Jobfully Blog

Dealing With Depression During Your Job Search

Depression can really slow down your job search progress.  Many people who are out of work suffer from depression at some point during the process.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but if you recognize you are suffering from it, take steps to deal with it and get back on track finding a job.

If you think you’re suffering from depression during your job search, you’re not alone. Here are some things that might help:

  • Focus on the positive – If you find yourself thinking negatively, recognize that you are doing this.  Find ways to deal with these negative thoughts including positive affirmations, spending time with people who believe in you and keeping a list of things for which you are thankful.
  • Stay away from sources of negativity – This includes the news on TV and news websites.
  • Get out of the house on a daily basis -  Interact with people (maybe even network) or get some fresh air, but make  don’t stay isolated in your home.
  • Exercise – This is a great outlet for frustration and depression.  Not only does it help keep you fit, but speaking from personal experience, it’s a great way to feel like you’re accomplishing something during a time when you may not feel like you’re making progress.
  • Volunteer or become a mentor –Give back while you have more time on your hands than normal.  Not only that, but they can potentially be great resume pieces!
  • Connect with others – Join a job support group. Or take a break from job searching and join a weekday group doing a sport, hobby or activity you enjoy. Having a built in meeting and person-to-person contact each week is helpful.
  • Keep busy – Create a job search plan and stick to it.  Set milestones and reward yourself when you reach them.
  • Manage your time wisely - Set an alarm, shower and dress, go to “work” looking for a job.  Track what you plan to accomplish each day and reward yourself regularly.
  • Share your journey – Blog, keep a journal, talk regularly with a trusted friend or family member. Don’t bottle up your feelings about the challenge of being unemployed.
  • Take good care of yourself. Fix healthy meals, make time for enjoyable activities, and get enough rest. Don’t let the stress of job searching impact your physical well being.

If feelings of depression begin to impact your ability to enjoy everyday activities and focus on necessary tasks, talk to your doctor. While mild depression during a job search is normal, in some cases, medical attention is necessary.

Tell us, what do you do to keep a positive mindset during your job search? Have you felt depressed, and if so, what worked to help you feel better? Share your experience and help others in the same situation.

11 Comments

  1. Posted January 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    This is a difficult yet necessary topic. Thank you, Dennis, for taking the time to acknowledge it and offer guidance to those who really need it.

  2. Posted January 14, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I hope you found it useful! It is a difficult topic that I think a lot of people suffer from but don’t do anything to treat it. My hope is that it will inspire people to take action.

  3. Karen
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Yoga has saved my life during my job search. I moved to a new area and was working from home on a multi-million dollar project that I had been on for 3 years with my employer who I had been with for 6 plus years. So, I didn’t know anyone here and am living in a very high unemployment area. I found a yoga studio within 2 weeks and started doing yoga twice a week. It has taken me way longer to find work than I anticipated. Everything about looking for a job has changed and for the first time in my life, I had an all day interview and didn’t get a job offer. All I can say to folks is *network, network, network!* I’ve joined local professional networking groups and that has helped a lot as well. Good luck to everyone who is currently looking for a job!!

  4. Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Karen, I am so glad you found something that helps you during this time. Yoga is a great idea! Here is more on self-care during a job search: http://blog.jobfully.com/2011/02/self-care-during-a-job-search/

    Also check out today’s blog on networking in unusual places: http://blog.jobfully.com/2011/02/networkin-wherever-you-go/

    Maybe you’ll meet someone at yoga who connects you with a great job lead! You never know.

    Take care!
    Carrie

  5. abear614
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your tips. I rarely read blogs but this was helpful. I found out I was laid off this summer and keep anticipating that my job will be rescinded. Its been a very frustrating and emotional process. But like you said, I need to get up every day and “go to work” at something new. Some days however are just harder than others. especially since I have always had a plan and now I don’t have one. Still it’s a work in progress.

  6. Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    @abear614,

    We understand. Focusing on the positive is key. And don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for every step you take, no matter big or small.

    For example, if you have a coffee meeting with a contact, that’s something to feel good about. Or, if you get re-connected with a previous colleague, that’s also a good step forward.

    Thanks for your comment. Please feel free to reach out anytime and let us know what we can help with.

    Best,
    Mei

  7. Pigbitin Mad
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t do anything. At least half my day is spent counteracting all this nonsense propaganda that is put out by the rich ie. It’s MY FAULT I don’t have a job because I am just being negative. When in fact, the reason I don’t have a friggin job is CEO’s who pay themselves too much money and outsource the jobs. We need a violent civil war, not a prayer circle. Yes, I am depressed, but I am also MAD AS HELL. I hate this country, and I especially hate the idiots who seem to run it now (both parties although the GOP /TEA BAGGERS ARE WORSE!!)

  8. Posted August 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    @PigbitinMad,

    I see your frustration. Would you like to try a couple of suggestions mentioned above to ease your feelings of depression?

    Which ones would be the easiest for you to take on right away? Perhaps you could consider volunteering or joining a job search support group? Meanwhile, don’t forget to take care of your physical well-being.

    Please let me know how it goes. Hope you feel better soon.

    -Mei

  9. esdev
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I was hoping this article would speak more to those with clinical depression, aka me, who are unemployed. Being depressed because you can’t find a job is not the same as an unemployed person w/ clinical depression. We have to deal with depression whether employed or not. Being unemployed compounds the issue making it that much harder to gather the emotional and physical stamina necessary to deal process of job searching.

    Maybe you can get a guest blogger with some expertise on that subject.

  10. Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Hi esdev,

    Thanks for your comment. We will keep your request in mind. When a guest blogger with the appropriate expertise becomes available, we hope to have a blog covering this topic.

    Please let us know other job search topics that will be helpful to you. Good luck with your job search.

    -Mei

  11. cindy
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I was layed off 6 months ago from a job I adored and have been faced with the most challenging task of my life and that’s been looking for a job. I feel depression setting in but it’s important to keep your body healthy and your household organized and clean. I know that might sound strange but that my Friends you have total control over. I wish all of you in the same situation much good thoughts and luck. Your not alone!

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