Job search success among the formerly-unemployed: paradoxically, a matter of self-discipline
Critical Policy Studies
GB : Routledge
192 - 208 p.
experience, job search, unemployed people, institutional standards
When activation is an essential cog in public policies, looking for a job is top priority for the jobless, and becomes their professional occupation. Job search experience is studied here in the light of the institutional norms and prescriptions that frame it. Our fieldwork has focused on the supposed correspondence between these two, since our interviewees were formerly-unemployed people who have managed to land relatively long-term positions. Three results were identified: first, their experiences espouse a self-help model; second, in spite of compliance with this model, the search is jeopardized by its uncertain outcome, and third, an alternative model has emerged, characterized by job search limitations in the emotional, temporal and behavioral registers. These adjustments deviate from institutional standards yet are nonetheless the result of thoughtful and personal management, i.e. of applying a principle of self-discipline that is paradoxically in line with the institutional model of job search.