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RIGHT ASSOCIATES SURVEY SHOWS TERMINATED EXECUTIVES FIND IMPROVEMENT IN QUALITY OF WORK LIFE IN NEW JOBS

 RIGHT ASSOCIATES SURVEY SHOWS TERMINATED EXECUTIVES
 FIND IMPROVEMENT IN QUALITY OF WORK LIFE IN NEW JOBS
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of top executives, despite making less money and having considerably fewer benefits after being fired or laid off, consider their quality of work life improved in their newly acquired jobs.
 This surprising finding is contained in a major nationwide survey conducted in the spring of 1991 for Right Associates, a worldwide human resources firm well-known for its outplacement services, but also specializing in career management and human resources counseling.
 The revelation comes in the wake of statistics from the Academy of Management Executives stating that more than five million white collar workers lost their jobs in 1987-91. This has led some human resource experts to speak of gloom and doom in the workplace -- described as "a living hell" by one researcher.
 More than 60 percent of those surveyed said they considered their current employment situation better than the previous one.
 An unusually high 39 percent response rate -- or 776 respondents -- to 2,010 questionnaires delivered to terminated employees counseled by Right Associates between 1986 and early 1991 produced surprising and encouraging findings, according to Dr. Kim Buch, an industrial psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, who conducted the survey for Right Associates.
 "What would normally be a stressful life event was transformed into a positive, growth-promoting life experience," she said. "A majority mentioned outplacement services as playing a beneficial role in the job transition."
 Terminated employees and their employers apparently viewed the reasons for the terminations differently, Buch said. For example, a majority of the employers said that "reorganization" or "downsizing" were the reasons for termination. But many of the employees believed the real reason was "personal chemistry."
 "It is very encouraging to us in the outplacement business to have it documented that termination need not produce only victims," said Frank P. Louchheim, chairman of Right Associates. "Because the findings show the realities of today's workplace, they should serve as a guide to employers as well as human resources personnel when faced with a downsizing or reorganization situation."
 Also uncovered were several factors that enhanced the positive outcome. These included avoiding a long-term financial hardship, maintaining a high activity level and having a "flexible" family situation, Buch said. The ability of other family members to be flexible (acceptance of new roles) was more important than their being merely supportive, she noted.
 Although relatively few (120 or 6 percent) of the respondents went into business for themselves, Buch reported, these experienced the greatest satisfaction with their new status. She illustrated this by saying that less pay and benefits were a welcome tradeoff for the autonomy and challenge of self-employment.
 Buch said that the strong, positive response to the job transition experience surprised her and is contrary to how executive job loss is typically viewed and how it has been portrayed in the popular media. Statistics show that job loss is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. Death of a spouse ranks number one in terms of stress.
 The Right Associates study shows instead that major changeS in lifestyles, such as portrayed in the currently popular movies, "Doctor" and "Regarding Henry," often result in "good coming out of such disruptive experience."
 Other interesting revelations from the survey are:
 -- New jobs do pay less and offer fewer benefits yet do not
 usually require a major geographical move.
 -- How termination was handled by the company was a major factor
 in the psychological and economic impact on the terminated
 individual. Advance notice by an immediate superior with
 a credible explanation was the best method cited.
 -- Females took pay cuts significantly more often (56 percent to
 39 percent) than did their male counterparts. Despite this
 fact, females were almost as likely as males (82 percent for
 females, 87 percent for males) to view the transition as a
 positive growth experience. (About 10 percent of those who
 identified their sex said they were female.)
 -- Networking was cited as the most useful way to find a new job.
 Fifty-eight percent (397) said networking played the greatest
 role in landing a new job. The factor named second most
 frequently (by 15 percent or 107) was "a direct approach."
 -- Outplacement services -- such as interview training, resume
 writing, networking, negotiating new job offers, self-awareness
 assessment, identifying marketable skills, learning how to
 market one's self, on-going counseling support, office support,
 and helping to gain pro-active job search attitudes -- all
 greatly enhanced the job search and gave them an advantage,
 those surveyed said.
 Right Associates, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia, has more than 75 offices in cities around the world.
 -0- 12/6/91
 /CONTACT: N. John Garcia of Right Associates, 704-553-9311, or Alex Coffin of Coffin Associates for Right Associates, 704-333-2348/ CO: Right Associates ST: North Carolina IN: SU:


CM -- CH003 -- 0080 12/06/91 11:48 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 6, 1991
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