How to Deal With Job-Search Depression The New York Times

The hiring manager had interviewed me for a position, and then sent me a standard rejection email. I started thinking that maybe I didn’t have the emotional intelligence and transferable skills to get an industry job. What’s more, maintaining a positive attitude throughout your job hunt can better your chances of landing your dream gig. Being in the wrong field could leave you feeling despondent and detached from the job-search process. A BetterUp coach can help you navigate if you’re on the right path. Breaking down the job search into smaller, more manageable tasks will make the process less daunting and put you in control.

What is job search depression?

You feel sad and hopeless most of the time. You don't think you have any skills to offer a potential employer. Job-hunt anxiety interferes significantly with other aspects of your life. You're experiencing exhaustion or other physical symptoms—like headaches—that you haven't had before.

Perhaps you feel a loss of control over your destiny, or feel lonely, unloved, or hopeless. It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious during the job search process, and many job seekers go through this phase. So when you are experiencing depression or anxiety during your job search, how can you cope? In 2021, 3 million Americans (age 55 and over) had been out of a job since the pandemic.

Causes of Job Search Depression

But, as time goes on, it can become harder and harder to stay positive and hopeful, and it can ultimately lead to negative feelings and even job depression. But job search depression is unique in that the feelings of depression are because of the job search process. Practicing the above can help you restore your energy and optimism for your career search, keep track of your applications, and keep in touch with your family, friends, and colleagues. While job searching straight out of college can be a frustrating process, depression and job search you can mitigate your frustrations and learn to cope with your anxiety by taking an intentional, mindful approach to your job search. It’s easy to get lost in these feelings when you graduate and are unemployed, but it’s important that you do not lose your sense of self when you’re having difficulty landing a job. To help you overcome depression and focus on a more positive perspective, here are X methods you can use after graduating to shake off unwanted feelings and start the path towards a successful career.

  • Today’s society judges people by occupation and income, practically equating a job to an identity.
  • Don’t let your feelings of hopelessness about your job search cause burnout and emotional exhaustion.
  • Try to notice every time you feel sad when there are no other reasons for it.
  • We don’t know how much time we will need to find a job or even if the effort will pay off.

Unfortunately, feeling down about your job can affect other areas of your life. Feeling hopeless about your job search can go beyond your career planning. It can extend into your personal relationships and your self-growth.

Negative Mindset and Job Search

Part of what makes the job hunting process so stressful is the incredible weight it often carries. Whether your family’s survival depends on your salary or your income is what funds the “extras,” being unemployed or underemployed impacts the people you love most in the world. That’s a heavy burden to carry, but putting all of that pressure on yourself isn’t entirely fair because it’s doubtful that who you are as a person is a sole reason your job search isn’t working out. Usually, when you first start your job search, you go into it with a sense of determination and optimism.

How do I not get depressed during a job search?

Stay social

One of the best ways to take a mental break from the job search, and to reaffirm the parts of your identity that don't have anything to do with your career, is to spend time with family and friends, Dr. Maidenberg said. It's also a good way to combat the isolation that many job seekers face.

For example, if they saw a setback like not getting an offer after an interview as a challenge instead of failure, they were more likely to get a job down the road. I didn’t have enough experience, or other candidates possessed more relevant skills, or the company decided to go in a different direction. It prompts us to take positive steps in the right direction. People who are passionate about what they do are more likely to succeed in finding a job and perform well when they have a job that’s right for them. Look toward the future and get excited about those other jobs you had your eye on.

Avoiding Job Search Depression

It is ok to be sad from time to time – a person cannot constantly be happy. So plan a night out with a friend to vent and reduce some of your stress. Order takeout and binge your favorite show to help you relax and unwind. Take a long walk with your dogs and follow it up with a warm bath and a good book. I’m an individual looking for my next professional opportunity. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you’ll look forward to regularly —having a morale boost will do wonders.