Recession Graduates Have Greater Job Satisfaction, Study


College students who graduated during recessions were extremely satisfied with their jobs compared to those who found employment during economic booms, according to an Emory University study.

Emily Bianchi, assistant professor of organization and management at Goizueta Business School, said that when people start their jobs in good financial times, they tend to question their career choices and advancements. On the other hand, recession graduates are more than happy to have found a job and are less likely to ponder over alternate paths.

For the study, Bianchi examined data from two large government based surveys of American grads, who earned their degrees between 1974 and 2011, and conducted a survey of 247 working adults with graduate degrees.

She found that even though people who earned their degrees during economic downturns were employed in low quality and less paying jobs, they were more grateful for their jobs than those who began working in better financial times.

Recession graduates were not only happy with their first job, but also valued employment opportunities that knocked their doors later in life. Finding a job during tough economic times seemed to have changed their perception about the importance of employment in their life.

"This experience seems to leave an imprint on how they assess later work environments. Satisfaction depends largely on how people make sense of their results and the environment in which these events unfold," Bianchi said, The Week reports.

The study titled, 'The Bright Side of Bad Times: The Affective Advantages of Entering the Workforce in a Recession,' has been published in the recent issue of Administrative Science Quarterly.

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