A study tests the effectiveness of a guided imagery-based career transition program, and finds it is associated with higher rates of return to full time employment and greater perceived control over the job loss.

This randomized study examined the effectiveness of a guided imagery-based career transition program as compared to a placebo control condition in promoting reemployment in 52 unemployed business people recruited from four different outplacement firms in seven locations in California (60% male, 83% Caucasian, mean age: 46.8).

The program focused on resolving emotions about the loss, enhancing self-esteem, increasing perceptions of control and competence, and facilitating cognitive restructuring. At the 2 and 4 month follow-up, rates of full-time reemployment were significantly higher for program participants than for controls (at 2 months, 61.5% vs 11.5%; at 4 months, 72% vs. 38.5 %).

Both groups became more psychologically adjusted to the job loss over time, but the career transition program graduates were more successful at enhancing their perceived control over their job loss.

Citation: Joseph, LM and Greenberg, MA. The effects of a career transition program on reemployment success in laid-off professionals. Journal of Consulting Psychology, vol. 53 (3) pp. 169-181.