Should we talk? Co-rumination and conversation avoidance in job search


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to adopt an approach/avoidance coping framework to examine the relationships of job search co-rumination (i.e. engaging in repeated and excessive conversations with a friend about job search problems) and job search talk avoidance (i.e. persistently seeking to escape conversations about the job search) on job search intensity and job search procrastination.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors surveyed 196 new labor market entrants (i.e. graduating students) at two points in time during their last semester in college.

Findings: The authors found that job search co-rumination is positively related to job search intensity, while job search talk avoidance is positively related to job search procrastination. Interestingly, though, the expected negative relationships between job search co-rumination and job search procrastination and between job search talk avoidance and job search intensity were not significant.

Practical implications: This study has implications for both job seekers and career counselors. For job seekers, understanding how their communication patterns influence their behaviors (and ultimately their success) can help them to see the benefits of a balanced approach to sharing about their job search. Furthermore, career centers could organize either job search mentoring or peer group programs to help job seekers navigate the intricacies of the job search process.

Originality/value: This study contributes to understanding whether and how talking (or not) with others (i.e. friends and relatives) about one’s job search influences one’s job search behaviors, such as intensity and procrastination.



Document Type





Behaviour, Careers, Co-rumination, Communication, Job search, Procrastination

Publication Date


Journal Title

Career Development International