September 28, 2009

Planning, emotions affect landing job

U.S. scientists say sound planning activities and positive emotions have a large impact on success in finding a job.

University of Missouri researchers say unemployment is more challenging than ever and the process of looking for work is tiring, but it is important to expect rejections and develop a coping strategy ahead of time.

Maintaining positive emotions throughout the process can help improve the chances of getting a job, the researchers say.

We found it most interesting that metacognitive activities -- thinking about a plan, acting on a plan and reflecting upon that plan -- were important early in the job search while having positive emotions were important later in the job search, Daniel Turban, professor at the University of Missouri, says in a statement.

The study, published in Personal Psychology, finds metacognitive activities -- including goal setting and plan development -- affect resume submission and success in first interviews, while the ability to maintain positive emotions plays a larger role during second interviews and receiving a final job offer.

People don't have strategies, they don't assess their plans, and they don't think about their strategies and reflect on whether it's working or how to make them work better, Turban says. They just don't do it.