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Does boosting Emotional Intelligence improve employment chances?

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What can you do if you are made redundant or want to change your career?

With globalisation and automation in the workplace, unemployment and the lack of ability to adapt to new careers is a growing problem throughout the western world.

We all know that losing or changing your job, whatever your age, is never easy. For most people, research suggests, it means a change in social status, disruptions in both work and family roles, plus a loss of self-concept and identity. 

PwC recently estimated that youth unemployment is costing the British economy £45bn per year, as well as blighting the future careers of workers who miss out on jobs in their teens and twenties.  

At the other end of the spectrum the outlook is equally bleak, with older adults compared to younger adults receiving fewer job offers and being less likely to find re-employment after losing a job. 

So, what do you need to do if you are made redundant or want to change or start your career?

EBW researchers in the UK & Finland investigated this question by examining whether boosting Emotional Intelligence would improve peoples’ employment chances. 

Arffman Consulting Oy and TTS Education, recruited a random sample of 125 unemployed people in Finland to complete the EBW Business EQ assessment. 

A second group of employed people, who were matched for gender and age, were asked to complete the EBW EQ assessment and their results were compared to the unemployed group.

The results revealed that the unemployed group scored significantly lower on areas such as: Decision Making, Motivation, Influence and Adaptability. Meaning they were less comfortable at making decisions, less motivated, less driven to influence and less likely to change than those in employment. 

Unemployed participants also scored significantly lower in areas such as Empathy and Stress Resilience. 

The most significant result was the large difference on self awareness scores, with the unemployed group scoring significantly lower. This finding suggests that the unemployed were less aware of their emotions and behaviours and their impact on others. 

The EBW researchers in Finland designed a pilot programme to boost the Emotional Intelligence of the unemployed, with a view to getting them into full time employment.

The Business EQ Unemployment Programme consisted of 4 stages:

  1. An EBW EQ Feedback session - to boost self awareness

  2. EQ Group Training – better managing change, decision making, influencing others....., plus practical skills (CV writing, interview skills…). 

  3. A one month job placement/educational training - practising new EQ skills in work 

  4. EBW Business EQ review and next steps

Thirty unemployed participants were enrolled in the programme, of which 27 participants completed the programme. 21 participants (78%) found regular employment or a study position within one month of the programme end. 

Importantly, the programme generated new employment opportunities, with 14% of programme participants being employed in new job roles, where the roles were created specifically for them. 

The EBW View

The research and the pilot programme highlight the importance of focusing on Emotional Intelligence when changing careers or getting back into work.

Work is about relationships and working with others. If you do not invest in the skills to manage your impulses, remain optimistic even in the face of adversity, communicate with others effectively, manage change well, solve problems and build rapport in tense situations, it is unlikely you will  achieve your career best.

The success of the programme in Finland was the focus on Business EQ which strongly resonated with the participants. Business EQ provides a straightforward and supportive framework of how to succeed at work, plus a positive perspective on strengths and how to manage change successfully.

It showed how important it is to maintain and build self awareness, focusing on your impact on others, as well as considering your Decision Making, Motivation, Influence and Adaptability (how to cope with change).....

The key takeaway is that to improve your career and employment chances you need to boost Emotional Intelligence and specifically the emotional and behavioural management of those areas related to work.

Click the button below: Discover how EBW Global Business EQ System helps you and your clients/colleagues with their careers.


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The EBW Emotional Intelligence System for Business is a unique global assessment and development tool for Executive Coaches, HR experts and Psychologists.

Based on over 20 years of worldwide use and research, it enables you to get leaders and teams to understand why they behave the way they do and use a highly effective coaching framework to improve their occupational performance.

With a practitioners network based on 6 continents, all of whom are licensed to use the EBW System, we guarantee the EBW Emotional Intelligence approach empowers leaders and teams to transform themselves and their organisations.