Do you feel alone with your job search? How many people can you share your career/life challenges with? This week’s podcast is with distinguished University of Chicago Professor John Cacioppo, author of Loneliness; Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection. John, along with Canadian researcher Louise Hawkley (University of Chicago), have done pioneering research on human nature and the need for social connection.
According to a 2004 survey published by The American Sociological Review, the most common answer to how many people can you share the struggles of your life with is – none. This compares to the same research in 1985 when the most common response was three. In my opinion, we have never been more connected yet more alone. It is ironic, in a world of the Blackberry, Facebook, email and v-mail; we have less and less real relationships. Frank, in his very famous song, shares “I did it my way.” This exact philosophy leads to lower income, fewer promotions, fewer friendships and a shorter and less fulfilling life.
So how do you change?
According to John, “effective change requires more than altering our thinking; it requires a change in behavior by easing into a new way of relating to people by taking baby steps”. In a way it is a fairly simple solution- start small and reach out. Get a bit more involved in your workplace and your community. Join the social committee, volunteer at the food bank, help tutor children. If you need help with your career reach out, I would be more than willing to help you.