Why Offering A Job To Someone Not Looking Can Be Depressing (for Them!)

How could offering someone a job hurt them?

Well, a new study says it can if they're already employed in a job they like.

According to newswise.com, unsolicited job leads can increase symptoms of depression in some people.
Not surprisingly, unsolicited job leads tended to relieve depression symptoms in people who were not employed full time or were unhappy with their financial situation. But researchers were surprised to see that similar offers increased feelings of depression in people who had full-time jobs or were satisfied with their financial situation.

The strength of the effect depended on how long a person had been in his current situation. Researchers say that unsolicited job leads were the most beneficial to people who lacked full-time jobs for five or more years and needed them most, and the most distressing to those who were employed full time and needed them least.  Duh.  (So that's why they get paid so much money!)

Here's why:  The offer could be perceived by the recipient as meddling, for example, or make the recipient feel indebted, inadequate or less capable than the person providing the lead or people who already have that kind of job. “This kind of negative social comparison is not good for mental health,” the Web site quotes study author Lijun Song, assistant professor of sociology and medicine, health and society, and Wenhong Chen of the University of Texas at Austin. And simply applying for the job can add to a person’s stress.

 I can certainly attest to that!


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