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Battling depression during your job search

Battling depression during your job search

Battling depression during your job search
April 28
18:27 2017


In today’s job market, it’s not surprising to have your job search last longer than anticipated regardless of your age or experience. Depression is one the topics that almost everyone encounters during a career transition but no one really talks about it. Yet it’s human nature to respond to loss with shades of grief and loneliness.

The longer a search lasts the more likely you are to experience the emotional roller coaster of change. One day you might feel hopeful and the next you are self-doubting your abilities to ever land a job.

It is important to talk about the downside of job search not to make gloomy matters worse rather to share some ways to counter depression and keep your confidence in track.

Your words will affect how others perceive you as well as influence your motivation when the going gets tough. The way you take care of yourself through your job search is as important as having a strong resume or practicing interviews, your mindset is critical step to your success in landing a good offer.

Even with the best of intentions a day without a schedule of job search activities can rain havoc on your motivation and make your efforts more arduous than needed.

After working with job candidates for years, the recipe for low energy usually starts after a series of failed interviews combined with dozens of applications that aren’t paying off with the results they had hoped for. The good news is that a career transition can make you stronger than before your search started and stretch you in unexpected ways.

Here are some common problem areas and what you can do to prevent them from taking your focus off finding a great opportunity.

Lack of a schedule leads to lethargy, the slow drain of energy that sends a negative perception to employers that you might be unaware of. You can develop lethargy when you give into winging your daily goals instead of planning your day. Those who start their job search every morning with a broad brush of “wishing for results to happen” are those who lack goals. You need a daily plan of what you want to accomplish, what you want the outcome to be with your job search. You can’t measure vagueness; a directionless search will give you a less than stellar mindset and your words will follow.

Activity that produces results is stimulating and feeds your motivation. Create a list of activities such as, targeting employers where your background and interest intersect. Invite others to join you for coffee, lunch or brainstorming ideas.

• Clueless about transferable skills. The whole concept of owning your career is being aware of your transferable skills, those that can be applied to numerous industries and roles. Start listing your interests and accomplishments, not your job titles to help you uncover transferable skills.

Your hobbies and dreams give you clues. Contemplate “why you are interested in a certain hobby or why you keep thinking about the same career dream.” Get creative with your search, don’t rely totally on applying for jobs that are posted rather focus on your skills and how they could help solve problems for employers.

• Staying isolated. The fastest way toward negative self-talk begins when you lack job search activity and stay isolated. Avoiding people just because you might feel embarrassed or awkward is often a starting point for loneliness.

A job search can be lonely especially when you keep everything to yourself and refuse to let others help. Networking is one way to break through loneliness because it helps you give back to others as well.

• Give yourself a break. Sounds counterproductive but taking time off from your job search without feeling guilty can often be the smartest move. Being obsessed with why your search is taking so long, or guessing why others won’t call you back robs you of energy.

Use this time in your life while you are waiting to spend time with your family, get to know them better. Walking is free and yet is one of the best ways to lessen the effects of depression.

Get off the couch and out in the market place. Work from coffee shops, go to a bookstore to generate ideas or read about the latest trends in your field. Ask a buddy to join you in physical exercise, develop a good system of support. Exercise helps you move forward and often generates ideas when you least expect them.

• Volunteer. The fastest way to get your mind off job search frustration is to help others. Volunteering not only helps you keep your skills updated but it gives you a much-needed schedule that helps you meet others when giving back.

Using your time in a productive way will influence how you feel about yourself rather than waiting around for others to respond. Helping someone less fortunate than you will boost your
self-value.

Intermittent depression associated with a job search is common and is bound to occur when you search lasts longer than expected. Staying busy and in contact with others helps you keep your spirits energized. Prolonged depression is serious and reaching out to health care practitioners is a smart move if you need more help in moving forward. Use some of the suggestions mentioned above, and most of all give yourself a break when needed.

How did you deal with depression during a job search?



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