Donnellan et al. (2007) define the locus of control which is synonymous with self-esteem as how an individual perceives whatever happens to his or her daily life and what he or she alleges to be the contributing factor(s). Under this context, individuals can be classified into two loci. We have individuals who have in vivo locus of control, where the individual believes that whatever happens, he is in control of the event. The other category is the individual with an in vitro locus of control (Donnellan et al, 2007). The individual believes that he has no control over the events that occur in his life, that events happening in his life are controlled by external forces inclusive of which are fate and other people (Watson, 2002)
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General locus of control refers to the degree to which one identifies success to one’s own conduct other than other external factors (Judge, 2001). The general locus lacks the specificity of context or situation. The relationship between the locus of control and the variables at play in the workplace such as job performance or career success, a person’s interpersonal relationships, and a person’s outlook or perception on events occurring lies squarely on the type of locus of control. For instance, on outlook, the ‘internals’ may have a positive attitude towards their work environment, while the ‘externals’ perception of the workplace may be negative. This explains why two different individuals employed at one workstation may have a varied opinion of their workstations (Judge, 2001). It also explains the interrelationship between the locus of control and attitudes towards jobs, the welfare of the employee’s interests, their perceived self-sufficiency, and their take on supervisor proficiency. This influences how an employee behaves when he has the intentions to resign (Llies, 2007)
Self-esteem is that internal belief of how important one looks and feels from an own perspective. It is rooted in one’s thoughts and it gives credence to one’s encounters (Martin, 2001). During unemployment, one grapples with self-doubt and stress. In general, they usually question their self-worth, depicting a sense of low self-esteem (Murray, 2000). The factors that influence the relationship between employment and psychological health vary. They are influenced by one’s financial state, other alternate roles one may be having and the social support one has attributed to gender (Kulik, 2001). Gender plays a major role in one’s psychological health, in that men tend to suffer more than women (Kulik, 2001). During this time they have lower morale and high anxiety. They also have lower vigor and higher fatigue compared to unemployed women (Kulik, 2001).
In case of unemployment in a marriage, there usually is a loss of identity as the woman may take over as the family’s breadwinner. This greatly affects their morale necessitating the need to have alternate non-employment options such as community working (Tucker, 2007). Social support is a key factor that has helped boost peoples’ esteem during this time in a person’s life. Social support helps nurture the feeling among individuals that though they are in the position they are in, they are still a part of the family or society, this assures them that they are loved and appreciated (Watson, 2002). People who have strong social support experience unemployment as less traumatic and thus they develop confidence in their lives (Llies, 2007).
Low self-esteem, coupled with self-doubt usually comes to play when these individuals interact with the people around them. In 2007, Tucker conducted extensive research on people with low esteem and interviews. He came up with a theory that “people who experience long term unemployment have lower esteem and lower wellbeing than those who are employed”. As a result, these people live in perpetual fear of success, in this case getting jobs and passing interviews. As a result, they end up forming self-worth protection excuses to give for not accomplishing the goals, like passing an interview. They may have the notion that they won’t succeed because they never did in the past. This hampers their efforts as they won’t prepare fully for the interview. When they eventually fail, they attribute this failure to poor preparations. This notion protects their self-worth and eventually self-esteem (Walter, 2001).
Through all this, the cost of lower esteem cannot be overlooked. Lower self-esteem is usually coupled with poor social bonds and culminates further to poor health with time. Perpetual feelings of a negative outlook on oneself influence one’s social beliefs and behaviors (Murray, 2000). The cost of low self-esteem is that it denies one good health, affects the quality of one’s social bonds, and dictates the limit towards which a person sets personal goals and standards. In this case, a poor locus of control leads one to eventual self-destruction, misjudgments of one’s ability, and curtailing one’s potential.
Donnellan, B., Trzesniewski, K.,& Caspi, A.(2005). A low esteem is related to aggression, antisocial behavior and deliquescency. Psychological science. 4 Park Square, Oxfordshire: Taylor and Francis. Print.
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