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Suicide, work, and self-worth

Originally posted November 25, 2017.

Shortly after I had started my staffing company, someone came up to me at a networking event and told me there was someone I had to meet.

I was soon introduced to a thin, retired gentleman who was often nicknamed the “Job Doc.”

His name is George Hoyt, a retired industrial engineer and now volunteer job coach.

I soon learned that he had started this volunteer work because of some very difficult moments in his life. His son had committed suicide years ago because he had been unable to find work. Around that same time, he had developed some health problems of his own.

George was a very accomplished professional during his career. Yet he ran into many other men who weren’t as accomplished. Many of them struggled to find work, and many of the men he had met had contemplated suicide.

He soon found that there was a very direct link between joblessness and depression, especially in men. In some cases, there was a direct link between joblessness and suicide, like there had appeared to be in his own son.

George would spent a considerable amount of his time leading “Transition Tuesdays,” a networking event in Winston-Salem, N.C. that helped men re-enter the workforce or find a different job.

He interviewed hundreds of people and reviewed thousands of resumes. He helped many men find work.

He also helped me open my eyes to the importance of work. Work is not only important because it helps people provide for their families. It’s also important because it gives people a sense of fulfillment and an opportunity to serve others.

Several studies have shown that an increase in the unemployment rate will result an increase in suicides, and that one’s chances of committing suicide increase when becoming unemployed.

For George, this wasn’t just an academic study. It was a reality of life, and he spent a lot of time helping others during these difficult times.

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