Add another stressor to the financial burden of losing your job. Being unemployed can change the nature of your personality, making you significantly less agreeable and changing your level of conscientious and openness, according to a new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the U.K., asked more than 6,000 Germans to self-evaluate five of their core personality traits—agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness—over a period of several years. Everyone in the sample began the study with a job, but part of the group lost their jobs and remained unemployed for the duration of the study. Others lost their job and found new employment.
Researchers thought that men and women would behave differently in response to unemployment, since the workplace values different things from each sex. Indeed, psychologically, men and women seemed to respond differently to unemployment.
My thoughts on this article: When I saw the headline, I thought I would be reading about how it changed someone’s personality in terms of feelings and emotions relating to their personality when employed/unemployed. I recall when I was employed I certainly had more confidence and socialization, which would represent an outgoing personality, compared to presently. Now I’m unemployed due to mental illness and on disability, struggling and feeling isolated. –Deb