As we all know Job search depression is real.
Would you like to know how to minimize your depression while looking for work? If so, keep reading!
At Guildhall we speak to many people who are trying to get back into the workforce after months and sometimes even years of being absent from the work field.
Getting back into the work field after an extended period of time not taking part or being in a work environment can be daunting and can sometimes cause a bit…if not a lot of anxiety.
Which is why, at Guildhall, we think about ways to support our clients and we often reference an article that we came across from ‘The New York Times’ called ‘How to Deal with Job-Search Depression’ by Micaela Marini Higgs.
Higgs opens her article by stating that “so much of who you are is wrapped up in work, but you are more than your job.”
The subtitle of this article really relates with most people and we find that Higg’s rhetoric needs to be reiterated because it’s a very important point for us to focus on at Guildhall.So much of who you are is wrapped up in your work but you are more than your job.
So let’s talk about what happens when a person is looking for work and has zero luck finding any work…does that make you nothing? Since you technically have no job title?
Higgs states that looking for a new job but having zero luck getting hired can be… incredibly demoralizing.
Research shows that if a person is looking for a job and they have still not found a position after 10 to 12 weeks of constant applying, depression will likely sink in, your anxiety will increase and your confidence will plummet.
When you’ve been applying for career opportunities for 10-12 weeks, the financial stress of being unemployed will likely be building up and this isn’t good for your emotional health and well-being, especially because we need to feel busy and like we have a purpose in our day to day life in order to feel validated. We are truly wired to be active members of society and working is one of those ways in which we contribute to the world around us.
If you are unemployed, this can create a negative feedback loop, the longer you go without work, the harder it is on your emotional health and the harder it is on your emotional health, the more difficult it is to find work…so the negative feedback loop really isn’t your best friend in this situation. After weeks of not finding a job, you may feel lousy, discouraged, and disappointed because you can’t find work and so the cycle will repeat until you find a job that offers you some sort of comfort and validation within yourself.
So, how do you deal with this while you’re looking for a job and fighting off depression at the same time?
The key is to find new coping tools, mechanisms, strategies and to start planning.
You need to find out what identifies you, and how do you identify yourself other than by your job and work title. You have a diverse personality and you most likely have a wide skill set, so why limit who and what you are to a single job title? You are so much more than that.
You have numerous experiences, interests and values.
For example: you might be a parent or you might be in a partnership or you might be an artist, a musician or have any type of interesting hobby, you might work as a volunteer within your community.
The point is, you’re a multi-faceted person and as the saying goes…you’re a human being not a human ‘doing’.
Another piece of advice that we can give you is that you can treat your job search as a job.
For example: you can create a structure for yourself and set goals for yourself. You can have a “target” of how many positions you’d like to apply to per day. You should set up a system that allows you to get organized in how many cover letters you will send out and how many calls you will make in a day. Watch Wolf of Wall street, it’s a great example.
Once you reach your goals for the day, you can now give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! After you have successfully completed your daily goals that are work oriented, move onto goals that are unrelated to work. Add in goals that have to do with boosting your own self, your character, your mental health and physical health; like practicing self-care, going to the gym, going for a brisk walk, taking up a pottery class, or meeting a friend for coffee or lunch once a week.
While you’re adding new goals to your daily life, make sure one of them is to also maintain a healthy diet.
Our brains need fuel and so do our bodies. Often times the food we eat has an association with our sluggish feeling and mental fog. Eating healthy and maintaining a well-balanced diet is also very important when it comes to managing your work life and personal life. You will feel great and your body will thank you!
Adding these goals will truly boost the way you feel about yourself and the way you feel before resting your head on your pillow and calling it a day!
We can’t emphasise enough the importance to practicing good self-care and staying connected to others while doing so, staying connected helps combat isolation that so many job-seekers face.
All of these tips will help you deter negative feelings while searching for a job and will also help you transition well back into a work environment when you land that career of your choice!
Now start writing your to-do list for tomorrow.
You got this.
For additional assistance in your job hunt, consider Guildhall’s VAULT service. VAULT is a complete membership package designed to save you money while providing you with best in class career counselling as well as a personal agent. VAULT offers a tailored and bespoke approach to support you, you do not have to go through your job search journey alone.