Study uncovers the importance of work

YOU don't know what you've got until it's gone.

That old saying rings true for jobs as much as love.

Many people take their job for granted. But the unemployed know the benefits that come with working.

A recent Red Cross College employment services study found that jobseekers noted an improvement in their general well-being after finding a job.

University of the Sunshine Coast psychology lecturer Rachael Sharman was not surprised by the finding.

"Unemployment is a fairly serious adjustment, because you have a lack of reasons to get up in the morning," Dr Sharman said.

She said staying positive could be hard when searching for a job turned into weeks, months or years, and the repercussions could become personal.

"If people have been unemployed for a while and have had a lot of knockbacks, people can feel quite despondent," she said.

Dr Sharman said work was important because it could distract people from personal issues and even chronic illnesses.

"If someone has psychological issues, leaving employment isn't going to be good for them," she said.

"We try to get them to stay at work for as long as possible."

Red Cross College employment services general manager John Lucas said unemployment also affected families.

"If the parent is challenged because they feel they have lost their self-esteem, it can make the family feel not as united as they used to be," he said.

Nambour resident Greg Horne finally snared a job after looking for six months.

In his previous employment, Mr Horne said he had been bullied because of his speech impediment. But now he had a job with

people who respected him, he said.

"My mind's alert, and I keep active," he said. "I'm much happier."

Relationships Australia Sunshine Coast manager Val Holden said being happy where you worked could increase productivity.

"If you're happier in what you do, you're going to give more because you are appreciated," she said.

"It's about feeling that you're contributing and that you're worth something."

Ms Holden said feeling useful was a big part of being happy at work.

"It's not only about being happier in your job. It's about feeling appreciated and worthwhile in your job and yourself," she said.

Topics:  employment jobs mental health self-esteem

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