Writing About Feelings Helps Fired Workers Find Jobs Faster

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writingWriting has long been thought of as a way to deal with many of the problems human beings struggle with, whether it's heartache, health problems or teenage angst.

Now it seems that one more can be added to the list: getting fired.

The best way to cope with job loss may be to spend a half hour or so a day writing about the trauma of being laid off, according to a blog item posted at the Psychology Today website.

Writing down thoughts may actually speed chances of getting a new job, the blog notes. A study involving 63 men laid off from a computer company showed that those given random writing assignments got jobs sooner than the others.

Translating events into words diminished the stress that they experienced and increased their understanding, making them more employable and less hostile, according to the blog entry.

But that's not because the men were sending out more cover letters and resumes, says the study's author, James W. Pennebaker, a professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University.

Rather, the writing assignments forced them to reevaluate themselves and their situations and gave them an opportunity to express negative emotions, Pennebaker says.

"They had less need to justify why they were laid off," he says. "They had come to better terms with their dismissal."

Or as author E.L. Doctorow once said: "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go."

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