analysis was  35 used that grouped categories into a number of domains (Spradley, 1979) containing positive and negative situational factors and cognitions.  Interview design Each interview had a distinct focus, j o b insecurity, and specific topics which were to be covered as explained above. These topics are framed as questions in the Interview Guide (questions 8 - 16, Appendix B). The researcher used a non-directive interview style which facilitated the subject's talking freely about her experience.  The researcher helped the subject to  explore and expand on her reflexive experience by the use of minimal encouragers (Mm, Hmm, I see, Yes, Uh-huh, etc.), neutral probes ("Would you like to talk a bit more about that?"), and at times used paraphrasing, linking, summarizing and occasional open-ended questions to facilitate the subject's deeper engagement in the topic. The researcher also used non-verbal behaviour that promoted empathy (nodding, shaking head, eye contact, focus on subject, open posture, and mirroring). This interview style is directed towards building rapport between subject and researcher so as to permit the expression of sensitive thoughts and feelings (Swinburne, 1981). It allows subjects to describe their experiences quite frankly without being led to one emphasis or another by direct questions from the interviewer (Borgen & Amundson, 1984). The interview method also incorcorporated a projective technique intended to elicit information related to changes in affect over time. Thus, instead of asking  36 subjects to recall high and low points in their experience directly, the subject was asked to draw a line on a blank sheet of paper that represented her experience of herself in relation to her job over time. In explaining the meaning of the line to the researcher, subjects naturally followed the chronology of the highs and lows of their experience, and the situational factors associated with emotional shifts emerged. This projective technique was a less intrusive way to obtain information than direct questioning, and generally increased the rapport between researcher and subject. At the same time, the subject was able to reaffirm and deepen her description from the earlier part of the interview.  Ethical considerations As described above great care was taken to ensure the anonymity of the subjects, but there is a second area in which the interests of the subject needed to be safe-guarded. Although the interview is strictly an information interview, the use of a non-directive client-centred interview style had the effect of "opening up" some subjects. There seemed a need for the subject, once started, to "get it all out," to "get it off my chest," as the woman in the pilot study said. The interview style may lead to the subject exploring her own feelings in a way she had not bargained for. Thus, three of the subjects cried during their interview, and we talked off tape about that particular issue until the subject was ready to continue. The researcher has the responsibility to the subject to make sure that the latter is not left hanging with the results of the interview, without any form of  37  debriefing. For this reason, after the transcription was made, the researcher carried out a telephone debriefing session, and in one case, an in-person session. As well as checking for anomalies in the transcripts I asked the subject how, in hindsight, the interview had been for her, and if there was anything further that had come up she would like to tell me. I used this time to talk to her about her reactions, and provided information on coping skills. Most of the subjects said they had learned a lot for themselves from the interview, and that they had found it a useful and positive experience. Several subjects became very involved in the interview.  We  remained for some time talking after the interview was finished, and this too was used as a debriefing session for both of us, as I was able to make comments or enquiries I had been unable to make during the interview itself.  Pilot Interview A pilot interview was conducted to establish the feasibility of the project and to test the appropriateness and clarity of the questions. This interview was also used to assess the subjects' impressions of the interview style.  Pilot Interview Questions (demographic questions, answers written down but not recorded on tape) 1.  Can you tell me what job you do?  2.  How long have you been in this job?  3.  What is your salary?  38 4.  What is your marital status?  5.  Can you tell me how old you are?  (Topic questions, tape recorder turned on) 6.  When did you first become aware of your job insecurity?  7.  What has been the impact of job insecurity on your work?  8.  What has been the impact of job insecurity on your health?  9.  What has been the impact of job insecurity on your family life?  10.  What has been the impact of job insecurity on your finances?  11.  What has been the impact of job insecurity on your leisure?  12.  How has your job insecurity affected you over time?  13.  Can you draw a line on this sheet of paper that represents how you feel about yourself in relation to your job over time. Start here (researcher points to words "when you first knew job was insecure") and end here (researcher points to words "present time" ...). (At completion of drawing): Can you tell me what is happening for you at the different places on your line?  14.  How do you perceive the future?  15.  Is there anything more you would like to add?  Subject's assessment of pilot interview Following the interview proper, the subject was asked these questions: 1.  Were there any questions that were confusing or unclear to you?  39  2.  Did you feel that you had to adapt your answers at all because of my comments?  3.  How  was the interview for you in general?  4.  Can you think of anything that might have made it easier for you to tell your story?  The subject replied that she had found the questions quite straightforward and had not felt she needed to adapt her answers because of the researcher's comments. She had said that the researcher's style had encouraged her to tell her story. It was a relief to "get it off my  chest." She had found it useful that the researcher  had given her an idea of what the interview content was beforehand, so she had felt somewhat prepared. She said she was surprised how  much there was to say and  that it had been useful to put things in perspective. She was not able to suggest anything that might have made it easier to answer the questions. Final interview guide. On preparing the transcript the researcher decided to change the wording of two of the questions, to broaden the meaning somewhat. Question 6 was expanded to: 'Please describe the nature of your job insecurity and when you first became aware of it.' Question 7 was divided into two questions, viz: 'Has your job insecurity affected how  you do your job in any way?' (to elicit information about work performance  as well as job content) and: 'Has your job insecurity affected your work relations  40 in any way?' (to elicit information about this topic which had been very salient in the subject's responses). The interview protocol is detailed in Appendix B.  The  Interview  Establishing Rapport Setting the subject at ease. Developing a good rapport with the subject was essential and began with the introductory call. After thanking the subject for her interest the researcher made sure that the latter did indeedfither criteria. The researcher asked the subject if she had any previous interview experience, and described the interview format to her, including the fact that the interview would be taped and that strict confidentiality would be maintained. She also pointed out some possible benefits for the subject. The researcher's previous experience had shown that the more subjects knew about the interview the more relaxed they would be. At this time, the researcher clearly explained the topics she wanted to cover in the interview, and suggested to the subject that she might give them some thought before the interview.  Course of interview At the beginning of the interview the researcher was sensitive to any initial hesitancy or nervousness on the part of the subject, and reacted appropriately: sometimes taking a few minutes in general conversation until the subject appeared  41 ready to start the interview proper.  At this point the researcher explained the  purpose of the consent form and presented one to be signed by both parties. The date of the interview and the subject's telephone number were on this form, together with an identifying code number. The researcher then summarized the information already given to the subject about the interview content and found out if the subject had any questions at this point (see Interview Protocol, Appendix B). The researcher then asked the demographic questions, noting the answers on a sheet of paper that was later attached to the transcript. This sheet had the subject's code number on it, but no name. After these questions had been answered, the tape recorder containing a tape labelled with the correct code number was turned on. The researcher then began the interview proper by asking Question 7 of the Interview Protocol (Appendix B). At a suitable point she introduced Question 8, allowing the subject to talk and reflect freely. As the interview progressed, the researcher introduced the topic prompts 9 - 14 as necessary and so that they fitted in with the flow of the subject's discourse. Sometimes, this was not necessary. The researcher had a list of topic prompts which the subject could look at if she wished to prompt herself, the aim being to keep the interview as relaxed as possible. Two subjects came with prepared notes, and most had a good grasp of the interview structure. Two asked to be kept on focus. Questions 15-17 were asked in the latter part of the interview.  42 Data Analysis  Method The data analysis used in this study consisted of the following steps: 1.  Transcript of interview: the typewritten transcript of the complete interview (the protocol) had numbered lines, and adequate space for quite detailed coding.  2.  An abbreviated version of the protocol organized under the topic questions of the interview guide (see Appendices F, G, H, and I).  3.  Initial protocol analysis: (a)  Coding the protocol from  1. above for the domains of enquiry related to  the topic questions. (b)  Making a list of the key phrases and sentences in each transcript relating to the subjects' experiences of job insecurity.  (c)  Deriving an initial category list from (a) and (b) above.  (d)  Listing the emotional shifts and related situational factors for each protocol, by marking and coding them on the transcript according to (c) above, and listening to the audio tape as necessary. Emotional shifts were indicated by appropriate feeling words (pleased, hopeful, isolated, fearful, resentful, etc.), and a positive or negative notation (+, — ) ; categories were indicated by a short descriptive phrase.  43 (e)  Further sorting the coded data to give a final list of categories and  do-  mains of enquiry. This was done by listing and examining the situational factors, cognitions and emotional shifts; re-examining the key phrases, the complete protocols, diagram sheets, and the existing category list. (f)  Rechecking the transcripts and coding them from the final category list. Conducting a reliability check of established categories by having a qualified person not involved with the research listen to a taped interview and then check the categories and emotional shifts recorded by the researcher. (See below.) Sorting the categories via domains of enquiry and themes of relatedness to produce key themes which express and interpret the experience of the subjects. This was done with the use of index cards. Tabulating on a master sheet, the number of examples and mentions in each category for each transcript, so as to indicate the salience of the various categories. Establishing an interpretive description of the psychological experience of job insecurity for women university graduates working in temporary or contract positions in Vancouver, by a combination of category analysis, individual diagram sheet analysis, emotional shift analysis, and protocol analysis. Refining the category and domain analysis by a process of lumping and regrouping of categories, and correctly reassigning situational factors and cognitions to any newly formed categories.  Reliability check. A colleague (fellow graduate student) undertook to complete a reliability check. She was familiar with the analysis of interview data but not this particular research topic. 1.  The researcher showed the colleague the category list and instructed her in the method of coding.  2.  The colleague was given copies of two complete coded transcripts to take home and read. The transcripts were of a "poor coper" and a "good coper" so that a wider range of categories would be covered.  3.  The researcher and colleague then met together, and listened to one of the tapes. As they did so, the colleague checked the categories and the emotional shifts coded by the researcher. The colleague stopped the tape as needed to re-run it or to ask questions. There was 98% agreement on the categories, and 87% agreement on the emotional shifts.  4.  The process of #  1 and #2  above was repeated with the second transcript.  There was 100% agreement on the categories, and 88% on the emotional shifts. 5.  The discrepancies were discussed until agreement was reached.  45  Chapter IV  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  Section 1: Results Format for presentation of results A brief description of how the results will be presented is useful at this point. 1.  Information about the subjects, occupation, salary, marital status, age, can be found in Appendices C, D, and E.  2.  The data from the protocols is arranged in a series of word tables which answer the questions posed in Chapter I. Namely: How does the subjects' job insecurity affect: The subjects' view of the nature of their job insecurity (Table I) Work performance and work relations (Table II) Family and personal life (Table V) Leisure activities (Table VI) Financial concerns (Table HI)  46  Emotional and physical health (Table IV) View of self over time (Table XI) Career aspirations and view of the future (Table X) In addition, this tabular synopsis includes the following domains: Factors increasing the stress (Table VII) Factors decreasing the stress (Table VIII) Negative emotions and cognitions (Table IX) Coping strategies (Tables XII and XIII) 3.  Following each table there is a description of the domain represented, illustrated with the words of the subjects.  4.  An interpretive description of the psychological experience of job insecurity for graduate women working in temporary or contract positions.  5.  A brief description of the data obtained from the projective technique.  6.  Abbreviated versions of four transcripts are presented in Appendices F to I. Full transcripts are not included because of their length, but these abbreviated versions contain the major statements of the subjects under the various domains of enquiry. Two  of these subjects at the time of their interview were showing  a poor coping response. The other two subjects, in their own estimation, were coping well: one, by engaging in active coping strategies; the other, by a more internal, cognitive approach. These interviews (Appendix F to I) form an  47 integral part of the data presentation and should be read to gain a sense of the experience for a particular individual.  Interpreting T h e Tables Each table represents a domain of enquiry of the protocol as indicated by the table title.  The categories are descriptive phrases which to serve to define the  domain, and are equivalent to the "cover term" of Spradley (1979). Each category contains examples of speech from the protocols which are linked by the common meaning expressed in the descriptive category cover phrase. The category cover phrases are designed to be self-explanatory, so that the table can be read as a description of the domain. Where possible, they echo or paraphrase the words of the subjects. The number of subjects giving examples in the category is found in the first column ( N o . ) ; the frequency or total number of examples cited is found in the second column ( F . ) ; and the salience or number of times the subjects referred to the examples is found in the third column ( S . ) . The categories are rank ordered according to the number of subjects reporting in each category. Two exceptions to this are Table VII: "VIEW O F S E L F O V E R T I M E " which is arranged in a temporal sequence; and Table VIII: " C A R E E R ASPIRATIONS A N D V I E W O F T H E F U T U R E " in which categories are arranged in relationship to each other.  48 The  Data  A total of 745 items, which gave or reflected an emotional shift related to the subjects' job insecurity, were isolated from the protocols. Of these, 543 were situational factors and 202 were cognitions (attitudes or opinions). These were coded into 113 categories and have been assigned to 8 domains of enquiry related to the research questions (formulated in Chapter I) and 4 additional domains which emerged from the protocols. These domains have been summarized in Tables I XIII which can be read as a synopsis of the experience for these subjects.  Overlapping Nature of the Categories Although a number of categories contain several items from an individual subject, no two items are exactly the same. They are discrete, but they are linked by the meaning in the category cover phrase. An individual's speech, however, does not proceed in a set of unitary items each with a single meaning. It has richness and depth and much is often implied, or left unsaid. The non-verbal component may  be as important as the verbal. One incident recalled by a subject may  give  rise to several responses, both cognitive and behavioural, and thus have more than one meaning for the subject. Because of this, items are linked across categories in different meaning relationships. A number of categories are therefore overlapping. The categories in these tables overlap in two ways. Firstly, in terms of content, when two or more categories include aspects of the same incident, and secondly, in terms of meaning, when categories in the same or different domains are linked in a  49 hierarchical or set relationship. This linking across categories and domains points the researcher towards emergent themes. The first form of overlap is inevitable in any analysis of contextual relationships because the latter are by nature multidimensional. The second form of overlap could be eliminated by a more detailed taxonomic analysis which shows these hierarchical or set relationships, or by broader lumping which then may obscure significant detail. The aim here is to focus on the commonalities rather than produce a complete taxonomy or componential analysis (Spradley, 1979) of the experience for the subjects. Thus the original 221 categories have been reduced to 113 by a process of lumping some categories within broader categories, and by eliminating a few of the smaller categories which could not readily be so included. The 113 categories then present a compromise between preserving the rich detail of the protocol and a broader, more selective interpretation. It is not possible to give examples in all of the categories, but examples from the more salient categories will be given in the description of the domains and below, in the discussion.  The Subjects  (Appendices C , D , and E)  The womens' ages ranged from 27 years to 43 years, with four women in their forties, and seven women in their mid to late thirties.  50 Six women were married, and four were divorced solo parents. Five were single: one of these lived with a partner, two lived in shared accommodation, and two lived alone. Salaries ranged from $1,200 to $2,900 per month. Yearly rates are not given because only three of the subjects had contracts that could be renewed on a yearly basis. Other contracts or temporary positions were for nine months or less. Three of the temporary workers had a verbal agreement as to termination date; two had not. One of the temporary workers was subject to one week's notice of temporary layoff. Seven women had contracts which could be renewed; three did not. All of the women in this study had a Bachelor's degree, five had a Master's degree, and one had a Ph.D.  Two were completing a second degree (Master's) and  three were planning further academic education. There was a surprising level of career change within the sample, with only six women still in and planning to remain in their first career choice. The other nine women had either made a recent change in career (4 subjects); were in progress of changing (3 subjects); or were planning one (3 subjects). Three subjects were currently working in jobs that they did not see as related to career goals. For two of these three, another major interest (music, art) dominated their lives, and one of them plans to change her career focus towards that interest (music). The third subject, in mid-career change, saw her current job as a stop-gap one.  51 Of the three women whose first career choice was teaching, one had changed laterally within the profession, and two had left. Eight of the women were working in the public sector in education or social services. Another five were working in private agencies in either administrative positions or as helping professionals, and two subjects were working for private business. Seven of the women were working part-time.  Domains of Enquiry The Nature of the Subjects' Job Insecurity  (Table I)  These women described their job insecurity in both structural and psychological terms. But the predominant mode of expressing their sense of insecurity was to give examples (category 1) of their lack of information regarding their job continuance or termination. A l l 15 of the subjects gave at least one example and mentioned it at least twice in their interview, with one subject giving six examples, and another mentioning it eight times. One  subject stated that she felt secure in "insecure"  short-terms jobs as long as she knew when the termination date would be. Examples included not knowing their exact termination date (6 subjects), "I could be laid off tomorrow or Monday. It's already happened once.";  or uncertainty about the  possibility of renewal (8 subjects), "It was a case of 'will we, won't we be renewed?' kind of thing."; of not knowing where their next contract was coming from (6 subjects);  52 TABLE  I  NATURE OF JOB INSECURITY REPORTED BY SUBJECTS,  (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  1  F  2  S  3  1.  No exact information (re termination date, or renewal)  15  39  65  2.  Believes due to government policies and organizational hiring policies  14  19  21  3.  Believes due to current economic situation ("It's just hard times")  10  14  17  4.  Has known position "insecure" from beginning  12  12  13  5.  Previously not concerned (no problem getting a job before)  7  7  7  6.  Lower pay, less benefits, facilities, status in temporary or contract work compared with permanent positions  6  12  25  7.  Came as a surprise, sudden  6  6  15  8.  Believes may be due to own inadequacies in position  4  8  8  No F S  = = =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions, for subjects in category  53  "Having to generate jobs for the future is always there. It never goes away, and in terms of job insecurity, I think it probably accelerates it, because there is this sense of anxiety ... you are never sure if you are going to get anything." or noticing clues that suggested they might be arbitrarily laid off (6 subjects). "It's a capricious kind of thing. It depends on whether they like the programme. It depends on whether they can afford it. It depends on whether they like the whites of our eyes, and they could withdraw funding within a months' notice." More than three-quarters (12) of the women said that they knew that their jobs were most likely to end when the contract came up for renewal, but over a third of them (Table 1, 7) were surprised or shocked at the news of their pending termination. Among these latter women were three who had initially believed that their renewal was certain. For one of these the shock was quite profound. "When it happened I was in shock ...  I was up for yearly review and I  guess my salary evaluation. And I didn't get an evaluation. I sent them a request for an increase and all that stuff, and what I'd been doing. And the personnel committee and executive came in one day and said, "You're fired." I just sat there in shock. It was horrendous. It was horrendous. I couldn't work for a week or two."  54 Just under half of the women (6 subjects) expressed resentment at the reduced rate of pay and lack of benefits for "temporary" compared with permanent jobs. They saw this as an element of their job insecurity; "Well mainly I'm being paid a lot lower than I should be. That's a major problem, the lack of pay ..." Such statements were made by both temporary and contract workers as denned here (see also, being in a low paying job; Category 11, Table VIII). Half of the women said that job insecurity had not been a concern for them in previous jobs (Table 1, 5). Either because they had been in a well paid or permanent position (3 subjects), or because they believed they would easily get another job (4 subjects). "At one time I never even thought about it. There was absolutely no thought of not being able to get a job." Two thirds blamed the current economic climate for their job insecurity:  "There aren't that many permanent jobs any more ...  The rest of our  economy, education, social services just go down the tubes, and all become part of that spiralling, sense, of doom. That we are simply living in incredibly hard times economically." Along with this sense of hard times, all but two of the subjects believed that government policies and resultant organizational hiring policies were responsible for their situation. "I'm not angry at any one individual, but maybe at the government. I just can't comprehend, just can't comprehend the priorities of the government as  55 of now. Because certainly there are programmes that are desperately needed, and, you know, they're going to be slashed. Just like in education." "I mean, the institution has rejected our strategy to co-operate and has dictated that we all now be competitors! and that feels the shits, really! It's the institution's decision that has put us in this position." Although self-doubt (Table IX, 1) was a common reaction to job insecurity, only four of the women expressed the belief that their own inadequacies in the job might have contributed to their job-insecure situation. One, because her method of working was very painstaking and slow; two, because of their personal style: "All I could do was think of 'what did I do?' I had never viewed this as a job that I might be terminated from. They give the illusion of it being a very secure job. If you're doing it well they wouldn't want to get rid of you ... In retrospect I suppose I do tend to be blunt, and I suppose I was blunt once too often." and the last (uniquely) because of a real sense of inadequacy in an earlier job: "And I was terrified ... that some parent would come in and feel that I wasn't working well with their child. But it never happened. Anyway I had a lot of fear, and I was always so unconfident." In summary, all these women knew they were in short-term jobs, which in itself lent an element of insecurity to their situation. The insecurity was exacerbated when their exact termination date was not known, or when they hoped for a renewal,  58  and was most intense when they expected an automatic renewal which did not materialize. For a few of them, a lack of personal confidence increased the anxiety. For others, not having another job lined up increased the sense of insecurity. Most of these women saw the external, structural conditions of the economic climate and government policies as largely responsible for their situation.  Effect on Work Performance and Work Relations  (Table II)  The second domain of enquiry explores the ways in which the work and work relations of subjects were affected by their job insecurity. From this table it is clear that for a majority of these graduate women considerable effort was put into trying to secure their positions (category 1). Women giving examples in this category gave an average of three examples in their interview, and mentioned this concern three or four times. One subject gave 9 examples. "If we didn't get enough referrals we wouldn't be funded. So we were trying our best to get funded. I don't like doing the P. R. work. I was really - I would do it because I knew it was important  There is a viable need for  our programme, it is a benefit. I think it was valuable in itself and we didn't like going out and really having to push, push, push for the programme.'' Another woman realized that her position, which she had expected to become permanent, was at risk:  57 T A B L E II EFFECTS ON WORK PERFORMANCE AND WORK RELATIONS. REPORTED BY SUBJECTS, (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  F  1.  Use of work time for liaison, contacts, lobbying, meetings, statistics, reports, fundraising, proposals to secure position  13  42  52  2.  Can't plan because of uncertainty  12  18  24  3.  Pressure to perform, look good, to retain position or secure continuing contract  11  25  37  4.  Compromising over work issues or method of working "more  9  25  25  9  18  21  8.  23  37  1  2  S  3  with less," "quantity not quality,"  5.  Quality of work/work performance down  6.  Potential not used (innovation, creativity, initiative stifled)  8.  Increased responsibility  8  11  11  9.  Increased work load  8  8  9  10.  Working fewer hours  6  12  16  11.  Not able to build relationship with colleagues and/or superiors  5  10  23  12.  Limited facilities (due to temporary nature of position)  5  8  8  No = Number of subjects in category F = Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions for subjects in category S = Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  58 "When you know your position is insecure the first thing you do is try to make it as difficult for them to cut as possible ... You try to really get some exciting things happening so there is broad support [proposals, reports]." Another woman who taught in community colleges:  "You have to be net-  working or drumming up business, or making yourself available, all those kind of things."  The next most important area of concern was that of not being able to plan because of uncertainty. Over three-quarters (12) of the subjects gave examples in this category. Subjects felt frustrated because they were unable to plan for their job or, if they were expected to plan, they felt it was pointless and resented it. These women gave at least one example in this category and mentioned it at least twice in their interview. The generally expressed view was "What's the point of planning when I don't even know if I'm going to be here to carry it through." "Because the way things are right now it's almost as though there isn't any way to stay in the school long enough to be able to do the job properly. And I find it discouraging. And there's also the part of feeling like 'what the hell.' Why do that? Why try and cause waves in the school, to make changes. Changes which are better, when it is such an effort and I'm just going to be leaving anyway and I won't be able to carry on and do it next year."  59 "Now my attitude seems to have changed over to "If I can't get it implemented in the time that I'm secure, then I'm not going to bother with it ... I'm not going to leave here with a bunch of half accomplished things. ... I find the thought of doing a five year plan hysterically funny! Why should I bother. Why waste my time on that!" Tying in with the inability to plan is category 6 'Potential not used.' Just over half of these graduate women thought that not being able to plan directly affected their ability to use their creative potential in the job. "If it were a long term position I would probably be more innovative. It's frustrating to know I can't act on my ideas because my job will end. It's not the kind of job where you can grow professionally." Two found that working in an atmosphere of low morale and resistance to new ideas restricted what they could do: "This place far, far underuses my skills. It's so limited in terms of what I can do. People who are so job insecure are difficult to work with. They resist new ideas. It's like hitting a brick wall." Three women working in the social services felt very restricted in what they could do with individual clients because of time constraints: "... and so, when you look at it, that last month. Do I maintain? Do I get into a relationship when I only have three months? I can say I don't want to hear about your [therapy problem], I don't want to hear about it because  60 I don't have time to deal with it!  ... and so it gets really frustrating at  times." Many of these comments are tinged with bitterness and a sense of frustration and disappointment.  Another important category in the domain of work performance was working extra hard, or competing to look good, to retain the position or secure a continuing contract (category 3). This will be explored later in Section 2 under 'Pressure to Perform' as a major stressor for these subjects.  Another category deserves a mention because it was so salient for the women who reported it. This was 'not able to build relationships with colleagues or employers' (category 9). These women mentioned this concern on average four times in their interviews. It was a big concern for two women whose work entailed a team, co-operative effort. "I have to work with everyone on the staff; it takes over a year to get to know staff well enough for them to be able to trust you, to want to work with you. Going from year to year with the chance of being shifted, I just feel I'm not able to do my job well." Others in this group spoke of a general loss of motivation in maintaining good relations at work; "Now I don't even talk to the people in this department like I  61 used to. I hide in my office a lot, I use the back stairs. There is a breakdown of relationships in the office." or, of never having made the effort, because of the short-term nature of her job: "I never felt I belonged here. ... In the beginning I never made a point of investing, getting to know people ... and now it's too late."  In summary, most of these graduate women used a significant portion of their work time in trying to secure their position; putting extra work into 'looking good,' lobbying, or preparation of reports and proposals. Most of them found not being able to plan frustrating, and just over half of them felt their potential was not used, and that the quality of their work was affected by this. Increased responsibility and work load because of reduced staffing, being unable to build or maintain good working relations with colleagues and superiors, and limited facilities, were additional difficulties experienced by about one-third of these women. Less than half worked fewer hours, either because of reduction in paid time, or (only 3 subjects) because they deliberately cut down their work time.  Effect on Financial Concerns  (Table III)  All the subjects gave examples in at least three categories, the most salient of which was cutting down on spending and having difficulty in budgeting. Those earning the higher salaries gave examples of retrenchment that included no longer buying on credit, not buying a house, and keeping savings liquid.  "We  62 TABLE  III  EFFECTS ON FINANCES REPORTED BY SUBJECTS  (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  1  F  2  S  3  Retrenchment/Restraints 1.  Reduced spending, hard to budget  2.  11  11  13  Reduction in housing costs (renting, not buying; cheaper accommodation; shared accommodation)  9  9  11  3.  Unable to save (living from paycheque to paycheque)  7  8  10  4.  No major purchases, commitments, tied money, credits or loans  5  13  13  10  17  26  Financial Concerns 5.  Fear of reduced living standards (includes U. I. C , welfare, poverty)  6.  Fear unable to pay off loans  6  7  8  7.  Cannot provide adequately for children (solo parents)  3  8  15  No F S  = = =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  63 used to spend pretty freely. If we wanted to buy something, just put it on credit ... now we've got to the point where we really try to stay away from incurring any other long term financial commitments." Subjects on the lowest salaries talked about not being able to buy clothes (4 subjects); not being able to make car repairs (2 subjects); and less money for social and sports activities (5 subjects). Almost half of these women stated that they were not able to save and were living from paycheque to paycheque or digging into their savings (7 subjects). "All my jobs have been low paying and short term. I can't save any money. I've never had a surplus of money." An overwhelming concern for two thirds (10) of these women was a fear of reduced living standards, which they mentioned on average at least two times (Table III; category 5). "I can't afford to be on U.I.C. It wouldn't be enough. I have no financial cushion." This fear was especially intense for the four solo parents. "I'll have to go back to supporting my self and my children on less than $600 a month. It's very scary. What's going to happen."; or, "I've never had the money to do enriching things for my children. It's getting harder and harder to provide them with good quality clothes, as well as food." Even women with a working partner expressed some fear on this count: "We are not financially strapped. In the back of my mind I know that, we are not going to be destitute, if I am not earning. But I will be destitute.  64  I'm scared. I can't live on my temporary wages. I could, but I'm afraid to make too many large changes."  In summary, all subjects experienced financial restraints and two thirds feared a reduction in living standards. Those earning higher salaries reduced their credit buying and major purchases. More than two thirds had difficulty in budgeting and about one third had outstanding loans which they feared they might not be able to pay off. All these concerns were most intense for the four single parents, three of whom felt they were not able to provide adequately for their children.  Effect on Emotional and Physical Health  (Table IV)  All of the subjects mentioned stress or anxiety resulting from their job insecurity. Most of them (13 subjects) reported from three to nine of these categories. Seven of these categories, marked with an asterisk in Table IV, are generally included in the constellation of symptoms indicating depression. Two subjects, at the time of their interview, spoke with a flat affect typically associated with a depressed state. The possibility of reactive depression as a stage in the experience of job insecurity is discussed below (Section 2).  "I'm exhausted all the time. I found myself fairly depressed a lot, which I wasn't before. I was kind of up and down, but I was up more than I was down. But now I find myself being quite down a lot. And I think that's the result of the prolonged stress."  65 TABLE  IV  EFFECTS ON EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH. REPORTED BY SUBJECTS (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  F  1  2  S  3  1.  Stress and tension  13  16  16  2.  Anxiety  12  23  23  3.  Feeling depressed  12  14  15  4.  Loss of energy, drive  10  18  19  5.  Irritability, short temper  8  12  14  6.  Disturbed sleep pattern  8  10  12  7.  Seeking medical attention (includes sick leave)  7  9  10  8.  Disturbed eating pattern  6  8  8  9.  Headaches, migraines increased  7  7  7  * *  *  * *  10.  Colds,flus,allergies increased  6  9  12  11.  Muscle tension, back problems  5  5  7  12.  Weeping  *  5  6  6  13.  Feeling chronically stressed  5  5  5  14.  Poor concentration Health Concerns  5  5  5  15.  Not taking physical care of self (exercise, diet, time off)  11  14  16  No F S  = = = =  *  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category Symptoms associated with depression.  66 "I was pretty down. Somewhat depressed. I would try and be positive but there was always the underlying depression. Why bother if you are not going to continue. We saw the negative things instead of the positive." More salient for these subjects however, are the categories denoting stress, tension and anxiety. A third of the subjects reported feeling chronically stressed, under constant threat, or constantly worried.  Others described short periods of  intense anxiety confined to the times of greatest uncertainty (2 subjects).  "It gets to the point where you're chronically stressed." "I mean I just feel stressed. I feel ... this past week I've just felt totally preoccupied. I can't read, I can't concentrate very long. I mean this is great news! You know, halfway through the question, and I've sort of missed the question, right? All those signs of feeling really anxious." Finally, half of these women reported that they sought medical attention for what they perceived as stress related conditions (allergies, viral infections, back problems), and more than two-thirds (11) of them were concerned that they were too pressured to take adequate care of their health. They included poor diet, lack of exercise, and no time to relax as indicators of this concern. "The extreme drops, the depression and the really high stress. I went through a huge drop two years ago.  I had severe stress and health problems. I  wondered if I was going to [have to] leave."  67  "During this period, I had migraine headaches. I couldn't sleep. I came home and I cried. It was dreadful. I looked awful. Any lines on my face I got during this period. My body started to sag, my face got sallow. I simply was not taking care of myself."  In summary all subjects reported adverse effects in at least two categories, and most reported incidents in six or more. Only one subject stated that neither her emotional nor physical health had been affected (Appendix I). Stress, tension and anxiety were most often mentioned, with one third feeling chronically stressed. Two thirds of the subjects reported feeling depressed at some periods, and half reported a variety of physical symptoms.  Effect on Family and Personal Life  (Table V)  All of these subjects except one reported some negative effects on their personal and family lives. The one who did not was single, lived far from home, and was well adapted to working in temporary jobs. Two thirds of these graduate women reported having less time and energy for their family, friends or themselves (category 1). This was especially salient for the women with children. Reasons cited were: work pressure (including being in a high pressure job); both partners in insecure positions; worry and exhaustion; time used for network activities or job search; and working overtime because of the insecurity.  68  TABLE EFFECTS  V  ON PERSONAL AND FAMILY  LIFE.  REPORTED BY SUBJECTS  CATEGORY  1.  Reduced time and energy for family, friends  2.  No.  1  F  2  S  3  10  12  17  Family tension related to subject's job insecurity  9  18  20  3.  Feeling judged by, or unable to confide in partner, or family member(s)  7  13  15  4.  Personal life disrupted (plans with family, partner, friends; vacations, sabbatical, moving, marriage)  7  8  12  5.  Not feeling understood by family member(s)  7  8  8  6.  Avoiding friends (too depressed, too tired)  7  7  7  7.  Existing problem in marriage exacerbated  5  6  6  8.  "Bonding in adversity" with friends in similar situation  5  5  5  No F S  = = =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  69  .. I can't put as much energy into things as I'd like to, socially, or just at home or anything. I find that, it's kind of like if you had a pie, a huge proportion of it is taken up by my job and thinking about my job ... Ideally I would like to have more energy to put into the house and the people here [her 'family'].'' "You are a lot tighter with your kids. You don't have the energy to put out and you are thinking of your own self ... I guess I have less time. I have less time for my friends ... I just don't have the time for people that I used to." One third of the subjects expressed the view that existing tensions in the marriage were worse because of the insecurity. As one of them said, "Like for a while, it just seemed 'this marriage isn't going to work!' This is awful because we never see each other, we're so busy and yet we don't seem to be getting ahead." One third of these women commented on developing stronger bonds with friends in similar work situations, and the freedom it gave them to speak their minds: "I have a lot of bonds with other people [in same situation] and I think that really helps. You can complain and kvetch about how terrible it is and your friends understand and sympathize with you which is really wonderful, a wonderful kind of support." Just over half (8) of these women reported either not feeling understood by family members or, feeling judged by them or not able to confide in them. Further more than half of these women reported family tensions related to their own job  70 insecurity (category 2). Thus a picture of a strong negative effect on family life emerges, especially so, as in the interviews most of the subjects appeared somewhat reluctant to talk about their family situations. Only three subjects got into this topic area without a prompt from the interviewer. The figures in Table V indicate a low salience for this which could well be deceptive. Grubb and Lazerso's (1984) conclusion that women's work strains and stresses produce a private struggle in the family is of interest here, for family tension was the second most salient category in this domain.  In summary, all except one subject reported adverse effects on family and personal life. These women gave examples in from two to seven negative categories. Only four subjects reported being actively supported by their partner or family members. One third reported deepening bonds with friends in similar situations. The most often mentioned effects were: a lack of time and energy for personal life and, family tensions resulting from job insecurity.  Effects on Leisure Activities  (Table VI)  All but three of the subjects mentioned only negative effects on leisure activities. Of the three who reported some positive effects, two were the women who showed the best adaptation to job insecurity. One of them felt that, apart from not having enough money to travel overseas, her leisure activities had not been curtailed. The other welcomed the break she got between contracts:  71 TABLE  VI  E F F E C T S OF JOB INSECURITY ON LEISURE. REPORTED BY SUBJECTS  (n = 15)  CATEGORY 1.  Decreased time, energy for leisure activities  2.  No.  1  F  2  S  3  10  14  15  Decreased leisure spending (entertainment, meals out, vacations)  8  10  10  3.  Leisure time used for networking and work-related activities  6  12  18  4.  Increased leisure time  2  4  6  No F S  = = =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  72 "I hate to say this [laughs] but if it's affected my leisure in any way, it's positively. When you have a couple of months between jobs, that's leisure time essentially. And it's particularly leisure if you don't get your anxiety levels up, so you might as well keep them down."  The third woman who noted a positive effect said (uniquely):  "I have more leisure time, because I take it [she disinvested from her job] ... You know it was the first summer that, even though I was doing a course, I could play with my children." The remaining four fifths (12) of these women graduates felt both a time pressure and a stress exhaustion, or feeling drained, which reduced both the time and energy available for leisure activities. "You know you are already stressed out and now you have even less leisure time to getridof the stress, and less time to enjoy the things that you enjoy doing ... you get to the point where you are just chronically stressed all the time and even though you have your 12 units of leisure on Sunday morning [laughs], you know it's not enough time to get rid of all the garbage." Comments ranged from not enough time because of extra work, or leisure time use for networking or job search (6 subjects): "... networking in my leisure time, it's sort of forced me into a syndrome of overwork in which I don't have time for recreation and exercise."  or being just too drained and exhausted to make use  73 of what time was available (6 subjects). "I feel like I'm surrounded by unfinished projects. That there isn't enough time. And when there i3 enough time, I don't have the energy ... when I've got a little bit of time, I'm discouraged or I'm fedup."  The women cited such incidents as: no time for exercise (3 subjects), or not  enough exercise to relieve the stress (2 subjects), or feeling too drained, depressed or busy to socialize with friends (4 subjects). In addition one third of the subjects stated that lack of money curtailed their leisure activities. "So that affects my social life too. Quite a lot. Actually, quite a lot. I have friends who say, let's go out for dinner, and don't worry. Well, sorry, that's going to cost me fifteen to twenty bucks and I can't afford it. So I can't do that. And I find that people don't have any sympathy for that, there's just not an awareness of what it's like, which is embarrassing and it's difficult."  In summary, three quarters of these women reported adverse effects on their leisure activities which ranged from cutting down on leisure spending to have less time and energy for socializing, friends, and hobbies. The lack of time and energy was the most salient features of this change. Only two subjects reported a positive effect, which was more free time.  Factors Increasing the Stress of Job Insecurity (Table VII) Within this domain are included those factors stated or implied by the subjects as making worse the stress of job insecurity. Three factors which were mentioned  74  TABLE  VII  FACTORS INCREASING T H E STRESS OF JOB INSECURITY, REPORTED BY SUBJECTS  (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  1  F  2  S  3  1.  'Not knowing,' uncertainty  15  39  65  2.  Having to look for another job  13  26  35  3.  Loss of trust, respect, government  12  25  37  4.  Lack of support from employers  11  23  33  5.  Low morale (loss of team spirit, apathy) at work  11  16  18  6.  Poor work relations (poor communication with colleagues, employers; back-biting; poor task organization)  9  23  32  7.  Seeing other positions being cut  9  15  17  8.  Being criticized about work performance  9  11  15  9.  Being the solo wage earner for a family  7  20  27  10.  Unsupported by family /friends  7  18  19  11.  Being in a low-paying job  7  15  25  Competition for funding or for own position  7  7  13  13.  Women's situation in the work force discrimination; part-time work)  6  13  16  14.  Being in a 'high pressure job'  6  10  10  15.  Having outstanding debts  6  7  9  16.  Change in terms of contract (fewer hours; temporary layoff)  6  6  7  12  No F S  = = =  for employers, organization or  (dual roles;  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  75 by less than one quarter of the subjects have been excluded from this table. These factors are: having someone from another department look over her facilities (1 subject); being blocked by organizational policies (3 subjects); a difficult personal relationship external to their work (3 subjects). The remaining factors have been grouped into 16 categories. The most salient category was 'not knowing.' uncertainty, for which all subjects gave at least two examples and mentioned it on average four times in their interviews. This category is linked to 'no exact information' (Table I: 1), and contains the psychological aspects of uncertainty and powerlessness that result from the structural situation of not being given exact information. This category will be discussed further as a major stressor in Section 2 below.  Having to look for another job was the next most salient intensifier of felt job insecurity for these graduate women. Awareness of the current competitive job market and the stress of trying to fit job search into an already overcrowded schedule were major components of this category. In addition was the fear of just not being able to find a job or feeling unable to job search because they felt like a 'reject'. Only two subjects did not mention job search as a stressor. This category will also be discussed further as a major stressor in Section 2 below. Loss of trust, respect for employers, organization or government was another very salient category (category 3), which was linked to a sense of feeling unfairly or  76 impersonally treated and, disillusioned. Again, this category will be explored further in Section 2 as a major stressor and, under 'negative emotions and cognitions' below.  Almost three quarters of these women gave one or more examples of feeling unsupported by their employer, and mentioned it at least three times. One subject who  was fighting for her position mentioned it five times; and another, who  saw  her supervisor as a very poor communicator, mentioned it eight times. This category has links with category 6: 'poor work relations'. Feeling unsupported will be discussed in Section 2 as a major stressor. Nearly three quarters (11) of the subjects gave at least one example of low morale at work (category 5).  The subject describes fellow workers as being burnt  out, losing team spirit, being too fearful to be innovative, or describes a general breakdown in communications. "There is a kind of attitude of 'work as hard as you can and bitch as loud as you can, and be really grumpy all the time,' and ... sort of grinding out production ... Because we all have to work really hard, because life is hard, and this is terribly boring and we hate our jobs. You know, this is the general attitude and I find it, I still like what I'm doing, but I find it very hard to resist that atmosphere and their attitude. It's a very, very, negative place to work. It's very hard to resist that after a while, you just kind of succumb to it." [an artist working in an exhibition repair shop].  "I see people in my department who are so burnt out they are like zombies. They should have left long ago, and the reason they haven't left is because they are so insecure. They think they'll never get another job. And they are difficult people to work with. There's no-one who's secure enough to be producing for the job."  [counsellor in secondary education].  Half the women considered themselves to be in a low paying job, and saw this as an added source of stress. Either, their rate of pay was indeed low, (Appendix C), or what they earned was considerably less than they would receive in a permanent position. Four of these women were very conscious of how much more they would earn if they were in a permanent job doing the same work, and they resented this. "They came up with the figure of $24,000 as being their top figure. ... and that was the grand salary that I got. And I previously had made close to $40,000. So it was a considerable problem." [family therapist] "And at some point you think 'why the hell keep on doing it? If the pay is so ... DIRT!' You know? Why  even bother!" [sessional instructor]  "I was used to a very high paying job. Sometimes we view whether we're appreciated or not by our pay, and that at times gets a little discouraging." [community administrator] For the three solo parents responding in this category, low pay was very salient. One of them mentioned it seven times in the course of her interview. "I mean, my first day-care job was approximately $20 either more or less than what my friend  78 was making on welfare! And I had additional child care expenses." [pre-school teacher]; "I have always lived at subsistance level." [community worker].  About one third of the subjects (6) saw their situation as women in the work force as adding to the stress. The added pressure of their dual roles as wage earner and mother was mentioned by five out of the eight women who had children. Of these five, four were solo parents. Discrimination, working in a male dominated field, being considered as a secondary wage earner even when they were not, heightened their sense of insecurity for three of the women. "They resent me being a women, and me being there. And being given advantages they are not being given. Although they may not be taking into consideration that they are making more than twice as much as I am. I've run into this before in doing anything in the slightest bit in a non-traditional kind of job." [artist] "I have a colleague who sees me as a secondary wage earner. That is, he sees that I am married and that my husband is working. One of the ways he can assuage his conscience [he has a much higher salary] is to treat me as a secondary wage earner, and to see what I do as a luxury, on additional spending, supplementary, rather than the bread winner." [teacher] The situation for women of filling part-time and temporary jobs which are marginal in nature, and not being able to get out of this position, was a stressor for four of the subjects.  79 "I think certainly, there are lots of women in the system who  have had  their families, and then come back part-time. There are more women doing that than there were at one time. The last few years the school board has made it easier for women to work part-time. But it's backfiring, because there are people who have been told they can't shift to full time. Their value in the system is being denigrated." [teacher/librarian]  In summary, a total of 289 items were assigned to 16 categories. The subjects gave an average 19 examples in their interview. All subjects gave examples in at least six of the categories in Table VII and each category was mentioned by at least one third of the subjects. The most salient category was not knowing, uncertainty. Loss of trust, lack of support from employers, having to look for another job, and low morale at work, were mentioned by more than two thirds of these women as stressors related to their job insecurity. In addition, more than half the women stated that their level of stress was increased by poor work relations, being criticized at work, and seeing other positions being cut.  Factors Alleviating the Stress of Job Insecurity (Table VIII) This domain of enquiry contains those factors stated or obviously implied by subjects as alleviating (moderating) the felt stress of job insecurity. Fifteen categories have been distiguished, five of which were mentioned by fewer than one quarter of the subjects, but have been included in the table because they were important aspects of coping for those who mentioned them. In addition, the following  80 TABLE  VIII  FACTORS ALLEVIATING THE STRESS OF JOB INSECURITY. REPORTED BY SUBJECTS (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  F  1  2  S  3  1.  Not invested in job situation (not taking it personally; not seeing job as career; could change jobs without regret)  9  14  15  2.  Having a financial buffer or cushion  9  10  11  3.  Having or developing an appropriate attitude, philosophy or spiritual resource  8  14  19  4.  Having confidence in own skills and abilities  7  11  16  5.  Having outside interests apart from job  6  7  11  6.  Accepting job insecurity as a 'way of life'  6  6  9  7.  Being single with no commitments  6  6  7  8.  Good work relations (efficient, good communication)  5  5  7  9.  Having nofinancialcommitments  5  5  5  10.  Feeling supported by colleagues, employer  4  7  7  11.  Preferring contract to permanent jobs  3  5  11  12.  Being supported by family member(s)  3  3  5  13.  Passage of time  3  3  4  14.  Keeping fit  2  2  2  15.  Taking time off  2  2  6  No = F = S =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  81 were mentioned by individual subjects as decreasing the stress: having another job lined up (1 subject); having professional allies or supporters (1 subject). The most often mentioned category was 'not invested in job situation.' This included not seeing their present job as a career (3 subjects); "I look on it as being temporary, not a career." or, not being invested in staying in the job even though she sees it as part of a career path (6 subjects); "The other thing I guess that helps me is I don't have a firm attachment with the institute I work for. I have an attachment to the work that I do, but I sort of take it philosophically that if I end up somewhere else I'll land on my feet." or, for subjects who had experienced continuing periods of job insecurity, not taking it personally; "I don't get so personally tied into it. ... I used to take it a lot more personally."  The next most salient category was 'having a financial buffer or cushion.' This category includes having a partner who  is earning (6 subjects), or having savings  to fall back on (2 subjects). In addition, this topic was very salient for two women who no longer had a financial buffer since becoming single parents.  'Having or developing an appropriate attitude, philosophy or spiritual resource' was the third most salient category in this domain of enquiry. Over half (8) of the subjects gave at least one example of a new  attitude, perspective or belief, and  82 mentioned this topic on average more than twice in their interview. One subject mentioned it six times. For two subjects the attitude was quite negative, being of the "who cares, why bother" variety. a  I see my attitude has clearly changed  I don't take it seriously any  more, and there's probably good and bad to that. It's good in that I've been able to stabilize my health ... I'll come in and I'll do my job, I'll do what's necessary, but I'm not gonna bust my arse any more with people. ... So, I find myself a little more serene these days, and my new motto is, 'F—k it!' [laughs]." "I haven't been as excited about the job, and I haven't been as attached to it. Possibly because of my back, too. [pause] I just, you know, I just [pause]. But I think in some ways it's self-protectively. Don't put too much of yourself into this, because it could be yanked away, and then, where is your self?"  For another two subjects "believing the worst" was seen as a self-protection. Other attitudes included, not seeing her self-worth as invested in the job and its security (2 subjects); taking a philosophical, existential viewpoint of her situation (1 subject); being less concerned with personal security (3 subjects); and being sustained by spiritual resources or beliefs (3 subjects). "It's very much a spiritual strength that you get from this when it happens ... It's so much a question of renewing your faith in yourself."  83  "Well, I am spiritual and I call on meditating and vizualization techniques and [pause] I find these are helpful for me personally. I don't know if it is for everybody. But I am a spiritual person and so for me these are the things that help me."  Having confidence in her own skills and abilities was mentioned by just under half the subjects as relieving the stress. "My  anxiety has been high but I feel good about myself, and my ability  to do the job. The job has proved to me that I can do it. I'm more secure about myself." "I had an initial sense of insecurity about my  own  abilities, but now, I  know that I have got many skills."  These four categories contained half of the examples given by the subjects. The remaining examples were distributed among categories 5-15  in Table VIII.  In summary, a total of 100 examples were given compared to 289 for factors increasing the stress. Having a level of detachment from their situation, and developing an appropriate coping attitude were mentioned by more than half these subjects as important in relieving the stress of job insecurity; along with confidence in their own skills, and some level of financial security. Other factors mentioned were: feeling supported at work or at home; having few commitments; having outside  84 interests; seeing job insecurity as a 'way of life'; preferring contract to permanent jobs; keeping fit; taking a break; and the passage of time.  Negative Emotions and Cognitions Experienced in Job Insecurity (Table LX) The overriding negative emotions for most of these subjects were anger and fear. These are primary level response feelings (Bakker & Bakker-Rabdau, 1976, cited in Brammer & Abrego, 1981). The categories contained here however, are secondary level response feelings. That is, they represent a level of appraisal beyond the initial response and reflect the meaning the subjects place on their anger and fear. Thus, anger underlies the categories: disillusioned; unappreciated; powerless; resentful; cheated; compromised; cynical/pessimistic. Fear underlies the categories: self-doubt; loss of trust; trapped; apprehensive about the future; and, under threat. Other terms quite often used by subjects to describe their negative feelings were: "disgusted," "helpless," "awful," "outrageous," "enraged," "hopeless," "why bother," "Ho-Hum," "detached," "depressed," "down," and "discouraged." All subjects gave examples in the first category 'self doubt,' which was mentioned or clearly implied at least three times per interview. It was a major underlying response to the uncertainty of job insecurity, and is linked to all those categories in which the self image is at risk (see especially Table VII). Subjects at a low point in the experience gave the most examples.  85 TABLE  DC  NEGATIVE EMOTIONS/COGNITIONS EXPERIENCED WITH JOB INSECURITY. REPORTED BY SUBJECTS  (n = 15)  CATEGORY  No.  F  1  2  S  3  1.  Self doubt  15  34  43  2.  Disillusioned (with employer; colleague(s); organization; government)  13  29  42  3.  Unappreciated (skills; talents; professionalism); commitment not valued  13  22  20  4.  Powerless, not in control of job decisions  13  17  19  5.  Loss of trust, loyalty, respect for employers  12  24  37  6.  Resentment at impersonal treatment  12  25  31  7.  Sense of isolation (from organization, employers, colleagues, friends)  12  25  26  8.  Feeling cheated (career goals, lifestyle)  9  24  28  9.  Sense of narrowing options  9  15  18  10.  Feeling trapped (can't afford to quit)  7  14  19  11.  Apprehensive, anxious about future  7  11  11  12.  Feeling under constant threat  7  9  10  13.  Compromised (keeping quiet for fear of losing job)  6  9  11  14.  Cynicism and pessimism  6  17  18  No = F = S =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  "I spend a lot of time at work worrying about it, and I worry that I'm not doing a good enough job, and that people are right when they criticize me, and that I'll be laid off if they don't like what I'm doing." "When he said I wasn't needed, partly it was like, I thought I was OK, but their voice was stronger, and I said 'Oh my gosh, I'm not OK.' And I really doubted myself. I was really doubting myself a whole, whole lot. I was believing it at that point." Other categories which were important for these subjects were: Category 3: skills, professionalism, commitment: not valued "I don't feel appreciated at work, and that affects how much effort I might put into things. There is no appreciation of the human factor, it's a sign of the times." "I don't feel appreciated most of the time. When it comes down to it the employers don't really care ... There seems no appreciation of my professionalism." "It's just like I'm not being taken account of at all! Like, does it matter!? You know? Neagh! [shrugs] You know, really unimportant! Really, I dunno, really a zilch." Category 4: powerless, not in control of job decisions "No control ... Yeah, the lack of control, and that's depressing. I like to think I have some control over my life, [pause] I mean, ultimately who has  87  control of that, but there are certain areas that, [pause] where you expect But I'm always starting and finishing jobs." Category 5: loss of trust, loyalty: employers, organization Category 6: sense of isolation Category 8: feeling cheated (career goals, lifestyle) "I don't have that same feeling of loyalty. I've lost a certain feeling towards them. Not the people I work with, but the faceless employer."  These will be discussed below (Section 2) as components of the major stressors • in job insecurity for these women.  In summary, there were a total of 260, or 17 examples per interview, given in this domain. Each subject gave examples in at least 5 categories, and two subjects who were at a low point in the experience gave examples in 12 categories.  All  subjects gave examples of self-doubt in relation to their abilities on the job. A sense of being unappreciated, disillusioned and powerless was mentioned by a majority (13 subjects). Loss of trust, resentment at impersonal treatment, and a sense of personal isolation were common (12 subjects). A sense of feeling cheated, narrowing options, feeling trapped and apprehensive about the future were also commonly expressed. Finally feeling compromised at work, often together with cynicism and pessimism, were less often expressed (6 subjects).  88 Career Aspirations and View of the Pntnre (Table X) In looking at the career goals and aspirations of this group of women, the one thing that stands out is a general state of confusion and flux, of change and difficulty in decision making. This is reflected in the figures for categories 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 11. The figures indicate an ambivalence in that some subjects gave examples or expressed opinions in two or more conflicting categories. For example, over one half expressed both pessimism that their career goals would not be met, and hopefulness for themselves. This ambivalence will be discussed below (Section 2) in relation to optimism as a coping strategy. The pessimistic view was expressed as follows: "... I mean the writing is really on the wall for academic employment. I think I have a very minor chance of getting out of this position and the position I'm in will only be for another year. So that's it. It. For  me."  "It used to be if you had a good job, you got an education, you had  an  education. You got a good job and that was it. You know, all you had to worry about was becoming deadwood in that job, in the job. But I'm always starting. I'm always starting and finishing jobs." "I just see this continuing, the job insecurity ... it's as though there are fewer and fewer options for people, certainly in terms of work." More ambivalently:  89  TABLE  X  C A R E E R ASPIRATIONS A N D VIEW OF T H E  FUTURE.  REPORTED BY SUBJECTS  CATEGORY  No.  F  2  S  1.  Personal integrity re job performance, and commitment to 'doing a good job'  15  24  29  2.  Has recently (1 — 5 years) gone through a career change, or currently embarking on a career change  9  9  16  3.  Will continue in same occupation  8  8  8  4.  Has plan for self (back to school, permanent position, career change)  8  9  11  5.  No plan, or no clear plan for self  7  10  12  6.  Could contribute much more if had a secure or permanent position  11  15  18  7.  Fear expectations (career, life-style) will not be met  10  28  45  8.  Pessimism about future job market  7  23  25  9.  Job insecurity is  6  9  11  "here to stay"  1  3  10.  Work place, services, will be increasingly impersonal and dehumanizing  9  12  12  11.  Hope or optimism for self; believes will get better job eventually  8  9  11  12.  Takingrisks,accepting change for self seen as important  4  5  7  No = F = S =  Number of subjects (total 15) in category Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  90 "Working and doing it every day you develop. And now, I'd hate to see that wasted. I don't want it to waste. But whether there'll actually be, if I can actually find an opening [pause]. At this point I'm feeling a little bit discouraged. I'd like to know that there are lots of positions for people out there who want to do that kind of work ... but, I know I'll find the right job somewhere." "When you look around the province the writing is on the wall." [later in interview] I'll move outside the education system, [my] commitment is still there. I'll do something different. I'd like to work for a union, in labour relations, that has a large female population ..." The more hopeful view was expressed in statements such as: "I'm not sure what'U happen. I'm sure that I eventually will find a job, not just 'a job', that will be really satisfying." "I'm saying, I don't know where I'll find that job but I am hopeful that I will find a job. ... It's disgusting! [laughs] but I am hopeful ... and if this doesn't work out, I've already started thinking about other places I can go." Equally as striking as the ambivalence about career goals, and perhaps connected with it, is that every one of these graduate women made at least two statements reflecting a strong intrinsic work motivation.  91 "I just do the very best job I can. And if I'm right for the job and the job is right for me, then it will work out ... I just do the best job I can, and I think I've always been professional about my work." "When you look at it in terms of if it were permanent, you can do much more if the job's carrying on." "All we do is short term, it's discouraging really." Despite the hopefulness, there is a general pessimism, resentment and apprehensiveness expressed in the responses in these categories that will be further explored and discussed in Section 2 under Major Stressors: Career fears, feeling cheated.  In addition to the general pessimism about their own future (categories 7, 8, 9), more than half these women expressed a negative view of the future of the work place and of services traditionally provided by the public sector (category 10). They foresaw a reduction in services and an increasingly dehumanized work place. "It's just the salary, the lack of control, the lack of dignity, the lack of status in the community, the lack of membership in the community, the lack of recognition of this marginal status." "There's a move away from, you know, touching, feelings, humanistic, the kinds of things that this department [pause]. And I think, a lot of the women I see, I don't know what's going to happen to them ..."  02 "You get big groups churned through, and it's like Disneyland. You know, have you ever been to Disneyland? It's like moving cattle, and there's a huge line-up, and just 'crank it through.' It's the same kind of, it's starting to feel like that here [pause] Everyone's just buying into the system." "You're just a commodity. And that's increasingly the way it's going to be." Finally, the general sense of uncertainty, and resistance to risking in an insecure situation is borne out by the fact that only four women (approximately one-quarter) saw risk and change in a positive light (category 12). "I mean, a lot of it has to do with the willingness and ability to take a risk. And I guess, I feel that only by risking are you able to go forward." "I had truly learned to take gambles. I just said 'To hell with it, I can't wait around forever. I'm either going to have a job or I'm not' ... In my own mind I said, well, you never know, it may lead to something else, so I decided to go for it."  In summary, all of these women expressed views which indicated strong intrinsic work values. In general, they were pessimistic about the future job market and feared their career goals would not be met, but nonetheless more than half of them expressed some hopefulness for themselves, ususally based on their perception of their own skills. Almost half of them commented, sometimes with resignation, that insecurity was 'here to stay.' More than half saw the work place and services  93 becoming increasingly dehumanized.  Only a small proportion (4 subjects) saw  taking risks and accepting change as necessary or advantageous in their situation.  View of Self in Relation to Job(s), Experienced over Time (Table XI) This domain of enquiry includes how the subject describes her experience of herself over time in relation to her job and her felt job insecurity. It includes the effects she is aware of on her self image, but not the effects of non-job related factors on her self image. This domain is detailed in the interpretive description below. Subjects were interviewed at different points in the process (Figure 1), and the different views of the self that emerged have fallen into distinct categories that illustrate a progression over time. They are ordered in the table to show this relationship. The significance of this domain of enquiry in pointing up a process of transition will be discussed below in Section 2, under Transition. Some significant categories are illustrated below. Category 3: Self image strongly invested in the job and job continuance. This category is interesting because all of the subjects indicated high intrinsic work values: "I love that type of work. I mean that's my life ... Obviously I'm in it because I love it."; or, "I'm in this field because I like it, and then, I dunno, I don't want to go out there and do whatever is to be done out there."  94  TABLE  XI  VIEW OF SELF IN RELATION T O JOB(S); E X P E R I E N C E D OVER TIME: AS R E P O R T E D B Y SUBJECTS (n = 15)  (Diagram Sheet, Verbal Report)  CATEGORY  No.  1.  Initial enthusiasm, pleased to get job, feeling good about self  13  14  21  2.  Initial feeling inadequate in new job (no experience, nervous, anxious)  8  9  11  3.  Self image strongly invested in the job and job continuance  8  11  12  4.  Self doubt and anxiety on first realizing the implications of the  8  9  13  1  F  2  S  3  job insecurity ( "a big drop" "went way down")  5.  Feeling "pleased" "happier" "better" when acting to change the situation (increased sense autonomy)  9  13  17  6.  Oscillating feelings of fear, relief, hope, fear based on perception of the job's security  9  13  20  7.  Smaller oscillations of self doubt and confidence based on job factors (work relations, competence, support)  13  27  30  8.  Confusion, over personal identity, perceived roles, aspirations,  5  5  5  9  9  13  8  11  12  10  12  12  9  9  15  5  10  16  "Who are you if your job is in question?"  Reaching a 'real low' of self doubt and anxiety ( "rock bottom"  9.  "the pits")  10.  Facing reality, self-searching, loss of illusions whilst at the 'real low'  11.  Letting go of investment in job and its continuance  12.  A decrease in intensity of the highs and lows with time ( "more on the level")  13.  Withdrawal, loss of enthusiasm, indifference ( "feeling depressed" "why bother")  14.  Increasing cynicism  3  6  10  15.  Perceiving self as separate from job (focus on skills, talents; hopeful)  9  14  17  16.  Feeling hopeful and (guardedly) optimistic about own future  5  6  7  No F S  — Number of subjects in category = Frequency, total situational factors/cognitions, for subjects in category = Salience, total of mentions for subjects in category  95  Category 6: Oscillating feelings of fear, relief, hope, fear based on the perception of the job's insecurity. "So that whole second year, I would say [laugh] 'Up.' And down ... realizing my security ... I got bumped [laugh]. My position was gone, [pause] And another bad interview, [pause] But immediately following, a good interview and another job. So by the end of June I had another job and my self esteem went way up." Category 8: Confusion, disorientation over personal identity, perceived roles and aspirations.  "Instead, what happens is you see yourself in terms of what-  ever you are doing. And if that changes every half year as it does for me, it's like this constant metamorphosis and presentation." Category  10: Facing reality, self-searching and loss of illusions whilst at the  'real low.' "This year it's the realization that I could go through all this again and again." "... because I realize that all that time I've been kidding myself. 'No, it's gonna be tough but we'll get there, we'll get there' and then suddenly one day I realize, I'm insane [laughs]. It's just not gonna happen and the sooner you realize it ..."  96 "It's like an inner search ... I mean, you are really forced to look at. yourself, to examine what it really was that was you, and what you would have done differently." Category 11: Letting go of investment in job and its continuance. "I've had to stand back and decide just how much of my energy I want to put into this. I've disinvested from the job to a certain extent, I'm not so personally involved. I'm less perfectionist on the job." Category 12: A decrease in intensity of the highs and lows with time: "Now  I'm more on the level, sort of a holding pattern. I haven't been as intense  about the job."; "I think in general that I have actually made a transition in terms of my expectations. I don't expect that I'm going to get what I want right away, so I'm not so disappointed and I'm not so anxious." Category 13: Withdrawal, loss of enthusiasm, indifference ( feeling depressed, 'why bother?' ) :  "Now  I'm kind of ho-hum, kind of blah. I'll be glad when it's  over. I feel detached from my employers, not from the particular programme I'm running."; "Now I'll go for my  I sort of feel, there's no investment. I come in and I do my job and  paycheque, do what's necessary, but I really can't be bothered any  more."; and, from a woman who knew for several months her job would definitely end: "I'm no longer interested in what's happening in this firm. I don't feel responsible any more and I don't feel I have to apologize any more ... it's  like a marriage. I'm no longer involved, and once you've sort of burned your bridges, it's, you're watching as they turn to ashes behind you, and I withdraw." Category 14: Increasing cynicism "But the cynicism just set in, we saw the negative instead of the positive. It's almost like becoming detached, detached from the job. There didn't seem to be the commitment. We were worrying about our own security, our own personal life." Category 15: Seeing self as separate from job (focus on skills, talents; hopeful). "I don't see myself differently, but I had to develop my own feelings of security and self worth that are not tied up in my job." "I feel more secure now because I place value on my own skills rather than how the programme appears. I trust my own judgement more. I've had to work at removing myself from that fear of the programme closing, and seeing myself as separate from the programme. So, it's a programme, and it's not my baby." Coping  Strategies  (Tables  XII, XIII)  Thirteen coping strategies were isolated from the protocols. They are listed in Table XII. Three of them are further expanded in Table XIII, Coping Attitudes.  98  TABLE  XII  COPING STRATEGIES R E P O R T E D / D E M O N S T R A T E D B Y SUBJECTS  COPING S T R A T E G Y 1.  Positive self talk  2.  Buffering, suppressing feelings, (denial)  3.  No.  1  F  2  S  3  15  123  150  12  44  54  Considering alternatives (ideation only)  12  24  31  4.  Talking to friends (social support)  12  15  15  5.  Active search for options, alternatives  9  24  24  6.  Talking to peers for understanding, (social support)  8  9  10  7.  Cutting down on workload  5  10  16  8.  Withdrawal from job, disinvestment  5  8  16  9.  Talking to family member(s) (social support)  4  4  5  10.  Keeping physically fit  4  4  4  11.  Seeking professional support (counselling)  4  4  4  12.  Political involvement (union activity)  2  3  3  13.  Avoiding negative talk(ers)  2  3  3  No F S  = = =  use of humour  support  Number of subjects in category Frequency, Total situational factors/cognitions for subjects in category Salience, total mentions for subjects in category  99 TABLE  XIII  COPING ATTITUDES E X P R E S S E D B Y SUBJECTS  (n = 15)  This Table is an expansion of categories 1, 2, and 8 of Table XII: Coping Strategies.  COPING ATTITUDE  No.  1.  Increasing detachment from investment in job continuity  2.  1  F  2  S  3  10  12  12  Focus on own skills/talents as separate from job  9  14  17  3.  Job seen as part of learning experience (increasing subject's flexibility in job market, life)  8  11  21  4.  Resignation  7  11  13  5.  Job seen as a challenge  7  10  13  6.  Refusal to take situation personally  7  7  7  7.  Acceptance of job insecurity as a  6  7  8  "way of life"  "here to stay"  8.  Lowered expectations  5  7  10  9.  No longer involved at work  5  9  9  10.  Willingness to risk  5  9  9  11.  Self worth not affected by job insecurity  4  6  6  12.  Believing the worst, rather than be disappointed  4  5  11  13.  I'll worry when it happens ( "Que sera, sera")  4  5  10  14.  Better to have a positive outlook  2  3  3  No F S  = = =  Number of subjects in category Frequency, Total cognitions for subjects in category Salience, total subjects in category  100 The struggle to cope and adapt to their situation was very salient in the accounts of these women. It will be discussed in some detail below, under Adapting and Coping with Job Insecurity (Section 2).  Interpretive Description of Psychological Experience of Job Insecurity for Graduate Women Working in Temporary and Contract Positions A graduate woman working in temporary or contract work generally has a strong sense of personal integrity with regard to the work that she does, and a strong commitment to doing a good job. Underlying this is a sense that who she is is defined by what she does, and a concomitant desire for fulfillment and expression of her "self through the medium of a career. Her experience of job insecurity begins at the start of a contract or temporary job with a sense of achievement. At best she experiences the thrill, excitement and challenge of having landed a job in the field of her choice. At the least she feels relief and gratification at having obtained a job in a competitive and difficult job market. Her self esteem is high. At the same time she may feel apprehensive and nervous as she struggles to gain mastery over new and unfamiliar tasks. Thus optimism, challenge, self-doubt and apprehension alternate in this "honeymoon" phase, much as in any new, demanding job. This high enthusiasm and anxiety is most intense in the first such position but becomes dampened with succeeding jobs. During this honeymoon period the.woman ignores the signs and cues that might tell her of the true instability of her job situation. She focuses only on the  101 possibilities for achievement in the job, and her goals may  often be set beyond the  finite end of the job. She experiences oscillations of self-confidence or self-doubt as things go well or badly at work, and as she feels supported or unsupported by her superiors and colleagues. As this honeymoon period draws to an end, the down-turns in these oscillations take on a new  significance. She begins to read into the lack of support the reality  that her job will indeed end, or that the hoped-for continuance or renewal will not happen after all. She experiences for the first time that sense of loss of control over her job continuity, and the first nagging feelings of personal powerlessness that will become increasingly intense. This sense of powerlessness is generally accompanied by intense self-doubt, sometimes panic, and may  be followed by anger, resentment or depression.  She doubts her own abilities and her own vision of herself in her chosen career. She begins to realize that her options are very few. She feels trapped and is unable to make a decision to act to improve her situation. Should she leave, and risk a period of unemployment, and the tenuous hold that she now has in her career? Or, should she stay and endure the continuing anxiety and tension in the hope of a continuance? At the same time, she sees the goals she has set for herself in this job slip further from her grasp. Her ability to plan, to be innovative or creative in the job is stifled. She reaches a low point, seeing herself as in a hopeless situation. She may  feel angry and resentful. Then, rumours of a new  contract or funding bring  102  her hope up again, and she may be finally rescued from this dilemma of risk versus inertia by some level of job continuance. The job suddenly seems more secure, she feels a sense of relief and begins to focus once again on the job task. From this point on she enters a larger cycle of fear, hope, relief, fear, fueled by rumours and based on her perception of how  secure the job is. Her sense of  powerlessness is relieved by an ephemeral sense of autonomy and control as she acts to make her position more secure. These "remissions" may  last some weeks,  or even months. At the same time she feels an increasing pressure to perform, to look good in the eyes of her superiors, to bargain, as it were, for job continuance. Within this larger cycle is a smaller, work-related cycle of confidence and self-doubt that takes on a new significance as each event is anxiously evaluated in terms of what it means to her job continuance. As her sense of being supported dwindles, her trust in her employers decreases and her ability to hope diminishes. She feels increasingly isolated, stressed, angry, resentful, and suspicious. At some point she again reaches a real low, rock bottom, the pits, a place of self-searching and anguish, as she faces the loss, not so much of the job itself, but what it means to her (recognition in her own  and others' eyes; survival, and  protection from the spectre of poverty). She faces the reality of her situation at last, and struggles to come to terms with it as the validity of her roles and aspirations are  103 called into question. This intensity of negative emotions and self-doubt is generally short lived, and at this point she begins to let go of her investment in the job. Disinvestment from the job may follow one of two patterns, or some blend of the two. In the first her inner longing for the job's continuity is not really given up, but she no longer admits it to herself. She tells herself that she has lost interest in the job and yet she continues to feel cheated, disillusioned and bitter. Her predominant attitude becomes one of resignation and her final termination may  come almost as  a relief. In the second pattern of response she is able to let go of her need for job continuance in a more positive way  by establishing sources of her own  self-worth  that are separate from the job and what it means to her. This process may  come  about via an inner search of some depth and intensity in which she questions her own values and security needs. Or she may come to this position over time, through a gradually increasing sense of her own expertise and abilities to obtain another job or, by the gradual recognition that the cycle of fear, hope, relief, fear, is one that she has adapted to almost unconsciously. By whatever means she reaches this point she emerges with a renewed sense of personal control and choice, and a sense of having achieved some inner growth. She is hopeful and has a tempered optimism that she will be able to achieve her goals, or at least adapt them to what lies ahead. Whether she ends up at a point of resignation or acceptance, in either case she recognizes that the intensity of her feelings of insecurity and attachment to the job  104 have considerably decreased. She no longer feels that earlier high enthusiasm, nor does she experience again quite the same depths of disillusionment and fear.  The Projective Technique  Whyte (1982) noted the usefulness of projective techniques in interviews. They can be helpful in eliciting information of a more personal nature in a short period of time. This was found to be so in the current study. Subjects were asked specifically to draw a line that showed how they felt about themselves in relation to their job, and not to incorporate other events in their lives that might have affected how  they  felt about themselves. Most subjects became very involved in this exercise, and it appeared to act as a tool for self exploration. A lot of the information of an inner, more personal nature followed from this exercise. Examination of the lines drawn by each of the subjects enabled me to draw a composite line (Figure 1) which represents aspects of all these lines. In fact, seven of the subjects drew lines closely similar to this composite line. In examining the composite line it can be seen to show some similarities to the roller coaster models derived by Borgen & Amundson (op. cit.) in their study of the experience of unemployment. This can be accounted for by firstly, the same technique being used in both studies, and secondly, by the fact that the subjects appeared to experience a similar psychological process.  105 The line can be viewed as a partial model of the experience, which I will call the projective model (Figure  1).  Borgen & Amundson used the Kubler-Ross  (1969)  loss model in part to explain the ongoing experience of unemployment. A more generalized transition model better fits the data in this study, as will be discussed below.  INITIAL HIGH ( e x i t e d , challenged, enthusiastic)  UNCERTAINTY no assured c o n t r a c t , rumours, l a y - o f f s (apprehensive, disillusioned) FIRST BIG DROP ( i s o l a t e d , powerless, angry,fearful, depressed)  TEMPORARILY MORE SECURE news o f c o n t r a c t , hope f o r continuance ( r e l i e v e d , hopeful, encouraged)  AUTONOMY new c o n t r a c t . l e a r n i n g more s k i l l s , p o l i t i c a l action. feeling established, ( e n t h u s i a s t i c , supported, competant, h o p e f u l , bargaining)  REALIZATION end o f c o n t r a c t . rumours, lay-offs. (loss of trust, resentful, isolated, suspicious, fearful)  H LOSS OF CONTROL short-term contract, temporary l a y - o f f , c a n ' t p l a n , r e p o r t s ignored, f e a r o f job search, poor work r e l a t i o n s , ( f r u s t r a t e d , unappreciated, unsupported, c r t i c i s e d , apprehensive, pressured)  FACING REALITY (depressed, f e a r f u l , anxious, s t r e s s e d .  LETTING GO 1  ACCEPTANCE(1eve11ing up) search f o r options, job search, f o c u s on s k i l l s , (hopeful, optimistic, risking)  RESIGNATION(level1ing down) withdrawal, detachment, depression. (pessimistic,cynical. r e s e n t f u l , enduring)  disinvestment  O J> r e t h i n k i n g , i n n e r search.  ON  107  Section 2: Discussion Introduction When the accounts of all these subjects are examined it can be seen that job insecurity is an unscheduled life event (Pearlin, 1985) that is a stressor because it calls into question the subject's control over her own life. Uncertainty and a sense of personal powerlessness are the salient features of these accounts (Tables IX, XI). Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984), in a paper which sought to clarify the concept of job insecurity, denned it as:  .. the perceived powerlessness to main-  tain desired continuity in a threatened job situation." (p.434). This definition is extremely useful because it both points up the essential psychological feature of personal control, and is general enough to include different structural aspects of job insecurity. In providing substance to Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt's definition, the data from these interviews explore one facet of structural job insecurity; working in positions which have no protection of job tenure. In such jobs we see from these accounts that a threatened job situation can include:  (a) threatened loss of the  current job; (b) the threat of not being able to find another job with similar desired features; (c) the threat of not being able to find a job that will advance career goals; (d) the threat of not being able to find a job that will provide an adequate living standard; and, (e) the threat of unemployment.  108 The data analysis has provided considerable information on the nature and effects of both structural and felt job insecurity in a number of domains of interest, namely, work performance and work relations (Table II), personal and family life (Table V), leisure (Table VI), personal finances (Table III), health (Table IV), and view of the future (Table XIII). The major focus of this study, however, is the psychological experience of job insecurity for these subjects and its implications for counselling. This discussion will therefore concentrate on the following aspects of the data: job insecurity as a transition experience; job insecurity as a stressor; and ways in which the subjects adapted to and coped with their job insecurity.  Limitations of the Study The research reported in this study is descriptive and interpretive. It uses data from a small sample of subjects (15). Other than recording the frequencies and saliences of the denned categories, no attempt is made to examine quantitative relationships. Class of subjects. Data in this study is specific to graduate women working in temporary and contract positions in the Greater Vancouver area. This limits the generalizability of some of the findings to the population of professional women who are experiencing job insecurity. In particular those who are working in jobs with limited tenure in urban settings. Specifically: data on family and personal life and health is not necessarily generalizable to men; and categories reflecting work orientation and achievement are not necessarily generalizable to workers for whom  109 work is not a central life interest. The geographical location of the study area in an economically depressed region is a further possible source of bias. Salience of categories. It could be argued that with a small sample (15) data from the interviews could be distorted by situational bias of the subjects. The fifteen subjects were, however, interviewed at different points in time in their experience of job insecurity (Figure 1), and came from several occupational backgrounds (Appendices D, E), and a variety of living situations (Appendix C). This has served to buffer situational bias in the data. Attributional bias. Subjects are more likely to give external/situational explanations rather than internal/dispositional explanations of their own job insecurity and its effects (Jones & "Nisbett, 1972). Thus even though these self-reports generate a great deal of information, it is experiential rather than characterological information. The study cannot be used to make statements about the relationship between personality variables and response to job security. Volunteer subjects. One source of bias already mentioned is that the subjects are volunteers. Thus, the data is biased in that it may  not reflect the experi-  ence of all women in the same work situation. The purpose of this study, however, is to examine the experience of job insecurity itself, and not its distribution in a population.  110  Job Insecurity as a Transition Experience One of the most striking aspects of these results is the way in which a consistant pattern emerged from these accounts. This pattern indicated a common psychological process, which is modelled in Figure 1., and delineated in the interpretive description (page 100). The relative consistency of its stages for these women is shown in Table XI. The data presented here clearly show that this is indeed a transition process, in which loss and adaptation to change are major components. Looking beneath the descriptions of these women we find the deeper aspects of the transition stages. Brammer & Abrego (1981) define a transition as an event in which an individual experiences discontinuity in his or her life, and must develop new assumptions or behaviour responses. They present a model of such a transition and give its stages as: shock and immobilization, denial, depression, letting go, testing options, search for meaning, and integration. They point out, however, that the order of the stages is not immutable,and that a person may go back to, or dwell on,one or mora stages. Further, different stages may be more or less important for any one individual. This description is borne out by the varied accounts given by these subjects. All stages appear to be present but at varying intensities and durations. It seems that job insecurity is indeed a transition in which an individual must question his or her expectations and values.  Ill  Shock and immobilization For most of these subjects the realization of the true nature of their job insecurity comes slowly, a gradual process (shown in slope B, Figure 1): "... so my position is secure for this budget year and that's the point it's got to now, it's only on a year by year basis ... it doesn't feel very comfortable to be the only one left; when you look around the province you know the writing is on the wall.'' The full realization of the true nature of her job insecurity only comes as a shock when she has been expecting or desperately hoping for a renewal. "When it happened I was in shock ... like I couldn't actually sit and do anything, it was like I was ill."  Denial The role of denial is considered to be a stop-time one (Brammer <k Abrego, op. cit.) which protects the person from the intensity of negative emotions and from a too premature adjustment. Denial and denial-like processes occur throughout the job insecurity transition, and play a large part in modifying its stressful effects. For many subjects there was a "honeymoon period" (Helmreich, Sawin & Carsrud, 1986) that I have called "initial enthusiasm" (point A in Figure 1). Avoidance and denial are both operating at this time, for the woman does not think about her job insecurity even though she may know about it. At other times during the transition, denial-like processes  112 are continually operating. They are only absent in those relatively short periods when the woman "faces reality." A major function is to deny the implications of job insecurity if not its reality. Comforting cognitions (Mechanic, 1985), philosophical attitudes and other positive self-talk maintain hope for the subject. Interestingly, Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt (1984) predicted that denial would be an important component of job insecurity for persons with a strong dependence on job continuity, such as was found for a majority of these subjects.  Depression A majority of the women reported symptoms typically associated with reactive depression. Most of them who said they felt depressed stated it was after they realized their job was indeed ending or, after they faced the reality of their situation. Feelings of sadness and loss were sometimes described, or of feeling really down: "It was the pits."; "I hit rock bottom."; "It was like being down in the trenches." "I really feel that a lot of the things I said I'd do haven't been done and there's no way I'm gonna do them. That's when I really get depressed and sort of stressed out because I realize all this time I've been kidding myself." The sense of depression results from matching the reality against her aspirations and feeling powerless to narrow the gap. This stage can manifest itself at any of the major down periods because job insecurity for these women is a renewable event. The worst depressed feelings occurs for most of these women at the first big drop,  113 when they first admit to themselves that continuance is a slender hope at best. L e t t i n g go According to Brammer & Abrego (1981) the stage in a transition described as 'letting go' is not well understood. It involves letting oneself into the feeling to experience it deeply. There may be an expression of sadness or anger or it may be a "largely cognitive process of recommmitting oneself to let go of resistance to change" (p. 21). The courage to risk the unknown is part of this process.  Two  thirds of the subjects describe a variety of situations and cognitions that could be identified as a letting go (Table XI). Interestingly, there appear to be at least two levels of letting go, which may happen suddenly, or in stages, or gradually, or almost at a subconscious level. In the first level the subject faces the reality of her situation but does not complete the letting go. This usually begins at the first big drop. She may let go partially, and then withdraw her investment in the job to a greater or lesser extent. This withdrawal seems akin to the anticipatory grieving described by Greenhalgh (1979) for survivors of a lay-off. It appears to be a self-protective act with an underlying anger. Withdrawal shields her from experiencing fully the expected pain from loss of the job. At the same time this withdrawal blocks her entry into the deeper aspect of letting go. The predominant mood is one of resignation. She lets go of the hope for continuance but not the desire for it (point I\ , Figure 1).  114 "Suddenly one day I realized, you know, 'I'm insane! [laughs] It's just not going to happen, and the sooner you realize it the better off you'll be.' And so how I'm at this point, you know, if you look at it like death, it's probably the same stages [laughs] and I'm at acceptance, [pause] OK!  So  that's the way it's going to be. I'll invest as little as possible. I'll do  my  job, you know, I'll do what's necessary, but I'm not going to bust my arse any more ..." [her laughter buffers her feelings about what she had earlier described as a very difficult period].  The second level of letting go is deeper, and it seems to involve the willingness to let go of the investment in the job and its continuance to the extent that these represent an image of the self that is precious (point J > Figure 1). 2  "I mean, I think when you are thrown back on yourself like that, you are really forced to look at yourself, to examine yourself. What it really was that was you, and what you would have done differently, [pause] and tune in again to what it is you really want from work, and want to do, and just go out and try again. I went through this after both of them. There was some kind of inner search that followed ... I had to look again. I mean a lot of it has to do with one's willingness to take a risk, and I guess I feel that only by risking are you able to move forward." "Over the last one-and-a-half years I've let go of a lot, and understood a lot more, [pause] I feel a lot more secure in myself because I'm not holding  115  on to a lot of fantasy expectations and ideas." Letting go is the pivotal point of the transition, and the main barrier to working through it is the subject's attachment to the job and job continuance. This barrier may be the result of economic fears and believing that she cannot afford to leave. It may also be connected to fears of losing a life style, or a hoped-for way of life. Or, this barrier may be due to her career aspirations, her investment in the job, and her investment in her role within the job. Thus, the more she has a sense of herself as defined by what she does, then the more difficult it will be for her to work through the transition. Those subjects who had successfully done so were able to cope a great deal better with the stress and to focus on their skills and talents as separate from the job (Table XII: 15). They were able to perceive their self worth as not dependent upon, nor denned by their job. Search for meaning Brammer & Abrego (op. cit.) state that the search for meaning involves an active commitment to changing one's values, views and behaviours. Thus these subjects questioned their learning from the experience. They gained a new perspective on the earlier stages of the transition: "I'm not so conscious of personal security as I used to be. I know I can survive in an insecure situation."; "I've adapted. I really have!"; and, "I've had to learn to find my feelings of self-worth outside of the job." The search for meaning appears to be a continuing process. It was clear in the interviews themselves, that at whatever stage they were in this transition, these  116 women attempted to ascribe meaning to what was happening to them. They tried to explain their experience and to rationalize it in terms that they could live with. It requires a coming to terms with, and an acceptance of their situation. When this is blocked, pessimism and cynicism may result (point J\ , Figure 1). "You know, I have a certain cynicism or whatever. I have this attitude that I go through the motions of proposing something knowing that it's not going to get anywhere. But it's something you have to do."  Testing options In testing options the individual, having faced the reality of her situation, makes a conscious decision to seek out alternative solutions and behaviours (point J2 , Figure 1). "I'm going to look into going back to school. I'm going over to [college] and talk to a counsellor there." "I'm  really feeling that I want out of the social service field ... I think  about either going back to school in a totally different field, ah, [pause] I've also thought about doing a business of some kind, starting a small business." Integration Integration is a phase in which renewal takes place, and where new behaviours and values are incorporated.  It is a period of readjustment. Like the search for  117 meaning, it too is an ongoing process in the transition of adjustment to job insecurity. This is especially clear for those subjects who have been working in insecure jobs for some time. "It's really interesting. Something must happen subconsciously and it's sort of like whenever I'm having a real hard time, in a really difficult place of looking at myself.... over time you learn new things and new  techniques  and in terms of ways of looking at yourself that are different. And it sort of makes things happen and changes your whole awareness; like at one point it would seem to be impossible, but then in six months time you find yourself there, so goals must be constantly revised to carry on growing.'' "... I think in general I have actually made a transition and adjustment in terms of my expectations. I don't expect there to be a secure permanent position. I don't expect I'm going to get what I want right away  I  think that's a major difference." When the transition has been successfully worked through, there is a resurgence of hopefulness. This is different from the hopefulness associated with the possibility of continuing security in the job because that earlier feeling is dependent on external mediation. This new optimism is based on the subject's perception of herself as able to make changes, to risk, and to succeed in her endeavours. There is a focus on skills and talents, goals are readjusted and a plan for the future is made, even though it may  not be a long term one.  118  Job Insecurity as a Stressful Life Event That most of the subjects in this study saw job insecurity as a major stressor is without doubt: "I feel like I'm caught in a vicious circle, and I don't know how to get out of it. I would love to see a way out, but I don't.*; "It's a constant nagging worry."; "It's like I'm living with a threat over my head". Kobassa (1985) defines a stressful life event as one which causes changes in, and demands readjustment of an average person's normal routine. Pearlin (1975) further divides stressful life events into scheduled and non-scheduled events. Unscheduled events are crises and other events that are not consequences of life cycle transitions. Although they may be quite common, people do not expect them to occur in their own lives. The data in this study show that job insecurity clearly falls within the latter definition.  An essential feature of psychological stress is the sense of loss of control (Fisher, 1984; Monat k Lazarus, 1985), and the threat to self-esteem (White, 1985). Over three-quarters of these graduate women reported high anxiety levels at the times when their jobs were most at risk. May  (1977) considered anxiety to be more  basic than fear, because it indicates a threat to values we closely identified with the image of the self. The accounts of these women show how the threat of job insecurity brought into question their goals and values. Some of the major components of the threat of job insecurity experienced by these graduate women are discussed below.  119  Major Stressors in the Experience of Job Insecurity 1.  (Table XIV)  Not knowing: powerless As discussed under Table I, a lack of information was the most often mentioned  aspect of job insecurity for these women. A need for information is a vital one in adapting to a stressor (White, 1985). Lack of information results in a sense of loss of control and can cause pessimistic appraisals and underestimation of personal control in a situation (Fisher, 1984). Not knowing was the most important stressor for all subjects. It was accompanied by feeling tense and anxious and by feelings of powerlessness and loss of control. Its importance for these women supports Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt's (1984) definition of job insecurity discussed above. This need for information was expressed in anxious searching behaviour such as: dependence on rumours, watching for other positions to be cut, and so on. "And the rumours of course, is what drives everyone crazy."; "It's a constant worry. Will we, won't we, will we, won't we, be renewed."; "Every time [Head Office] burps, we wonder if it's going to be us".  These data also support Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt's contention that the greater the subject's dependency on the job or the greater their investment in it, then the greater their sense of threat and powerlessness.  120 TABLE  XIV  M A J O R STRESSORS IN T H E E X P E R I E N C E OF J O B INSECURITY REPORTED B YSUBJECTS  (n = 15)  STRESSOR  1  No.  1  S  2  1.  Not knowing (powerless)  15  65  2.  Financial fears  12  49  3.  Loss of trust  12  37  4.  Pressure to perform  11  37  5.  Having to look for another job  11  32  6.  Sense of personal isolation  11  21  7.  Career fears, feeling cheated  9  27  No S  = =  Number of subjects in category Salience, total mentions for subjects in category  121 "I feel frustrated, like a pawn in a political game. Like pretty small beans. It's a pretty powerless situation to be in. I feel controlled. It feels like being in a really helpless situation." The high salience of this stressor also points to how job insecurity challenges the subjects' view of their own control over events. Indeed, the whole experience at the individual level can be seen as a struggle for control.  2.  Financial Fears The second greatest stressor was financial fears. For two of the solo mothers in  the sample it was the overriding fear. It was also mentioned most often by subjects who had the lowest paying jobs. It was least acute for the four single women who felt that they had no committments and thus were spared the pressure of added responsibility. Most often mentioned was a fear of reduced living standards, of not being able to live on U.I.C., or of living at subsistence level. For one woman, there was a real fear of poverty and possibly of having to go on welfare. Her unfinished house and her neighbours' complaints about it seemed to symbolize for her all that she had not been able to achieve in providing for her children as a single parent: "I wanted to bring it up to community standards ... I wanted to be a functioning part of that community, and I can't give as much because my children and I are so distressed by the house that we live in. Because I haven't got the money tofixit, to finish it, just to make it warm and  122  adequate, and to make it beautiful or really comfortable with the kinds of furniture that other people have." [solo parent] For  four women earning less than $1500 per month, mere survival was the  big issue and, in the immediate present, took precedence over their career goals. Underlying the financial fears was the sense that their expectation of life and of lifestyles were not being met. "I always survive. It's just the quality of survival is not very good  I  don't have any real, I don't have any quality of life. It's a bloody struggle day-in, day-out. And I'm really tired of all that, and I'm tired of feeling I'm a victim ..." [solo parent] Survival needs have taken precedence over needs for creative expression in the job and for career goals. The salience of these women's fears can be explained in terms of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, in which survival and maintenance needs must be met before the individual can turn to the meeting of higher needs for creativity and self actualization. A similar response was noted by Borgen & Amundson (1984) in their study on unemployment.  3.  Loss of trust  The importance of loss of trust as a stressor denoted an increasing sense of alienation for the women, either from her job, her place of work, or from her employers (Machlowitz, 1983; Hall & Mansfield, 1971). It resulted from a combination of incomplete knowledge of termination or renewal, a sense of being impersonally  123  treated, or of not being valued or appreciated and, the pervading sense of not being in control of job decisions (Table IX). "... because you never know when you're talking to someone whether your comment is going to end up in some higher place for their benefit and that does happen." "... anyone who stands up and fights with a principal is too political. I think they would be let go. And that's the climate of fear that we have in this province." Along with the lack of trust was the sense of disillusionment with colleagues, employer, organization, or the government: "When it comes down to it, the employees for the most part don't really care."; "You're just a number on a piece of paper." This latter statement echoes the feelings expressed by the woman worker in Martin &; Wallace's study (1984) quoted earlier.  4.  Pressure to perform: Norris and Niebuhr (1984) showed that performing well at work was more  important as a job satisfier for workers with limited tenure, than it was for workers with fixed tenure; that is, insecure workers felt a need to prove themselves by good performance. This same pressure to perform emerged from the accounts of more than two thirds of the subjects in this study (Table II). It would seem to be an important side effect of temporary or contract positions. Those who hoped for some form of job continuance experienced this pressure most acutely.  124 "I don't know how the insecurity affected the clients. I don't know how it affected them. The way it affected me, is I tried much harder. I worked a lot harder. If you guys don't change in a hurry, then they won't refund us." "Like it's you can't be just good these days. You have to be fantastic." This pressure resulted in these women working over-time, taking on extra responsibilities (Table II) and, sometimes seeking medical attention or taking time off work (Table IV). We can expect that this will become an increasingly common work pressure if the number of temporary and part-time jobs increase according to forecasts (Hall, 1984). 5.  Having to look for another job Having to look for another job was the next most stressful situation for these  graduate women. It was felt equally as a pressure whether the woman was coping well with her situation or not. They either put it off and spent a lot of time worrying about it: "I put the pressure on myself that I need to start looking for another job, and even if I'm aware of that, that's a psychological pressure. I find I don't have any time to look for another job.  I find I don't have the energy. I  spend quite a lot of time worrying about it." or, they did job search and felt angry and resentful that they had to do that during their work time, or during their spare time. For two women the knowledge that  125 their job would end brought on such a low of self-confidence that they felt not able to job search: How could they sell themselves as a reject? This in itself caused additional anxiety. For some subjects the increasingly competitive job market was an added source of pressure and anxiety. Even for the three women who had actively chosen contract work, the pressure to find another job or work for a continuing contract was becoming an increasing burden. Thus, one subject commented on the change of the level of insecurity in contract work.  "And it's not just the lack of continuity, it's the real, real uncertainty. The short-term insecurity, and then there's the long-term insecurity. They can be very different kinds of things. There's no security any more in insecure jobs." Having to look for another job is a fact of life that goes along with taking temporary or contract positions but in economically hard times with a declining job market, it creates a very real and added pressure to the problem of job insecurity for these women. It seems likely, too, that this situation will not abate but will increase in the years to come (Hall, 1984; A. Porter, 1986). As one of the subjects said, "It's a sign of the times."  126 6.  Sense of isolation: Closely connected to the loss of trust is the sense of personal isolation. This  sense of isolation came sometimes from keeping up a facade. "But it was a very difficult time for the first four months, coming in here and having to deal with them like nothing had happened. And they'd deal with me like nothing had happened ... it's a very schizophrenic situation." This is reminiscent of that sense of isolation, wariness of others, and alienation from the self described by Goffman (1959) for a person who maintains a 'front' which they know to be a false one. Self-interest and cutting off connections with colleagues also resulted in a sense of isolation, and echoes the climate of self-interest described by Hall & Mansfield (1971) for research scientists threatened by retrenchment.  More often,  the sense of isolation came from feeling unsupported either by the employer or by colleagues: "And the thing that makes you feel a lot more insecure of course, is that you know the other services have been lopped off ... and the support system is gone. So you are on your own." "That was the hard part. The two other women got wind that my job was insecure and they completely withdrew from me. And we'd worked very well together up to that time."  127  This sense of isolation was strongest for those women who were at the bottom of a down-turn in emotional feeling following the news that their job would end or, for those women who had coped with their job insecurity by withdrawal, indifference, and cynicism. "I hide in my office, I use the back stairs ... I walk right past them and I go for coffee. I just don't care, and I don't make an attempt to be sociable." A sense of isolation was also described by Machlowitz (1983), following her interviews with women survivors of cutbacks.  7.  Career fears, feelinq cheated The final major stressor in the experience of job insecurity for these women  was career fears, together often with a sense of feeling cheated out of their own career path or hoped for life style. These fears were expressed most often by women who  were in the career of their choice. They felt that the job market in their field  was so restricted, especially for permanent jobs, that they might be forced to leave their specialization. "I've got two degrees. I've got good experience and I feel there should be more guarantee for me, having invested all this time and energy". They were fearful and angry. The sense of narrowing options reported by about half of these subjects echoes Machlowitz's (1983) report of a feeling of loss of power in career choice. The women who were the least threatened by career fears were two of the three who had actively chosen contract or temporary work. They chose the flexibility and sense of freedom that goes with contract work in return for the loss of security of a permanent position. They had already to a certain extent adapted  128 their career goals to this particular situation, and they had developed a philosophy and attitudes that included an acceptance of risk. But the third woman who had chosen contract work now saw herself as trapped in contract jobs she didn't really want. "You know, you want the least stressful, the least demanding work that you can get in your own self interests, but this is something that is not happening for me. I can't even get to that point where I can choose. I'm always, I'm by nature, there is never much of any choice. The incredible marginality, you see, I take what I can get."  We can suspect that this stressor will become an increasingly common one if current predictions of an increase in temporary, contract work continue; especially so for women who will increasingly fill marginal positions in the job market (Evans, 1979; Hall, 1984; Jobs and people, 1980)  All of these women had aspirations and a desire to use their skills and talents. Their job insecurity therefore stressed them, both at an extrinsic level of financial and material concerns, and at an intrinsic level where they they are concerned with the quality of the work that they do, and want to do in the future.  129  Adapting and Coping with Job Insecurity Coping Profiles By far the most often mentioned and dwelled-upon adaptation strategies of these women were cognitive. In talking with them it became clear that those  who  showed the greatest array of positive attitudes and cognitions were the ones  who  appeared the best adapted to job insecurity. They were the most optimistic and the most hopeful, and the most involved in an active search for options. In examining the accounts of the subjects two profiles emerge which I will call good coping and poor coping. These labels correspond to the positions "levelling up" and "levelling down" on the projective model (Figure 1).  The good coping profile: "levelling up". The subject is optimistic and hopeful about herself even though she is aware of the current restricted and competitive job market. She has had previous experience of job insecurity and has come to view it as a fact of life that is probably here to stay. She focusses on her skills and abilities as separate from the job, and  has  confidence in her chances to gain future employment. She sees a need to be flexible, and views her job as a challenge and as a learning experience for the future. She has learned not to take her job insecurity personally, and has developed a philosophy or set of attitudes towards work that is helpful in accepting her job insecurity. These attitudes include a desire for challenge and willingness to risk, as well as less concern  130 for personal security, and the ability to say goodbye to the job without prolonged regret.  The poor coping profile: 'levelling down". The subject is somewhat pessimistic and fearful for herself. She views the competitive job market situation with dread. This may be her first experience of job insecurity or, she may have had recurrent negative experiences. She protects herself from painful aspects of the termination of her job by a process of psychological withdrawal, loss of enthusiasm and detachment from the job. Her feelings of anger and resentment about her job insecurity are buffered, and she may appear apathetic and indifferent. She is resigned to her situation but there is an underlying resentment and bitterness beneath her front of indifference. She feels isolated and has a cynical view of her job and the world of work in general. She fears for her own future, clings to the known and is unwilling to take risks. She endures.  The Sample Group aa Good Copers These profiles are constructed from the subjects' statement and-contain the major cognitions and attitudes expressed by them that relate to adapting to and coping with job insecurity (Table XII, Table XIII). In fact no one subject fitted either profile exactly. Most subjects fell somewhere in the middle, but as a group they had more good coping than poor coping characteristics. Fisher (1984) cites studies that show that knowledge and competence improve the ability to master stressful  131 situations, and that early success, familiarity and choice strengthen the illusion of control (p. 190). We can therefore argue that these women, with their degrees, or specialized training and successful work experience are operating from a previous scenario of success and control. As a group they are therefore more likely to be good copers. This argument is supported by the fact that subjects who appeared to be poor copers had little previous experience of job insecurity or, (one subject) a ten year history of negative experiences of job insecurity in low-paying jobs. In contrast, subjects who appeared to be coping best as indicated by their fit to the good coping profile, had either a history of successfully surviving job insecurity: "I've always worked in insecure jobs [7 years] ... In some ways I really like it, because I like change ..." or, concrete evidence of their ability to get the job they want: "When I got this job I felt I had my foot in the door ... already I have some kind of recognition, so I go on that." Other factors which may influence an individual's position with respect to either coping profile are listed in Tables VII and VIII. They include: social support (Bhagat, 1983); the nature of her work relations; her financial situation; her marital status and dual roles she may have (Grubb Sz Lazerson, 1984); and whether her job is the major interest in her life (Dubin & Champoux, 1977). Unfortunately, these data do not allow us to speculate on the relationship between situation and coping style other than to say that in the awareness of these subjects, situational factors  132 were clearly very important in influencing how  they viewed their job insecurity  (Tables VII, VIE); (but see Limitations; Attributions).  Personality Factors and Ability to Cope As mentioned under limitations above, the nature of these data also preclude substantiated statements about personality variables (locus of control, attributional bias, etc.) and their effect on coping for these subjects. Monat & Lazarus (1985) point out, however, that measures of coping styles are often poor predictors of behaviour in any given situation. This is borne out by the contextual richness of these accounts which suggest that these women used different coping styles at different times (White, 1985) depending on their perceptions of their situations, which again was influenced by their position in the transition process (Figure 1). It would however be interesting to examine whether dispositional personality factors do indeed influence how a person ultimately copes well or poorly. In this respect the work of Kobassa (1985) on stress hardiness is of interest. She concluded that the three characteristics of control, commitment and challenge, make up the "hardy personality" who is buffered against illness in stressful situations and copes more effectively with stress. The interview summary of subject # 12 (Appendix I) is very pertinent here. This subject showed a strong commitment both to herself and to her chosen career path. She believed in taking risks, and maintained a sense of control by leaving her jobs before they terminated. Other good copers showed a willingness to risk, and a strong commitment to themselves in that they were able  133 to see their own  self worth as clearly separate from their job (Table XIII). On  the  other hand the five best copers had either a reasonable salary level and few, or no, personal and family responsibilities, and only one of them reported general freedom from stress related symptoms.  Denial—lilce Processes and the Ulnsion of Control in Job Insecurity Earlier it was stated that the psychological reaction to job insecurity can be viewed as a struggle for control. At stake in this struggle are the values and those aspects of the self-concept in which are deeply embedded our cultural beliefs about work (Hofstede, 1986; Milward, 1981). Thus, being in paid employment means telling ourselves that we belong and have standing in our community of peers, family, and the broader society. These values,as well as security needs, are threatened, when there is no job security. This is shown by the longings expressed by some of these women: for an adequate standard of living; freedom from debt; a family home; the ability to provide an enriching environment for their children; and, the desire to contribute to their community. The struggle for control embodies the struggle to maintain the self-image and self esteem (White, 1985). Adaptation can be considered as successful when this has been achieved. Thus the "good coping" profile (above) is one which promotes and maintains the subject's self esteem.  How this is apparently achieved is of interest. Lazarus (1985) shows that the role of illusion in the preservation of meaning is a recurring theme in literature. He stresses the importance of illusion and denial in surviving the psychological effects of stressful life events. He notes that denial is not a single act, but "... a highly diverse set of processes that respond to different internal and external conditions" (p.163), and that these processes are always in a state of flux. This view is supported again and again in listening to the tapes, or reading these transcripts. Some aspect of denial occurs at almost every level throughout the experience, except at those (usually short) periods ("the pits," "rock bottom," "a real low") when the subjects face reality. This can be seen by the fact that for almost half the subjects, the news of their job termination came as "a shock," "all of a sudden," or "was a surprise," despite the fact that they entered the job knowing that it was of limited duration. As one subject put it: "They talked about it like it was secure. It gave every appearance of being secure." Denial is also operating when a two month contract renewal is seen as a hopeful sign. Another form of denial occurs in the buffering of feelings as the subject withdraws from investment in the job: "I come in with a blase attitude, and that gets me through all the crap." Or, "Now I'm kind of Ho-Hum ... kind of blah. I'll be glad when it's over.", from a subject who said she was still very much involved in the content of her job.  135 Yet again, denial and defenses can be seen in the many positive self-statements (Table XII: 1) recalled or made by all of these women in their interview. Many of these fall within the label of "comforting cognitions" coined by Mechanic (1985) in his study of pre-exam behaviour of graduate students. Some examples are: "I tell myself I'm competent."; "I tell myself I'm doing a good job. I'm learning. I'm being challenged."; "They're still hiring people with specialist qualifications." The use of laughter and humour to avoid negative feelings or release tension (Table XII: 2) was also quite common: "If I didn't laugh, I'd cry."; "I mean, what am I meant to do? Swing from the chandeliers?  Maybe I should have had  bells on my toes!". Pollyanna statements were also used quite often: "I know it's not forever, and I can deal with that for now."; "I prefer to look on the positive side."; "So I looked on this as something of a gift [she got temporarily laid off] pushing me into doing something."; "I mean there's no point in wishing for what isn't ...". Another area in which some element of denial is operating to preserve the self esteem of these women is in the way in which they express pessimism about the future job market and yet hope for themselves (Tables VII, IX, X, XI).  Finally another area in which self deception occurs in the subjects is in how they attribute the causes for their job insecurity (Table I: 2, 3, 8). Most subjects attributed the causes of their job insecurity to external causes (economic situation, employment policies, difficult superiors) rather than to internal causes (personal  136 incompetence, own personality difficulties). On the other hand, women who were at a low point at the time of their interviews, were inclined to give more personal attributions;and all subjects remembered looking for causes within themselves during periods of self-doubt, again at low points in the experience. Thus, hopefulness was associated with external blame for the cause of their job insecurity, and pessimism with internal blame. It seems in fact that women in this study were at times unrealistically optimistic about their situation. Lazarus (1985) has concluded that a certain level of self deception is necessary for preservation of mental health. Lionel Tiger, (1979) has commented at length on the necessity of optimism and hope for human existence, and has pointed out its physiological antecedents. Fisher (1984), also emphasizes the importance of optimism in response to stress. The importance of staying optimistic is clear for these subjects for, as Fisher (op. cit.) has demonstrated, too much realism in low control situations together with absence of adequate information can lead to pessimistic distortions and underestimation of personal control. This in turn can lead to a perception of helplessness, an antecedent of depression. Fisher (op. cit.) believes that maintaining an illusion of control can help to guard against the transmission of helplessness. Fisher further notes in discussing the later work of Seligman (Peter, Schwartz & Seligman, 1981) that characterological self-blame is a necessary condition for depression. Therefore if the women in this study can avoid blaming themselves, as  137 nearly three quarters of them did (Table I), then they can retain optimism together with the necessary illusion of control; "I was really doubting myself a whole, whole lot. I was believing it at that point. But later I thought 'That's not true!' I looked at my tapes again, and decided it was all their fault, with, you know, whatever other rationalization you need to get back on line." In this respect, as sources of external blame, the economic climate and government policies become useful scapegoats. Fisher distinguishes 'normals' from depressives in their ability to be optimistic rather than realistic. He speculates that 'normals' have a built in resistance to helplessness via overestimating control, that is, they have a self-serving bias. If this is true, then the comforting cognitions, pollyana statements and attributional biases of this group of women could be seen as a normal, healthy response to a chronic stressor. As he says, "perceiving control in conditions where it does not exist may be a very healthy process" (p.189). Or, as White (1985) states: "... the dismal truth is perceived only as rapidly as one can stand it" (p.137).  Recurrent Themes Certain themes recur throughout these interviews and have emerged in the data. Five major themes will be very briefly discussed here.  138  Investment This theme concerns the importance of work in the lives of these graduate women. The position of career fears as a major stressor (Table XTV: 7) highlights the significance of meaningful work in their lives. "I've always known that jobs have to have a lot of meaning for me. I think I've known that for the last 8 - 9 years, or maybe longer. I think I've always known that somehow, that a job has to have some meaning or else I'm bored silly, frustrated and angry, and I just can't do it." Several of them expressed a dread of unchallenging work: "I would find it a lot more difficult if I was strictly in labour jobs, or a factory. I find factory work is the most alienating, repetitious, boring, dead-end job in the world. At least the ones I know about. If I had to deal with that on a temporary basis, I would find it dreadful. ... I feel, you know, a sort of helpless feeling because I know the reality and it's horrible. Just working on machines and being treated like that." Their personal integrity and commitment to doing a good job; frustration at being blocked in using their potential (Table II: 2, 6); and their investment in education and professional training, are all testimony to the importance of employment as both a source of income and of creative endeavour for this group of women. Yohalem's (1979) prediction that professional women would increasingly work toward career goals, seems borne out in these women. Their aspirations are not,  139 however, compatible with the job market forecasts for the future (Hail, 1984; Jobs and People, 1980; Evans, 1979). In addition, the types of solutions likely to be sought by organizations and the public sector (Bolt, 1983) suggest an increase in the marginal workforce, and greater competition for professional jobs.  Betrayal This theme concerns the disillusionment of the subjects in so far as they allow themselves to experience the possibility that their expectations for the future will not be met. It concerns both career expectations and life-style expectations as well as their expectations of the work place. Often not well articulated, it can be found in comments concerning not feeling appreciated; impersonal treatment; loss of trust; feeling cheated, or judged; as well as a sense of narrowing options and fears for the future. This theme reflects the notion stated by McNeff et al (1978) that private and public employers fulfill an important social function because they create security and meaning for members of society through providing useful jobs. Thus, the threat of job insecurity violates the psychological contract, that unspoken set of expectations between the employer and the employed (Schein, 1980). The sense of betrayal is essentially one of a betrayal of values and expectations, and is threatening because it presages an unwelcome change in the subject's view of her life.  140  Who am I? This theme follows logically from the preceding two. It concerns the breakdown or challenge to the sense of self brought about by the threatened loss of a desired job situation. The question creates anxiety in the individual for it poses a threat to values of status, belongingness, and purpose that may have previously gone unquestioned. A number of the subjects had a conscious awareness of having been faced with this question (Table XI), and for others this theme was found in comments concerning self-doubt (Table IX), isolation, and facing reality.  Powerlessness This theme, unlike the preceding three, has more universal than cultural implications; however cultural implications do exist in this theme because ours is a culture which emphasizes personal autonomy. Thus, Fisher (1984) states: "Notions of personal power and control are inextricably linked to the concept of personal freedom and to the principle of free will" (p.20). Job insecurity threatens that principle when alternative employment is not readily available. This sense of powerlessness was directly commented on by all but one of the subjects. It was accompanied by feelings of anger and at least some attempt to regain control. These attempts ranged from withdrawal of commitment; bargaining, such as working harder, fighting for the position, or political action; seeking alternate options; and an array of cognitive defences and attitude changes. The preponderance of emotion-focussed coping to regain control is an indicator that the subjects felt there was little they  141  could do to change their job insecurity (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980). The fact that one fifth of the subjects stated that they relied on spiritual resources is of interest in this respect, as Folkman and Lazarus (op. cit.) noted the use of spiritual beliefs in dealing with chronic life stressors, such as disease.  Grieving and Renewal This theme concerns the grieving and renewal process that is entered into when the individual becomes fully aware that the job situation is threatened. Again, this is a more basic or universal theme, but it has cultural aspects in so far as the relationship between the individual and her job, and the roles that it provides for her have a cultural basis (Hofstede, 1986). In grieving for the loss of her job situation she grieves also for the loss of those aspects of herself that are identified with it. The grieving is very much an anticipatory one (Greenhalgh, 1979), which fluctuates in intensity as the job appears more or less secure. One is reminded of the remission phases described by Friedman and others (1985) as parents anticipate the death of a child. Thus, at first there is hope for a continuing contract, then for six months, then for three: the area about which hope is possible diminishes. This diminishing hope may apply to other job features apart from tenure, as the nature of insecure positions is that they are often under-funded and under-staffed. There may be a number of such little deaths (Figure 1 : F ), survivors may withdraw and disinvest from the job (Greenhalgh, 1979; Machlowitz, 1983). Eventually, at some point, the  142 individual is hopefully able to let go of that part of herself that is invested in the job situation and seek renewal through a search for alternatives and a new view of herself.  143  Chapter V  IMPLICATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS and SUMMARY  Implications General remarks This research documents the experience of graduate, professional women working in insecure jobs in an economically depressed locality. The effect of the current economic climate on the world of temporary work is clear in the accounts of these women, which in general present a picture of disillusionment, loss of trust and pessimism about the future world of work. There was little difference in terms of choice, between contract and temporary jobs for these women. They took what they could get and they could no longer expect that their training and experience would assure them of continuing employment in their fields. In the shrinking job market security became an important issue for most of them, despite their ideals and career aspirations. They were making the best of a bad situation, but their aim was eventually to land a job with a permanent rate of pay, tenure and benefits. When we consider that these are women  144 with degrees and work experience, a grim picture emerges for the mass of women working in the future. For, the increasing participation of women in the work force in the coming decades will be largely in temporary and part-time jobs (Hall, 1984; Smith, 1979; Stromberg & Harkess, 1979). A disturbing aspect of this research is the picture it presents of the work environment for the job insecure. The employee under threat of involuntary termination works in an atmosphere of low morale, in which loss of trust and self interest predominate. To this may be added the pressures of needing to compete and perform to retain the job. Most of the women in this study worked in the public sector or its satellite agencies where much of this struggle was centred on obtaining or retaining funding. Particularly unexpected was the fact that just over half these women reported working harder as a result of job insecurity. This was generally linked to the pressure to perform and to activities directed at keeping the job. This is a factor likely to contribute to high stress and burnout, as it did for two subjects in this study. Whether this reaction is common in less career-minded subjects must await further study. Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984), for instance, speculate that reduced work effort is a likely reaction to job insecurity. There is no expectation of an increase in work effort in their model of job insecurity. Certain reactions, such as withdrawal, loss of trust, self interest, and behaviour aimed at keeping the job, have implications for employers. They may affect production and work performance over the long term through the deterioration of work relations.  145 It should be remembered that an important aim of this research was to discover the commonalities in the experience. These are of interest to the counselling psychologist, because they provide clues to the understanding of an experience. In this respect the interpretive description, projective model and the recurrent themes are the most essential features of this analysis because they clarify the psychological experience and some of its deeper meanings for these women. The consistency with which these stages and themes emerged from the accounts was remarkable. It seems highly likely that much of what is documented in these sections will prove to be common for a much broader population than is generalized to in this study. At the same time, the commonalities within the different domains of enquiry have their own importance in delineating the world of professional women who are job insecure. Of interest here is the information on the impact of job insecurity on personal and family life. This has not been examined in other studies. The major findings described here include, the lack of time and energy most of these women had for family and friends; the increase in family tensions; and, the hardship experienced by single mothers. The disruptive impact of job insecurity on the lifeworld and work-world of these women, recorded here, deserves a more thorough treatment in a separate paper. The wealth of data has been too overwhelming to be given full treatment here. The most contradictory aspect of these data was the ambivalent responses in the domain of career aspirations. Some women expressed a pessimistic view of  146 the future and yet hope for themselves. It seems as if they needed to protect an image of the self as a successful and competent contributor. In support of this interpretation the following contradictions are also noted. A l l subjects commented on their committment to doing a good job, or on their professionalism; only three said that they deliberately cut back on their workload. At the same time, all subjects described situations in which they could not have been doing their job up to par; but only nine gave examples of a drop in work performance, and some of them denied that there was any change in the quality of their work. It appeared hard for some of these women to admit that they were not able, or perhaps no longer wanted, to maintain a high standard of work. There are implications here for users of self-report questionnaires on work performance. It should also be noted that such reactions to a pressured work situation can lead to professional burnout. Although it might be supposed that temporary workers as defined here would have less structural security and therefore feel more insecure, no consistent pattern could be perceived between the two categories. Although three of the temporary positions were amongst the lowest paid ($1000 - 1500/month), the woman's perception of her financial hardship seemed to depend less on the actual rate of pay than on factors such as her dependents, her debt load, and her estimation of her ability to get another job. Similarly the severity of the reaction to impending termination seemed to depend more on the subject's perception of the honesty and reliability of the employer; whether notice was expected or not; whether the subject took it  147 personally or not; rather than on the actual terms of employment or the length of notice.  Career change A surprising and somewhat unexpected aspect of this study, is the degree of occupational change amongst these women. Nine of them had been involved in or were planning a career change. Was this a result of their working in insecure jobs? In these accounts, four of the nine women said that frustration at the low pay and lack of advancement in short-term jobs were reasons for their career change plans. In addition three other women, who had taken further education in their fields, had done so to improve their chances of gaining a permanent, secure position. The other five career changers spoke of more internally motivated reasons for the change. Another explanation might be that contract and temporary work attracts people who value the flexibility and freedom it offers and who might be more likely to change careers than those in permanent jobs. However, only three of these women stated they preferred short-term work for these reasons, and all but two of the career changers wanted a permanent job. The evidence from these interviews suggests then that the high level of career change resulted partly from the insecurity about the current job market and partly from more personal motives. In a younger sample, the latter portion might well have been less, but the level of career change is still surprisingly high. One may speculate that it presages the nature of the marginal work force of the future.  148  Consolidating the research findings This study examines only the reactions of women in contract and temporary jobs. Further research is needed to increase the generalizability of these results.This would entail the inclusion of other comparison groups in further interviews, using the same design and categories. This approach has been advocated by Glaser and Strauss (1970). These authors point out that substantive theory derived from field data through analytic induction can be developed, supported and given credence through the use of comparison groups. In this way similarities and differences can be clarified according to structural context, through a process similar to replication. Thus, categories from the present study could be used to develop a model or models of individual reaction to job insecurity through application to comparison groups. Such models would both support and show the boundaries of the tentative model (Fig. 1) emerging from the accounts of the subjects in this study. Comparison groups which would repay investigation in a continuing study include the following: both men and women; persons working in blue-collar and white-collar non-professional jobs; persons in different age groups; persons with some degree of job security, benefits or tenure; persons in different wage brackets; persons actively choosing contract or temporary work; career changers; and, those seeking to remain in the same occupation. Of particular interest in such a continuing study would be those components of the psychological experience of job insecurity which seem likely to be universal.  149 One such component is uncertainty, with its attendant powerlessness, self doubt, ambivalence, and loss of trust. Under what conditions is uncertainty maximized or minimized for an individual? Another is the component of grieving as shown in such reactions as denial, depression, and withdrawal. Under what conditions is grieving maximized and minimized for an individual? Both these components have been reported elsewhere in the literature on job insecurity (Beynon, 1973; Hall & Mansfield, 1971; Hearn et al, 1983; Greenhalgh & Rosenblatt, 1984; Machlowitz, 1983).  The effect of personality variables As discussed above, this study does not enable one to draw conclusions as to the influence of personality variables on the reaction to job insecurity. The coping profiles derived from these accounts suggest, however, that locus of control (Rotter, 1966), attributional tendencies (Wiener, 1972), work orientation (Martin & Schermerhorn, 1983), and need for security (Borgatta, Ford, and Bohrnstedt, 1973) are likely to influence response to job insecurity.  Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt's  (1984) model of the causes, nature, effects and organizational consequences of job insecurity include these factors, plus conservatism, as individual differences, but to date, no studies have examined the relationship between these variables and reactions to job insecurity. Such a study is likely to be challenging because situation and personality variables exist in a dynamic, complex and changing relationship. Thus, both Fisher (1984) and O'Brian (1986) have pointed out that experience  150  of failure over time can shift the locus of control towards the external. Similarly, others have shown that security needs become dominant when they are not satisfied (Borgen & Amundson, 1984; O'Neill, 1981; Whaba k Bridwell, 1967). Another aspect of interest is Kobassa's stress hardy individual (1985). Does such a type exist that can better survive the stress of job insecurity? Further, what is the relationship between the stress hardiness factors of risk, challenge and commitment to the above variables?  Job insecurity provides a useful arena for  investigating these questions, and comparison of personality variables of good and poor copers might provide some answers to these questions.  A measure of .job insecurity Greenhalgh and Rosenblatt (1984) have advocated the design and use of a measure of job insecurity as essential to a clearer understanding of this construct. The data from this study provide a rich source of information for a personal measure, and they have the validity of being grounded in the first hand experience of the job insecure. Such a measure could be used in a wide variety of situations, to help map the causes and effects of job insecurity for workers. It could also be used to monitor the changing reactions to job insecurity over the long term. This would be of special interest in view of the predicted changes in the world of work (Porter, A., 1986).  151  Adapting and coping with job insecurity One of the most interesting aspects of this study is the way in which modes of adapting and coping emerged from the accounts of these subjects, providing an additional rich source of field data. Most striking was the apparent importance of cognitive coping as a defence against anxiety. It seems to point up the significance of denial-like processes in maintaining optimism under conditions of continuing stress. Folkman and Lazarus (1980) suggest that cognitive coping is more prominent in the face of situations that cannot be changed. From this point of view, these mechanisms in the job insecure are of real interest and would repay further study. At the same time, denial-like processes appeared to serve a more negative function in the "levelling down" phase, with denial of affect leading to withdrawal, apathy, and cynicism. At what point, and under what conditions, do defences cease to be useful, and hinder, rather than facilitate, a problem-solving approach?  Do  changes in self esteem affect the selection of coping strategies? These are questions of interest to researchers in guidance and counselling.  Changing attitudes and values This study suggests that a major barrier to adaptation to and mastery of the stress of job insecurity is an individual's personal investment in and identification with the job. Despite a high level of coping generally in this sample, few subjects had dealt with that barrier in a positive way. The few who did manage the transition stated that they no longer perceived their self-worth as affected by job security and  152 the temporary nature of their employment. For the others, some degree of security of tenure was seen as a necessary indicator that they were valued contributors. Miller (1981) suggests that work will need to become less important in individuals' lives, and Anthony(1980) considers that society needs to reconstruct meaning and purpose for the individual not based on the work life. This is easier said than done, as is clear in these interviews. Attitudes and values relating to the meaning of work are central to our culture (Hofstede, 1986), and are not easily relinquished. Pearlin (1985), however, has noted that life stresses in one area will bring about a change in focus of values onto another area. Professional women have gone through considerable change to legitimize their focus on career goals (Yohalem, 1979). What will happen if work is not available to service these new needs? Will there be a return to non-work interests? In the changing world of work, women will increasingly fill lower paid, marginal, part-time jobs (Hall, 1984; Larwood & Gutek, 1984). How will they then view work under these conditions? In the United States women are increasingly becoming involved in small businesses (Working at home, 1986). Two women in this sample expressed the intention of working for themselves in small business. Could this be a trend in Canada as well? In paid employment, people find an answer to the questions: Who am I? What status do I have? and, How can I be a useful member of society? Work attitudes and values are rooted in culturally learned beliefs about the meaning of work that are seldom verbalized or in conscious awareness. They are shared values and contribute  153 to a sense of belongingness, and are not easily changed. From these attitudes and values we derive our needs and expectations of work. It is only in moments of crisis, when the expected is no longer present as a given, that we know it for what it is. In moments of crisis our values as well as our competence to interact effectively with the environment are challenged. Job loss and job insecurity provided such moments of crisis for the women in this study, in which they became aware, sometimes acutely, that they were not able to live some of their work values.  Is there a connection between the struggle to adapt to loss of work and a possible shift in work values? For instance, is it through the denial-like processes that a change in work values will finally emerge? Is it possible to trace trends in changing work values through studying the cognitive adaptation strategies of individuals subjected to career stress? In what way  will work values change for  a work force caught in the current transition to a new economic system in which the symbolism of the job" as the cornerstone of our social system is being eroded tt  (A. Porter, 1986)?  154  Implications and Recommendations for Counselling More women will be entering the job market and increasingly will be working in part-time and temporary positions (Hall, 1984). Such positions will also be increasing in the public sector and helping professions, where women make up a large part of the work force (Smith, 1979). These trends, plus the fact that more than one quarter of these subjects sought professional help to deal with their reactions to job insecurity, indicates a growing need for counsellor awareness in this area. The data from this study come from a sample which showed a high level of coping skills and therefore provide useful information for both counsellors and clients. Major points to note in helping a client with this issue are:  1.  Transition Stages A client who appears depressed, with a flat affect; who dwells on negative  rather than positive incidents; who demonstrates few or no positive self statements, and who emphasizes negative cognitions, is probably at one of the low points. This mood is likely to lift as the client's situation changes (Figure 1). If such a client is also cynical and pessimistic, rather than angry, speaks of lack of interest and loss of enthusiasm, or of detachment from her job, he or she is likely to be at the levelling down position (survivor syndrome, Machlowitz, (1983)). Such a client could be at risk for depression if he or she is not employing strategies to maintain a sense of personal control (Peter, Schwartz & Seligman, 1981).  155  2.  Normalizing the Experience It will be helpful to clients as it was for these subjects, to locate their own  position on the projective model. Information from Table X I V (Major Stressors) and Table IX (Negative Emotions and Cognitions) would be useful at this point. Normalizing the experience allows the client to feel less alone and to gain a new perspective. Brammer and Abrego's (1981) paper on intervention strategies for coping with transitions is a useful reference here. In this step the client should be allowed to "tell his or her story". Almost without exception, these women found the opportunity to be listened to, to be the most helpful aspect of their cooperation in the research project.  3.  Refraining (a)  Attributions  Certain attributional biases that increase the sense of personal control should be explored; in particular, external blame for the causes of job insecurity and internal responsibility for solution at the personal level. This will aid the client in identifying those areas where he or she has some control (Young, 1986). Prolonged negative experience of job insecurity may lead to attributions of personal incompetence (Feather & Barber, 1983, Fisher, 1984). Clients may need guidance in realistically refuting this bias.  156  (b)  Cognitive coping  The counsellor should assist the client in exploring cognitive coping strategies including the use of comforting cognitions (Mechanic, 1985) and pollyana statements, as long as this does not impede the client from using appropriate actionbased problem-solving strategies (Lazarus, 1966). Such positive self-talk provides meaning, enhances hope and optimism, and encourages a shift towards the good coping profile. The use of the "Who am I?" theme, with an emphasis on nonwork values might be useful at this point. It will be important for clients not to over-identify with their job role.  4.  Search for options Clients at a low point, or at the levelling down stage may have a pessimistic  bias and difficulty in perceiving alternatives to their current response (Fisher, 1984). Counsellors can guide them in exploring options. Peer support, social support, outside interests, physical activity, and personal decisions in cutting down on workload will all enhance the sense of personal control necessary to maintain optimism and a positive coping stance. Finally and obviously, the counsellor should encourage clients to explore and act on practical solutions (job search, retraining, etc.), and guide them in developing contingency plans.  157  Summary  In the perception of these 15 women subjects the impact of job security on their lives was as follows: Causes (a)  Most (14) of the subjects saw the external, structural conditions of the economic climate as largely responsible for their situation. Work  (a)  More than three-quarters (13) of the subjects reported structuring their work to secure their positions (lobbying, reports, over-time)  (b)  Almost three-quarters (11) were frustrated at not being able to plan, or use their potential fully.  (c)  Additional negative effects were: increased responsibility, or workload, due to staff reduction and limited facilities.  (d)  Less than half the subjects (6) worked fewer hours. Finances  (a)  A l l subjects experienced financial restraints.  (b)  Two thirds (10) feared a reduction in living standards.  (c)  These fears were greatest for those earning lower salaries, especially solo parents.  158 Emotional and physical health (a)  All subjects experienced stress, tension and anxiety.  (b)  Most (14) of the subjects stated that their emotional or physical health had been affected at some point in the experience.  (c)  Subjects reported a variety of depressive symptoms, which occured at low points in the experience.  (d)  About half (7) of the subjects reported seeking medical attention. Family and personal life  (a)  Two  thirds (10) of the subjects reported adverse effects.  (b)  The most often cited effects were: lack of time and energy for self, family or friends; and, family tension. Leisure  (a)  Three quarters (12) of these women reported changes in leisure activities due to decreased spending or to less time or energy. Future expectations  (a)  Two  thirds (10) expressed a pessimistic view of the future job market in  relation to their own career goals. (b)  About half (8) expressed hope for themselves in finding the right job eventually.  159 This study includes an interpretive description of the psychological experience of job insecurity for these subjects. The experience was shown to fit a transition model of adapting to loss and change. Major feelings and cognitions in the experience included: self-doubt; feeling unappreciated, disillusioned and powerless, together with a sense of isolation. Cynicism and pessimism, and feeling compromised, were less common reactions. 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J o u r n a l of C o u n s e l -  173  APPENDIX INTERVIEW A.  B  PROTOCOL  Explaining the Interview Content Once a volunteer has agreed to participate and prior to the actual interview,  the content of the interview will be explained to her as follows: "I want to explain to you what the interview will be like. It will last about one hour and the interview style will be quite informal, that is, there will not be a list of short-answer questions. I am interested in researching the effects of job insecurity for individuals and so there will be several broad general questions that will cover such topics as: how you see job insecurity affecting your work; interpersonal relations at work; your health; your personal and family life; and how you see your future. There will be enough time for you to think about and respond to each topic as fully as you wish, and you can include any information you think is relevant. I would like you to also include any thoughts or feelings you can recall. I'm interested in hearing what is important in the experience for you." This description allows the subject to be mentally prepared for the interview.  174  B. 1.  Interview Guide Before we start, thinking back over what I've told you about the interview, are there any questions you would like to ask me?  Demographic Questions: 2.  Can you tell me what job you do?  3.  How long have you been in this job?  4.  What is your salary?  5.  What is your marital status?  6.  How old are you?  Lead-in Question: 7.  First I'd like you to tell me a bit about your job and what you do. This will help me place your account in perspective and give me a better understanding as we talk.  Interview Questions proper (Topic prompts): 8.  Please describe the nature of your job insecurity and when you first became aware of it.  9.  Has your job insecurity affected the way you do your job?  10.  Has your job insecurity affected your relations at work in any way?  11.  Has your job insecurity affected your leisure in any way?  12.  Has your job insecurity had any effect on your health?  175 13.  Has your job insecurity had any effect on your finances?  14.  Has your job insecurity affected your family and personal life in any way?  15.  If you look back to the time before you felt insecure in your job, how do you see the insecurity as affecting you over time?  16.  Can you draw a line on this sheet of paper that represents how you feel about yourself in relation to your job over time. Think of it as a kind of graph, or as a "life line." Start here (researcher points to words "when you first knew job was insecure" at left of page), and end here (researcher points to word "now" at right of page) ... Can you tell me what is happening for you at the different places on the line? (after completion of drawing).  17.  Thinking back over what you have been telling me, how do you see the future?  18.  Is there anything else that you would like to add?  APPENDIX  C  Demographic and background information on 15 graduate women working in temporary and contract jobs  AGE (IN YEARS) <30  30-39  40-45  SALARY ($100's PER MONTH)  EXPERIENCE OF JOB INSECURITY Ist.  2-5yrs. >5yrs  10-15 16-20  21-25  30-35  TEMPORARY MARRIED WITH CHILDREN MARRIED NO CHILDREN SOLO PARENT SINGLE  2 1  1  1  1  1  2  2  1  2  1  CONTRACT MARRIED WITH CHILDREN  1  MARRIED NO CHILDREN  PARTNER EARNING TOTAL SUBJECTS  2  2 1  1  1  1  3  2  2  1  SOLO PARENT SINGLE  3  2 2  2  1  1  1  1  1  6  5  1  1  1  2 9  3 4  1  3  7  2  j  i l  1  1  3 7  2  177 APPENDIX  D  Occupational mobility for 15 graduate women working in temporary and part-time positions: Previous and current occupation  Previous occupation & Educational level  Retraining Completed  Current position & Time in job  Teacher, secondary /B.Ed.  M.A.  Teacher-librarian /2.5 years  Teacher, pre-school /B.Ed.  -  Community counsellor / l mo.  Teacher, primary /B.Ed.  M.A.  Registered Nurse /B.Sc.  -  Research Assistant, University 5 months  Registered Nurse /B.Sc.  -  Family Therapist /2 years  M.A.  Administrator, Community Program /4 years  -  Community worker /3 mo.  Accountant / B . A . Community worker /B.A. Administrator, private sector / * *  B.A.  Researcher, feature films 6 months  Adminstrator, secondary education /3 years.  Social worker / B . A .  -  Social worker / B . A .  M.A.  Vocational counsellor, secondary education / 9 mo.  Social worker / B . A .  M.A.  Family therapist / 3 months  Sessional instructor, community colleges / M . A .  Ph.D.  Sessional instructor, University / l month  -  Coordinator, Community program / 9 months  Secretary, private sector Grade 12  B.A.  Administrator, secondary education / 3 years  Secretary /U.S.A. high school diploma  B.A.  Technical artist /5 months  Social worker / B . A .  Social worker / l year  178 APPENDIX  E  Occupational mobility for 15 graduate women working in temporary and part-time positions: Current job and career aspirations  Current position Time in job  Planned Retraining  Teacher-librarian /2.5 yrs  -  Community counsellor / l month  M.A.  Researcher, feature films /6 mos.  -  Research assistant, University 5 mos. Administrator, community program 4 yrs. Community worker /3 mos.  M.A.  -  B.A.  Career aspirations  no change Vocational counselling T.V. or feature film-making Family counselling Private business (consulting) Professional musician  Administrator, secondary education 3 yrs.  -  Administrator/Union organizer private sector  Social worker / l yr.  -  no change  Vocational counsellor, secondary education /9 mos.  -  no change  Family therapist, private agency 2 yrs.  -  no change  Family therapist, private agency 2 yrs.  M.A.  no change  Sessional instructor, University 1 mo.  -  Tenured faculty, University  Coordinator, community program 9 mo.  -  Small business (entrepreneur)  Administrator, secondary education 3 yrs.  M.A.'  no change  Technical artist /5 mos.  M.A.  undecided  1  179  APPENDIX  F  Abbreviated Protocol 1  1.  Job:  Social Worker  2.  Salary:  3.  Time in job:  4.  Age:  5.  Marital Status:  $17,000/p.a. 1 year  31 years Single, engaged, lives alone.  Fiance lives in another province.  Nature of Job Insecurity I knew from the beginning it was insecure. We'd been told it was a yearly contract and there was no guarantee that we'd be funded at the end of it. Before this I'd worked for 4 years in  and that was a regular  job, quite secure. But I have worked in jobs that have had some sort of insecurity. There was always that struggle. We were always told we had to do even better ... There was always that overlying pressure that we had to do extremely well... If we didn't get enough referrals we wouldn't be funded. So we were trying our best to get funded.  180 Work Performance and Interpersonal Work Relations Our program is innovative. We are introducing a new concept. It took us a while to get accepted, because it's kind of a radical concept. Our program was funded in a time of restraint. There was an underlying resentment in some ways. We didn't get some referrals. It was really frustrating. When people won't give you a chance and it's for personal reasons, because some people had lost their jobs. The insecurity of the contract made it harder. We did a lot of the P.R. work but in the back of my mind I always had the feeling, well maybe we wouldn't get funded, maybe I won't try as hard. It's frustrating to work in that environment ... I suppose I felt that our program was legitimate, we shouldn't have to prove it. I didn't like going out and really having to push, push, push for the program ... That pressure, to do the extras, more than was expected of us. But then, I felt that if that's the way people are going to be ... I'm doing the best I can. If that's not good enough, well then ... There were always positive aspects, we all got along so well and that made it bearable. But the cynicism just set in, why bother if you are not going to continue. I was much better in the beginning. My work was much better. Our supervisor wondered why morale was down, it was quite low ... We needed some security ... We became more cynical about our clients. We saw the negative things, instead of the positive. It's almost like becoming detached, detached from the job.  181 There didn't seem to be that commitment. We  were worrying about our  own security, our own personal life, and that takes away from the clients. We were always in the state of "are we? or aren't we?" Family and Personal Life I have a boyfriend. He's in  . He's teaching there. He can't •a  get a job here, and there is nothing for me  [career] there. We  are both living with  insecurity. We can't live together here. It's affected our marriage plans. We would be married by now.  We see each other every few months, on holidays. I feel cheated,  it's really created a burden right there, it's really hard on a relationship ... I feel angry, cheated out of my  personal relationship with the person I love, angry for  him. My friends are sympthetic but it's depressing to talk about, so I didn't want to talk about it. But with my  good friends, they would always ask ... and they  were pretty supportive. Leisure Activities It has affected it. Definitely. Last year I did a lot more things. Skiing for instance. This year I hardly did any. I've had to cut back, limit my social life. Financial Concerns It's definitely affected my  finances. Can I afford to pay the rent? Cutting  back on things. I hadn't bought clothes for so long. I have to think, who -knows what can happen, can I afford it? I've really cut back on things. I can't save.  182 Emotional and Physical Health Maybe Pve been a little more irritable than I would have been if the security was there. Maybe my mental health was affected. I was more anxious, more worried. Thinking about it a lot at home. I was quite down, somewhat depressed about it. I would try and be positive but there was always the underlying depression ...  It's been a constant nagging worry.  Career Aspirations I love this kind of work. I mean, that's my life. [But] ... this is just earning a living. That's all I'm doing. I'm paying my rent, I'm paying my bills ... I mean, I get satisfaction from the job.  Obviously I'm in it because I love it, but, there has  to be more, being able to plan for your future. Self Concept (experienced over time) I'm used to being independent and doing things on my own ... but when your work is insecure, your social life is insecure, and your personal life is insecure, it's you know, it affects every aspect, every aspect affects each other aspect, you know, of your entire self. In the beginning I was really enthusiastic and eager to get the program off the ground, spent a lot of time with the clients, talked to different people. Really excited and energetic about the job. [Then] my feelings slowly got a little more negative. I got more disappointed with the whole operation. They kept on telling  183 us we didn't hve to worry but we'd gotten to the point where we didn't even listen ... because it could change. We heard rumours, but we just turned ourselves off. But underneath it was always in my mind. We thought, why are we the only ones being affected by this. What's wrong with us. We became more cynical about the clients, and there was a lack of commitment, and yet I love that work, it's my life. It was like a gradual decline. At the end I was depressed. I just lost all, a lot, of interest in the job.  How  do you see the future? Alternatives? It's just a big question mark. How  can you plan?  You can't see down the road five years, or even one or two years. I'm earning a living, that's all, paying the rent. I can't plan for my future ... It's not like it used to be ... you know, will you even have a home? I mean, I don't know if I'll even have that? It's affecting the relationship I have, my marriage plans. It makes me  angry, not at one particular person, maybe the government  itself. I just can't comprehend the priorities of the government. I suppose I'll look for another job. I'd hope to be working as soon as possible. I'd never give up trying. I have faith in myself. You have to. Having to endure it, to deal with it. I don't know if this insecurity is something we are going to have  184  to live with. I don't know whether this is going to become the phenomenon of the '80's, or of times to come. Maybe we can work towards living in an area where there is something for both of us.  185  APPENDIX  G  Abbreviated Protocol 2 1.  Job:  Teacher/Librarian (temporary, part time)  2.  Salary:  3.  Time in job:  4.  Age:  5.  Marital Status:  $22,000/p.a. Three years  40 years (re-entry into workforce after raising a family) Married; 2 teenage children (14, 12)  Husband has secure job.  Nature of Job Insecurity Well I guess I've always known it, being a temporary ... so there hasn't really been any security in it except that the hope that once you're in and doing a good job, then of course you'll find something else ... Being a temporary is just not a very secure position and now as a part-time temporary I cannot be hired into a full time position. Work Performance and Interpersonal Work Relations It makes it very difficult for me to do my job well.  188 I have to work with everybody on the staff. It takes over a year to get to know staff well enough for them to trust you, to want to work with you ... I've been told it takes 5 years on a staff. I have to work with every child in the school. It takes time to get to know them. How  they learn.  Going from year to year, with the chances of being shifted to a new school, I just don't feel I've been able to do my job well. There isn't any way, right  now,  for me to stay in a school long enough for me to do the job properly. So why try and cause waves, to make changes. It is such an effort, and I'm going to be leaving anyway and I won't be able to carry on and do it next year. It does affect the quality of my work but it doesn't affect my relationship with the kids. It affects the amount of energy I'm willing to put into developing a rapport with staff and therefore, the kinds of things I can do with the students. If I want to do something more than just read stories to a class I have to plan something co-operatively with another teacher. And that is hard. It's not easy because other teachers are feeling affected, depressed, insecure, harassed. A lot of people's response to that is just to retreat back into the classroom and close the door. Not make that effort to do something  new.  I hope I'm going to be in the same school next year but that still won't mean anything. This year is bad, but next year is going to be worse. Other teachers have a sort of "who cares!" attitude which is really discouraging.  187 I preface everything with " I f .  Family and Personal Life It does affect my family life. It has affected our relationship. At one point when I wasn't working he was quite resentful that I didn't have a job. I have concerns that if I'm not working next year he he'll be resentful. (His resentment will be directed at me, rather than the situation). He wants me to be working. He's been in his job 20 years and he wants a change. If I refuse a contract next year; go with him [on sabbatical] I can write it off. I don't think he understands that. His concern is that I'm holding him back because I want a career. In better times that wouldn't be a problem because [I could go] and step right back into it. I don't know how we are going to sort it out. I don't know at all. I'm scared too.  Leisure Activities I don't think it has affected my leisure time ... but there's really no such thing, really as part-time work. I stay late on my half day because the work is there ... and the kids are there ... and I also feel like a fool, like I'm being used. It's a common experience for part-time teachers.  188 I keep thinking. How  can I better secure my job. What skills do I lack that  would make me more flexible, make me indispensable. I haven't done this yet but if I took courses, yes that would be in my leisure time.  Financial Concerns It's hard to plan. At the moment I can't count on that money always coming in. I can't plan for myself. We are not financially strapped. [My partner] has a secure job. In the back of my  mind I know that. We  salary, but I'm  are not going to be destitute if I'm not earning a  going to be destitute. I'm scared, I can't live on my  temporary  wages. I could. But I'm afraid to make too many huge changes.  Emotional and Physical Health I get depressed, about the job. I don't know what the effects of that is other than headaches, and ... depression. But that's what I choose to do to myself. I don't know that I can lay that at the door of job insecurity. [This subject had a back injury last year.] When I hurt my back, I felt awful, I felt I was jeopardizing my chances by taking that time off. Being a temporary teacher affected the way I dealt with it. Part of my decision to have surgery was the feeling that I have to show people in personnel that I am taking care of this problem, that I am not a poor health risk.  189 I felt squeezed by all of a sudden being laid up. It felt even more insecure. I was unwilling to take care of myself immediately. The job came first. It had to.  Career Aspirations Five years ago I wanted to get back into teaching. There was sort of a realization I could put together a couple of my loves and make a career. This time around I wanted a career that I could throw myself into and do well. I suppose I still have those expectations that I could get myself into a position where I feel really good about the kinds of things I'm doing. The effect that I'm having on children, the effect I have within a school. I certainly haven't felt like that, I certainly haven't experienced that yet. I've made lots of positive contacts [who say] "I'm sorry that you're going. We want to have you." But that's the myth ... They are not offering contracts to people who are working part-time. I want to work full time, but there are no full time positions as a temporary ... I've chosen to become a teacher/librarian and I want to give it my best shot.  View of Self  (experienced over time)  With my first job my self esteem was way up. I didn't know all of the politics. In my  head I believed, once I get in I'll be offered a contract and I'll be in.  My  first job was for six months. I kept telling myself "It's going to happen" (end of job) but underneath I didn't believe it, it was my library, it was my it happened I was stunned.  place. When  190  How I feel about myself changes. With my first job I was overwhelmed with not knowing what to do.  Now  I have skills under my belt. I have a specialty and they're not taking untrained people and putting them in libraries, yet. I go through times of feeling inadequate but also feeling that I have a fighting chance, if the jobs are there ... But waiting for interviews I was way down, scared stiff. I hit rock bottom with a bad interview. Then I had a good interview, another job and went way up. In the strike year I was involved. Politically active. I felt I was doing something. Which I now see was total illusion. Talk about being a pawn! Even through the insecurity my spirits stayed up, I went up and down ... but it wasn't as intense. Then I got bumped and went way down again. Then another job and up again. This year it's the realization, I could go through all this again and again. I haven't been as excited about the job. Don't put too much into it because it could get yanked away and then, where is your 'self. I haven't been as attached. Now it's a holding pattern. Self protection. But, I don't like doing a job like that. The horrible thing is I feel committed to the job but no-one will commit to me. How much of me do they deserve if I'm not going to get some back. I feel frustrated, like a pawn in a political game. Like pretty small beans. I don't have much power. It's a pretty powerless situation to be in. It makes me angry.  191 Last year I was politically active and what I've seen was that permanent staff stayed in the staff room but benefitted from that action. I feel used. It feels like being in a really hopeless situation. It doesn't matter how good I am. I'm just one of countless numbers on a bit of paper. It really doesn't matter (how good I am). My position is in jeopardy.  Expectations of the Future I just see this continuing. Job insecurity. Not knowing one year to the next whether I'll be employed. I don't see it changing. I have started to think of alternatives, but not realistically. This is what I want to do. I'm not ready to start looking for another career. It may be something that's coming up soon. I don't know. I preface everything with "IP. If I am going to take courses, which ones should I take [to make her job more secure], and will it make any difference anyway. My feeling is it won't. So I just sit and wait. It's not that I want to work part-time, there are no full time positions. But I don't give up hope. Next year is an election year. But it's awful to think my life hangs on an election promise!  192  APPENDIX  H  Abbreviated Protocol 3  1.  Job:  Administrator, Secondary Education  2.  Salary:  3.  Time in job:  4.  Age:  5.  Marital Status:  $30,000/p.a. 21 years  30 years Married, no children. Husband working  Nature of Job Insecurity I've known it was insecure from the beginning ... but I didn't know what uncertainty I was walking into. I've lived on rumours for a long time. I'm more fortunate than most people in this situation because I've built up allies who are willing to tell me what's going on. I hear from them before I ever hear from my internal bosses. I won't know until the 11th or even 13th hour that my contract has been renewed. I've just kept working when theoretically I never knew. In the beginning I was living with a lot of uncertainty. I was frustrated as hell, I was so angry and irritated about the whole thing. My immediate supervisor had no power to tell me one way or the other.  193 Also, when you wait for the bomb to drop every week, you wait your whole life for it to drop. But all the same, I could see these short contracts piddling on for years. I had no benefits, no sick time. I couldn't plan holidays or anything but the income was coming in. So I learned to take those risks [gambling on an extension]. In private industry I got laid off, but I never had that same sense of crisis at any moment. I never felt I had a threat over my head, here I've always lived with one. But I just decided to go for it, and the risk taking paid off. If I play my cards right, my contract may be extended. I'd gone for another interview for a position with an eight-month contract. I took this one here that I really wanted, for 3 months, and I'm still here. I took the risk. I sometimes wonder how I've managed. It has become a way of life, the norm.  Work Performance and Interpersonal Work Relations When things are really uncertain, it's very difficult to be productive. It's hard to concentrate, to get focused. It's hard to feel good about yourself or take things on and put a lot of effort into it. You don't know if you'll ever be able to see it through. The productivity is a real issue. If employers think employees are productive when they are uncertain, they are crazy, really crazy, completely out of their minds.  194 Here, there are whole areas where people aren't producing and it's reallyright after you hear that 30 people got their layoff notices today. Morale really goes down. I have to fund raise for my own job. It's not possible to do my job properly because of this. I have that burden ... I get really angry. There's lots of money out there if you could employ someone full time to go out after it. I have a real sense that I have to perform to make people understand the importance of my position. The human issues around education, I end up putting a whole lot of extra work in, going against the union to keep this thing going and I.feel if I want to keep it going I have no choice but to put in 50 - 60 hour weeks. I try to keep quiet about it. When you're working in a union shop, it's not a good thing to be giving freely of your time. It sets expectations of the person who comes behind me that are not really fair. When you know you are funded for a short time, it's very hard to take on projects that won't be completed in that time frame. It's very limiting. You have to fit them into a short time. I don't want to burn myself out, but if I want to survive, I have to be very visible, be seen to be doing a good job and demonstrate that there is a need for what I do. I've concentrated on being visible, demonstrating a need and finding allies in management. All those things are difficult and all raise ethical questions for me.  195 I've had to put some limits on what I'll do to create the right impression, but I'll accept an invitation to a dinner with managers over socializing with my fellows from a working group. I feel I have to sell myself. Be upbeat, and in a more positive frame of mind than I might actually be. Everybody wants to build their own little empire. I have to be tactful, I have to play the political game. It's a bit of a tight rope act between my managers and my co-workers. Before, I was more willing to assist my co-workers, now I understand where my time and energy is well worth putting, who I shoot the breeze with, who I'm willing to assist. Essentially this makes me more isolated from my co-workers. I can't get into being the nice person, meeting my manager's deadlines is more important than being Miss Congenial. I have too many things I have to do for too many people. I notice this change in myself. I have less energy and time for exchanging pleasantries. I don't attend all the meetings I could with my co-workers, to exchange the day to day concerns. If the job was permanent, I'd spend much more time in oneto-one with students. I have to look after the major things. I'm not very available to students. I'm sure it shows. I feel kind of hardnosed when I refer students on. I feel a bit of guilt, but when you are trying to rescue yourself, it's hard to rescue other people. There's only so much you can do.  196 Family and Personal Life My family would phone and say - as long as you've ever worked there, everything has always been uncertain. I mean they always have to ask if I have a job still! (What I do, doesn't count!) I got really irritated with people, took my anger out on them instead of the people who were responsible for it. I'd get really angry, irritable and uptight around the time when my contracts came up for extension. They'd be anything from 3 - 4 months, to the last one, 3 weeks, which was nothing. It's been upsetting for my family when I come home and ventilate. They don't know that. They get really worried and upset for me and if they think I'm out of work they feel that I am going to be a drain on them. But I'm often just bitching about it. [Because] I can't bitch at work, or keep on asking if I have a job at work. With my partner if I'm out of work, how will we make our house payments? That creates some tension. I'm careful how I express my anxieties. My mother isn't sympathetic when I complain. I'm coping quite well today but I don't always. But I have some excellent allies outside the institution: 2 co-workers here, other people in similar jobs. With them I can go on about how Pm being used here, we have a bond of understanding a licence to say what we want. It releases a lot of stuff for me.  197 Leisure Activities Early on I didn't do much over-time, but it affected me in terms of stress. I felt unstable. I often didn't have a lot of energy. I got depressed. Now  I'm sort of in  a different part of the cycle. I don't have time to spend on a lot of leisure activities. I organize my  leisure activities around other educational concerns, organizations  and associations I belong to, community groups I belong to where it's going to be an advantage for me.  I structure my leisure activities around networking with  people, to keep the job going, or another one. My leisure activities are survival-oriented. It has made me sharpen my career focus a lot - going to weekend conferences and so on. It doesn't feel bad, but I'm a workaholic by nature. But it isolates me from my  friends. That's not very pleasant. I have to  re-evaluate what I'm doing. Friendships take time and energy. If I'm only talking about work or worried about being unemployed, I'm not very good company. I've moved from being depressed to being really busy.  Emotional and Physical Health It has forced me into, I think, a syndrome of overwork that's not very healthy because it doesn't give me time for recreation or exercise and that's because I'm either working or I'm studying (to get that other job).  198 It cuts into my sleeping. I'm not a smoker or a drinker, I'm an eater. That's where my insecurity shows up. Since I've come here, I've gained 20 pounds in the last 2^ years. Consolation eating. When things are uncertain, there must be a muffin somewhere. I've had more difficulty sleeping when contracts are up to be renewed. I've felt depressed or really irritable or short-tempered, or sometimes really close to tears because everything seems so uncertain. I never imagined I'd have to go through this constantly. It's constant.  Financial Concerns It's hard to budget. Even miniscule things. When I first came here I didn't want to sign up for exercise classes because I was getting these piddly little contracts. I didn't know how long I'd be here. It's incredible the number of things you can't plan for. Like holidays. If you have to be renewed, you can't plan to go on holidays. You can't make commitments to other people.  Career Goals I worked hard to move from another province to here, and I see things closing up around me. I don't know what to do. I don't want to move back, I've established some roots here. The sense of stability isn't there.  199 I do feel despondent. I have a sense of everything closing in around me. Everything is being cut in secondary education. There aren't many other places I could get in right now. When I think of that, I get scared. If I had a job that was secure, I could actually make some long term professional plans as to what I wanted to do in that job. I could really make a lot more significant contribution to what I'm doing. I do feel good about what I've done to help some individuals and I do feel good that I've laid some of the groundwork for helping other people coming into the system. I guess I sort of see myself moving on, in that, you know, I don't see this as the place I'm going to be in forever. Not only is my job uncertain but my professional training is uncertain too. I guess a lot of it is the political climate and seeing the kinds of opportunities I'm working towards closing off. That there aren't going to be many of them.  View of Self  (experienced over time)  The bottom line is the budget, what kind of work you do doesn't matter. It really counts for nothing. It's such a hierarchy, no-one really feels they have power. It almost comes down to losing my identity, because it's hard to know who you are when you don't know how long you're going to be here or be doing that, everything is really  my sense of self was really being eroded, I didn't have  much sense of certainty in anything. Because I didn't have certainty in my work  200 I didn't have certainty in my  personal life, it was hard to be constructive about  anything at that point. In the last 6 months I've had a lot more control than I did in the first 2 years. [Back] then I was really unhappy. I found different ways of dealing with it. I overate, which wasn't a constructive way to deal with anger. Then I checked out part-time Masters programs and started out last fall. That was a contingency plan, something for me to fall back on and that cemented my identity for me. I had my resume ready to go, I knew where outside work was. They could screw me around, but I had options. I began to really focus on creating options. I think I got some of my power back by doing that. The other thing that's really helped me  I think is that I'm detached from  the institution I work for, not from the job I do, but I take it philosophically that if I end up somewhere else, I'll land on my  feet. But I know that's not true for  many people. Some people need a lot of security, but I don't. I'm open to going somewhere else. I dwelt much more on an existential view  because it became necessary,  otherwise I'd have become stark raving mad, stomped out of here in a heat one day, and said take your job, I don't need it. There's so much uncertainty, I think if I had a sense of power and a sense of control in what I was doing or that I had impact on those other people, I would feel a lot better, but I know that's not true.  201 Expectations of the Future We  [herself and her partner] have contingency plans, but they aren't a pre-  ferred route. Nothing is sure. In the next five months there are about five different things that might happen to me from getting laid off to doing what I'm doing, to something else in one of these institutions. Or if I'm successful in fund raising, I may have to compete for my job!  That's  one of the things that could happen. Or my proposals could be ignored for political reasons and I could be scapegoated. Either way I stand the chance of being exploited. I hang in here because I like what I'm doing, it's a contribution I think I'm giving, and I'm still willing to give 150%.  Whether I stay here depends on the  management support I get for my own ideas. I tell myself I'll take a gamble on the job will continue for long enough for me to complete projects. If they tried to plot a different direction for me [pause] I wouldn't be able to put up with it. And that's why I have this thing about going to school part-time. I have something to do that's meaningful.  That's there waiting for me to do full  time, I don't have to hang around for a year waiting to get into something. But I think I'm ok until fall, and hopefully by then I can find more money to keep this thing going.  202  APPENDIX  I  Abbreviated Protocol 4  1.  Job:  Research Assistant, Film company  2.  Salary:  3.  Time in job:  4.  Age:  5.  Marital Status:  $2400/month 6 months  35 years Single, lives in shared house.  Nature of Job Insecurity Every year when I was in Vancouver, my contract was temporary. And I was there for a total of seven years, and because I was temporary, and because by the third year I was working part-time, you could only accumulate a year every two years ... and you had to accumulate a few years before you could get a permanent contract. But even then, I was surrounded by numbers of teachers in the same situation, who would get very anxious about it, but I never did ... I just felt it in one way or another that whatever happens, happens. And in another way it seemed to me, like the circumstances were I would stay in the position, and each year I always did.  203  So I got quite used to it ... it never really did bother me, because it always seemed the cards were in the right place for me. I got a job at [T.V. Station] working as a reporter. Now  that was my first  experience [of] being laid off, because I was hired as a part-time employee ... After a few months I was just not getting called in any more and I asked "What's the problem?" or something; and they said "oh, your style is too soft," or something. And so, you know, that was it! [She quit] That was very difficult for me. That was the first time that I was insecured by a work situation. I guess I resented that I hadn't been informed ... hadn't been given another shot at it ... it was just sort of like, out of the blue after having had no feedback. I was getting quite mixed messages. I would get these clues that I was sort of doing all right, but the last piece I did, the person that took the piece said "oh, well, good work. We'll see you tomorrow" or something. And then I called in about tomorrow and someone else was saying, "No, we don't need you." I mean, it was just a completely different mentality for me to deal with compared to teaching ... just shoot them out the door if they're no good! How  they  deal with personnel. [In another job] I came back from Easter holidays. I had just been away a couple of days, and the owner who had hired me was no longer in the company ... and I was thinking, what's going to go on now?  204  I would get these clues that I was doing all right. But there were all kinds of other messages, totally under the table that was indicating very strongly to me that I wasn't wanted . . . Yeah, a sort of exclusiveness being set up, and I was very much yeah, sort of [pause] just getting a stronger and stronger sense that, you know, I was on the way out the door as well. I just couldn't stand it any more. It seemed they just didn't want to come out and deal with it out front with me . . . So I wrote this note: It seems I'm not a  wanted in the office, so I won't be coming in on Monday. And if I'm mistaken, please call." But I never heard. I left that note and I never heard from anybody for six weeks. And then I finally got this letter in the mail, saying You got caught in a  the middle, and it was better for all of us. [pause] And if you ever need a reference, please call." There was a whole dynamic that I just hadn't even picked up on! Like, I wasn't picking up on the dynamics of what was going on in the office . . . I guess I thought I was pretty naive about business in all of that.  Effect on Finances The finances are the hard part for sure. Thefinancesare hard. And I guess [pause] I just live much more poorly, you know, than I would. I haven't had to collect U.I.C. yet, because I sort of don't like the idea of that. But I suppose when you talk about the security and the insecurity [laughter] you sort of know that there is some sort of back-up for you.  205  You see, that's the other thing. I have nofinancialcommitments. So it's fine. And I don't have a family. So in a sense, I can pretty well [pause] It's just myself I'm gambling. So I can basically manage. That way I'm okay. I have never actually bought anything on credit. I have a car, a very low maintainance car [laughter] as long as it goes! I share accommodation. That's another way to cut finances down. I guess that's it. I sort of build my life around the fact that I don't have a lot of money. I manage that way.  Effect on Health . . . in a way the whole business of the insecurity [pause] in terms of health, like it's almost strengthened me, you know? I really feel that. I really do feel that. It's [pause] because you're shaken and because you have to get a whole new sense of yourself after something like that happens, you just tune right into yourself and sort of draw a new strength that you didn't have before. And it's a very healthy kind of strength, you know. It's very much a strength from within. You just sort of draw, draw energy from a place that, from a reservoir that you didn't know was there. When my anxiety levels were really up at the end of that time, like I say, I ended up eating two chocolate bars that day! When my anxiety levels were really up — but it was only two weeks at the most, I guess. And really, just one week and actually just a few days of that. And I guess it was just as much the high anxiety as it was, as much, like my totally coming to grips with the fact that this  206  was happening. You know it was kind of an escalation of the realization of it . . . it was just the accumulation of it. And that's when the anxiety hit. So it was really very short.  Family and Personal Life My mother grew up in the depression and, for her, like anxiety strikes like incredible chords for her whenever any kind of job insecurity. And so she chose to stay in a secure position, and did. I see her anxiety levels go up when I say I'm quitting a job. My friends are definitely more anxious about it than I am. you know, in fact I'm almost sort of, like I feel badly [laughter] when I tell people that I've lost my job, because some of them really react, like I've just been murdered on the street or something. And I find it a little bit difficult to deal with because it's their response, you know? I have to end up dealing with their emotions about it. It's not even my emotion particularly. It's like, I have to start consoling them and tell them it's all right [laughter]. I think there's a little resentment too . . . I mean it's a combination of, particularly other teachers for example, who haven't left. They've got the package . . . but when they see that I'm not totally thrown for a loop, it just plants a little seed of doubt in their own minds, because for them it's been so important. So in a way, like quite often there's a fine questioning of values that come up with some  207  people that I know. It makes me feel different from them ... I start feeling a little bit alienated from them, I guess. Not really close friends, you know, because close friends know me well enough that they just accept it, and they live differently ... There's a security in the choices we've both made, and it's all right, you know? I mean, sometimes sure, when I look at their houses, and I look at everything they have, and all their, you know, material stuff... and I kind of think "You know, you could have this." I think it's more envy than anything. I mean there's a certain a  Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have that ... If you'd made better choices in life, you  could have that." ... [but] I mean all I have to do is to think that I've made the choice and I'm back on track again.  Effect on Work and Work Relations It probably didn't affect my work you know ... I was anxious ... but the actual dealings  with the business and the people, um, I would say no, no [pause] ... I  mean, it wasn't until the final moment in time that I decided to, like, write the letter and leave, and pretty well up to that time, I was [pause]. No. I would say I was still putting out. The nature of what was happening right then was ... pretty short term anyway. There was no long term projects on the go at that time. A hard part was there were three women in the company then. There were two women and myself. And, um, the two women got wind of the fact that my job was insecure. And they withdrew completely from me. And we had worked really  208 well together up to that time. I found that a little strange. I had never experienced that before either. I don't know what I was expecting. Some sort of solidarity from women or something, which is a bit ridiculous, because they clearly weren't going to jeopardize their positions with the owners.  Effect on Leisure Activities If it's had any effect on my leisure it's been positive. When you have a couple of months in between jobs, looking for a job,  obviously that's a couple of months of  leisure. And it's particularly leisure if you don't get your anxiety levels up.' So you might as well keep them down ... Yeah. In terms of leisure, the time in between jobs is, is mine . Some nights we'd end up working on a proposal and staying up till two o'clock ... but you know, you'd just go home and sleep till noon, or something. So it was flexible ... the nature of the job was yes, sure, you'd shoot, you know, into the evening and then, just take the morning off and stuff.  Career Aspirations and View of the Future I come more with a set of expectations of what I want to be doing in work, and how I want to be expanding with what I'm doing. And that for me is still more important than [pause] you know, the security itself. I was finally in the position to be getting a permanent contract, and you know, once again, job security wasn't the thing that was the most important to me. I  209 opted instead to go for the School Board position, because it was an administrative position and one that I really liked. It seemed at the time that teaching wasn't, that going back to the classroom wasn't quite what I wanted at that point ... I mean, what I wanted was not a permanent contract in my life, and that's all . I decided to go back for my master's [degree] ... Then I got a grant to work on a peace education curriculum at [college] and that was a year's contract. ... In the interim I became interested in T.V. journalism and had been working as a volunteer at [T.V. station] and so before the peace project was up, I got a job as a reporter. I guess even though I would have liked to pursue T.V. more I, I sort of cooled it at that point [she lost the T.V. job]. I ended up getting a job with a film company, that actually connected to my work that I'd been doing on peace education ... It was new work and it was exciting and I just got in and did what had to be done. [she lost the film job] ... I mean, I think when you are thrown back on yourself like that you are really forced to look at yourself ... and tune into what it is you want from work and what you really want to do, and just go out and try again ... I mean, a lot of it has to do with the willingness to take a risk. And I feel that only by taking a risk are you able to move forward. I'm choosing to quit and go into this riskier business ... and this [job insecurity] is a part of what it is about. I lost my job. So, I'll get another one. And not sort of blame the outside world for it. The more you risk, the more you do that, the less terrible it seems, you know ... This is the kind of business where you are not  210  going to get it [job security]. You just accept that, and that's what it's about. The whole notion of security takes on a different sense, you know ... my sense of security comes from my sense that I can do this ... and this is what I have to offer, and if you're interested in it, then that's what I've got to give you ... rather than, I really need your money, I need the security that you have to offer, or your dental plan, or your this or whatever. I was talking to somebody who's in the film business, ... and he said, it's just a question of some people don't survive and then other poeple get back on their feet ... and finally they do it. I mean, people just don't make it easily ... It's up to you, you know. To make it or not make it, and it's my  perseverance and my  endurance that's going to allow me to do this. You have an eye to both sides, to the dreaded side. You have an eye to the fact that, for sure, you may be out of work for five months, or I'll run out of money, or one of those things. But... I guess that a positive outlook is much more likely to get you what you want. I think it is really important that you maintain an optimism, and maintain an energy where you say "I can do it, and if you need anybody," sort of thing. So I think past experience has told me that something seems to unfold, and I don't see that anything has happened to make me change that attitude. You know, that's how it seems to be unfolding. For sure I'll be moving in the same direction that I've been. I mean, basically either in television or film, and to continue in that direction ... sure it's hard. It's  211 hard, and there's not great security in it, but that's where I can be what I want to be, and say what I want to say, ... and I'm willing to take that risk.  View of Self in Relation to Job Over Time I guess my initial experience was, in terms of when I first started, was that I found  work and felt free to leave  work ... my sense of my ability to get a job,  pretty well from the beginning was always pretty secure. It was very much my choice ... it was voluntary. I was in control. ... working as a reporter... [was] my first traumatic laying off... I was insecure in that job from the beginning, because I'd never done it. Okay? So that was a bit, it was kind of a high insecurity. It was the enthusiasm and challenge of the unknown, but I was still pretty insecure about it ... I mean I was high because I was so overwhelmed with myself that I'd got the position ... So I started way up, and, by the time I was actually told [pause], "forget it, we don't need you any more!" I was way down. I went pretty low over that. It was not exactly the most pleasant experience. It was like, I thought I was okay, but, their voice was stronger than mine, you know? Oh my gosh! I'm not okay. You know, I can't do this. And I was doubting myself a whole lot at that point ... Yeah, a whole, whole lot. You know, the circumstances were saying, 'You can't do this'. And I was believing it, I guess, at that point.  212  It was mostly feeling "You're not liking me. I'm feeling rejected, and what can I do about that?" the sense of the powerlessness of the rejection, I think at that point. You know, you're not trusting me, you're not liking me, and I don't have any defense here . . . You're not giving me any sort of chance to defend myself . . . You're just telling me what to do, and I'm going to do it. I guess it was, I was pretty much overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness at that point. It shook me. It shook me in terms of confidence in that work. And it sort of wasn't, it wasn't until after a while, that I started thinking [pause] That's not true! And I looked at my tapes again, and said No, it was all their fault [laughter] and [sigh] and you know, whatever else it takes, whatever rationalization you need to get yourself back on Une. So then I came up, sort of feeling optimistic about it, right? Fair, quite optimistic about getting another job again. I started to feel there was a chance of getting another job. . . . and when I got it [job] instead of getting way up, I guess if it did happen again, I'd probably still end up reacting pretty much the same way, [pause] but knowing that I can recover a little bit better. Maybe it's sort of knowing you can deal with it more, better than trying to avoid. You know, may be it's unavoidable, but I'm sure by the third time it happens, you'll get a little more used to it [laughter].  

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