What Will Happen to the 41 Percent of Jobless Who Changed Careers?

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The Great Recession has left havoc in in its wake, according to the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers. Of those who lost jobs since 2009, 41 percent had to change careers to find work. And of those field switchers, 70 percent had to take a pay cut, reports The New York Times.

What happens to them as the recovery picks up steam depends primarily on them. Those whose pay was cut can frame that negative as a permanent setback, forever sidelining their earning power. Or, contends experts in "positive psychology" or "learned optimism" such as Martin Seligman, Ph.D., they can view this as a temporary condition which can be fixed. Those who tell themselves this condition is one they can try to remedy rather than accepting it, research shows, can likely restore their earning power. They might even do better than that because of lessons they learned during hard times.

The key, assert psychologists such as Seligman, is to use the "explanatory style" or the self-talk of learned optimism instead of the usual perception of the situation as horrible, forever, and mostly their fault. Seligman's breakthrough book about this is 'Learned Optimism.'

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