Leading Edge / Spring 2011
Funemployment

Sometimes, being unemployed can be positive – it depends on who you ask


man on computer

For most people, unemployment causes a great deal of stress. But for a fortunate few, it’s a chance to kick back and try something fun. How are these folks able to put a positive spin on something that causes anxiety or depression in so many others?

The difference comes down to the resources available to you, and how you perceive your chances for future employment, says Scott Schieman, a U of T sociology professor. “If you are able to exercise some control over the amount of time you are unemployed and have a sense of optimism about getting a new job, then it might not be as stressful to be unemployed,” he says. Having some extra cash socked away also helps. “Someone who’s already in a state of economic hardship would find it harder to have ‘funemployment.’”


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