Training & Resources
Training for Facilitators
Contact David Blustein or Amy Mazur with questions or to request access to the training materials.
These resources are made freely available to the public. For those who find them useful, we encourage you to share them widely. In using them, we simply ask that you credit or reference WIN appropriately. We also gladly welcome user feedback and suggestions for improvements on these tools and resources.
Work Intervention Manual
At the outset of the pandemic, a group of 10 vocational/counseling psychologists, career practitioners, and a sociologist convened to discuss the unemployment crisis (which includes underemployment and seasonal work). We concurred that the challenges resulting from the massive job losses require comprehensive and flexible sources of support and skill-building. Building on the excellent services that are already available via employment and career transition agencies, training programs, and independent providers, we designed six 75-90 minute workshops that can be used in tandem or independently to support individuals who are unemployed and underemployed. Our intention is to disseminate this workshop content as widely as possible at no cost to agencies or providers.
The Changing World of Work
In recent decades across many sectors of the globe, the once-reliable world of work has become increasingly unstable. With rising unemployment and underemployment rates, dissolving lines between work and family life, and numerous barriers to the world of work for many people whose social identities are marginalized (e.g., race, gender, sexuality, age, disability status), attaining and maintaining decent work is precarious in the modern world (Allan & Kim, 2020; Allan et al., 2021; Blustein, 2019). Additional noteworthy disruptions in the nature of work include loss of jobs due to automation, deterioration of work conditions, and diminishing worker rights (Blustein et al., 2019). For those living in poverty and also facing unemployment, consequences are even more dire due to systemic and social factors such as employment bias, ongoing struggles to gain access to decent education and training, and challenges of living in poverty (Thompson & Dahling, 2019). Ultimately, this widespread loss of decent work – a basic human right – erodes individuals’ ability to meet social connection, survival, and self-determination needs, which in turn, undermines well-being (Duffy et al., 2016).
The Impact of COVID-19 on Unemployment
Crashing upon this already shaky world of work was the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. This crisis resulted in countless intersecting losses (e.g., losses of lives, jobs, community connections, and other aspects of life), highlighting a need for integrative work and mental health interventions (Blustein et al., 2021). The unprecedented nature of unemployment following the pandemic results in a need for a new research agenda, as well as new, meaningful interventions to assist those facing unemployment and underemployment (Autin et al., 2020; Blustein et al, 2020). Now, more than ever, a response to the unemployment and underemployment crisis is crucial.
The Creation of the WIN Workshops
To inform the Work Intervention Network, our team explored theory and research relevant to unemployment and work dislocations more broadly (Allan et al., 2021; Blustein, 2011; Brewster & Molina, 2021; McWhirter & McWa-Hermann, 2021; Sharone, 2013; Wanberg et al., 2020). Psychology of Working Theory (PWT; Blustein, 2006; Duffy et al., 2016) provided a conceptual framework for the development of the WIN workshop. PWT’s emphasis on the centrality of decent work (International Labor Organization, 2008) in achieving positive outcomes such as survival, social connection/contribution, self-determination, and well-being provided a useful perspective for this initiative. From a Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) lens, long-term unemployment can undermine one’s self-efficacy, the context-specific belief in one’s own capabilities that can impact the work recovery process (Thompson et.al. 2016). Finally, we recognize that stigma, shame, and biases can compound the negative experiences of unemployment and must be addressed in these interventions (APA, 2019; Cinamon & Blustein, 2020; Pugh, 2015; Sharone, 2013). Research suggests the presence of biased hiring practices such as age bias, unemployment bias, success bias, and under qualification bias. These employers’ biases result in shame, loss of confidence, self-doubt, and inauthenticity for job seekers (Cinamon & Blustein, 2020; Sharone, 2021). With these research-based frameworks in mind, our aim through WIN is to promote job-search skills, enhance career planning, reduce self-blame, develop critical consciousness, and expand participants’ relational support and psychological resources, paving the way to decent work and improved well-being.
- Allan, B. A. & Kim, T. (2020). Unemployment and underemployment: Prevention and counseling implications. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds). Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (3rd. Ed., 769-798). Wiley,
- Allan, B. A., Autin, K. L., & Wilkins-Yel, K. G. (2021). Precarious work in the 21st century: A psychological perspective. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 126, 103491. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.jvb.2020.103491
- *American Psychological Association. (2019). Guidelines for Psychological Practice for People with Low-Income and Economic Marginalization. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/about/policy/guidelines-low-income.pdf
- Autin, K. L., Blustein, D. L., Ali, S. R., & Garriott, P. O. (2020). Career development impacts of COVID-19: Practice and policy recommendations. Journal of Career Development, 47, 487–494.
- Blustein, D. L. (2019). The importance of work in an age of uncertainty: The eroding work experience in America. NY: Oxford.
- Blustein, D. L., Kenny, M. E., Di Fabio, A., & Guichard, J. (2019). Expanding the impact of the psychology of working: Engaging psychology in the struggle for decent work and human rights. Journal of Career Assessment, 27, 3-28. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069072718774002
- Blustein, D. L., Duffy, R., Ferreira, J. A., Cohen-Scali, V., Cinamon, R. G., & Allan, B. A. (2020). Unemployment in the time of COVID-19: A research agenda. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 119, 103436. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2020.103436
- Blustein, D. L., Thompson, M. N., Kozan, S., & Allan, B. A. (2021). Intersecting losses and integrative practices: Work and mental health during the COVID-19 era and beyond. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pro0000425.
- *Blustein, D. L., Thompson, M. N., Kozan, S., & Allan, B. A. (2021). Intersecting losses and integrative practices: Work and mental health during the COVID-19 era and beyond. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 52(5), 523-532.. https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2021-81440-001.html.
- Brewster, M. E., & Molina, D. A. L. (2021). Centering matrices of domination: Steps toward a more intersectional vocational psychology. Journal of Career Assessment, 29, 547-569. https://doi.org/10.1177/10690727211029182
- Cinamon, R. G., & Blustein, D. L. (2020). Shame and the psychosocial costs of contemporary work: Implications for career intervention. Career Development Quarterly, 68, 238-253.
- Duffy, R. D., Blustein, D. L., Diemer, M. A., & Autin, K. L. (2016). The Psychology of Working Theory. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(2), 127-148.
- International Labor Organization. (2008). ILO declaration on social justice for a fair globalization. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—cabinet/documents/genericdocument/wcms_371208.pdf
- Pugh, A. J. (2015). The tumbleweed society: Working and caring in an age of insecurity. Oxford University Press.
- Sharone, O. (2014). Flawed system, flawed self: Job searching and unemployment experiences. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
- *Sharone, O. (2021). A crisis of long-term unemployment Is looming in the U.S. https://hbr.org/2021/03/a-crisis-of-long-term-unemployment-is-looming-in-the-u-s.
- Thompson, M. N., & Dahling, J. D. (2019). Employment and Poverty: Why Work Matters in Understanding Poverty. American Psychologist, 74(6), 673–684. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000468
- Thompson, M. N., Dahling, J. J., †Chin, M. Y., †Melloy, R. C. (2017). Integrating job loss, unemployment, and reemployment with social cognitive career theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 25(1), 40-57. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/10.1177/1069072716657534
- Wanberg, C. R., Ali, A. A., & Csillag, B. (2020). Job seeking: The process and experience of looking for a job. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 7, 315-337. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-012119-044939
*Refers to an article that is available via open access; click on the link to connect to the article.