In this blog, we will talk about new job depression. We will first get to know about this phenomenon, then the possible reasons for it, symptoms that one can notice. We will also discuss some ways in which one can overcome depression caused because of a new job.
What is new job depression?
Persistent feelings of deep unhappiness, helplessness, worthlessness, guilt, feeling tearful, having isolating behaviors after you have begun a new job may be indicators for a person that they have new job depression and need to seek help.
Accommodating yourself to a new job can be a huge challenge to cross over. While some do it with ease, some settle in their new jobs in some time, there are some others who have a tough time. The intensity of the tough time can vary from person to person depending on the kind of challenges they are facing which have been discussed comprehensively below.
Reasons for new job depression
There is pressure to prove yourself as capable
When you take up a new job you expect it to be a new chapter in your life, a new leaf to turn to. In the new chapter, you wish to do your best and live up to your own expectations and the expectations of others who are important to you in your personal life as well as people, especially bosses at work.
But, this can also lead to a tremendous amount of pressure to be in the good books of everyone and prove yourself as worthy of the job you were hired for.
There is also an added pressure to prove yourself as a quick learner. So you would wish to settle into your new job as quickly as possible which may not be a piece of cake. All of these situations can dampen your mental health and cause illnesses like depression.
Having a voice in the workplace has been difficult for you
Having your own opinion in the workplace can be a challenge for many especially if you are just beginning work at this job or have been hired for a job at the beginner’s level. But it is important for one to have a distinguishable work identity where you have the right to speak your mind with dignity. But at the same time, you don’t want to say the wrong thing, but you still want to sound smart. There is a learning curve involved, trust the process and appreciate your journey.
The job does not involve duties that you enjoy
A major obstacle, in this case, is your foundation to the job is based on fear instead of joy!
You probably took up the job because of some reason like clearing debts, managing financial constraints, etc. So, you took up the job just to meet your financial needs and it is not work that sparks interest and enthusiasm in you. When a job is done without interest it could ignite feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and depression in you.
The job you are asked to do does not match the job description you signed up for
You signed up for something but you landed up doing something else. This can make you feel cheated and betrayed leaving little to no space for having a positive approach to the work you are expected to do.
Apart from this, it also includes situations where you are given much more work than your original job description and you begin to feel underpaid for the amount of effort you are putting in. Being paid well is a method of appreciation for the work done. Being underpaid can make one feel unappreciated, unvalued, and even worthless.
The work environment is hostile
As a newbie at work, you do not feel welcomed by your colleagues. You feel there are set groups in the office that limit your chances of interacting with everyone as one group or even being a part of small groups. This can disrupt your outlook of the company’s culture and in-turn develop a muddled attitude towards the work you do and your mental health status.
You are being bullied or harassed at work
A hostile work environment can also take a very ugly turn where you are being bullied or harassed at work. People might take undue advantage of you being a new person at work or really new to the work-life in general.
The cases of sexual offenses at the workplace are also rising. Most offices have a special committee and/or an HR department that works towards the prevention of sexual harassment and take action against offenders when complaints are received.
Interns can particularly face this, especially if they are unpaid helpers in the office. People tend to bully interns by making them do a huge amount of work which could even include the personal work of superiors. It is a highly unprofessional and unethical practice at the workplace.
You are a recent graduate and work-life is not turning out how you imagined it would
As a growing young adult who has big ambitions for a career of your choice, you might find it difficult to transition from college to work. If the work experience does not meet your aspirations of how work-life would have been, it can cause feelings of dejection, unhappiness and can lead to depression.
Work-life can be quite different from the fun, flamboyant yet hardworking life that you lived as a graduate student. The transition can be quite challenging for some people and it is important to let everything settle slowly.
Symptoms of new job depression
Symptoms of depression arising or being triggered because of having a new job indicate that you have a ‘new job depression’.
The ICD 10 explains depression thusly, “In typical depressive episodes of all three varieties described below (mild) moderate, and severe, the individual usually suffers from depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to increased fatiguability and diminished activity. Marked tiredness after the only slight effort is common. Other common symptoms are:”
- Inability to concentrate and pay attention;
- diminished self-esteem and self-confidence;
- feeling guilty and unworthy (even in a mild type of episode);
- pessimistic views of the future;
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide;
- disturbances in sleep;
- poor appetite.
Apart from these signs, ask yourself some questions. Notice how you feel within your body, are there any physical aches and discomforts, how is your gut doing, do you get headaches often now, do you snap out on your friends and relatives without any particular valid reason, are you crying but are confused why, etc.
How to strike a good deal with new job depression
To be in the benefitted party against new job depression there are some things to keep in mind to evolve as a person/employee and it is also essential to deal with your depression effectively. Below we discuss ways to do so. Read on!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Things you need to know if you have new job depression
- It is more common than you think it is.
- It is essential in life to develop assertiveness. It is tough but important, so practice!
- It is important to communicate about your challenges to people in authority; be it someone at work or even the state/national law-enforcing authorities.
- If you are utterly unhappy with this new job, you can always try to get another one. You can always explain the reason for quitting a job soon to your next employer.
- A bad experience at this new job does not mean another new job that you take will also end up the same way.
- Not everything in life is about money and finances. Yes, money is essential for healthy survival but one can live a pretty decent life without making big bucks. But, to toil and grate your mental health without limits can ruin all aspects of life that bring you joy.
Ways to overcome new job depression?
Often with depression, in spite of taking efforts, progress may be slow or unnoticeable. Or after feeling good for a while the feelings may reemerge again intensely making one feel like they did not make any progress at all. But, value the little signs of progress as those are the ones most important in the road to recovery. Appreciate every little achievement or appreciation received from someone.
Try self-help techniques but if it does not seem to be helping much seek professional help
Trying to help your own self is great. But often in severe cases of depression, it seems very unrealistic to read tricks out of a self-help book and apply them to your life. When nothing on your own seems to be working it is important to seek professional help.
Seek social support by joining a support group
Feeling understood means a lot to people when they are in a deep pit of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Support groups exist for a number of causes like depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. support groups are beneficial for people because the feeling of belongingness and oneness in suffering boosts confidence in recovery. People seek inspiration from other survivors and people in the same boat. Talk to other job seekers, troubled people at work and see how they are dealing with the harassment, stress at the new job, competitive market, and future work proposals.
Consult a psychiatrist
A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, for example, antidepressants based on the severity of the condition of the person. Antidepressants are an important part of recovery and going to a professional should not be delayed.
Consulting a counselor/ psychotherapist is essential in mental health issues. This, most often, goes hand in hand with medication based on the severity of depression.
A counselor can bring in newer ways of perception, help the person to emote better while engaging in healthy boundary-making. The counselor can also help the person eradicate irrational thoughts and beliefs that inhibit the person’s well-being. The counselor and the client, together, also work on and construct healthier coping mechanisms against stressors for the client.
Improve lifestyle choices and work towards good health
During the job search, one can easily neglect their health. Health is a concept with many interlinkages and it is also all-encompassing. One can’t expect to have good mental health if their physical health is deteriorating and vice-versa. Exercising, healthy eating habits, good sound sleep, and practicing mindfulness, along with any medication/therapy if need be, can help attain victory over any condition, including depression.
In this blog, we talked about new job depression. First, we got to know about this phenomenon, then the possible reasons for it, symptoms that one can notice. We also discussed some ways in which one can overcome depression caused because of a new job.
Frequently Asked Questions: New Job Depression
What are the signs of a toxic workplace?
Some signs to notice are poor communication, frequent gossiping, verbal abuse, employee satisfaction and engagement rates are low, there is social loafing at the workplace because of poor work delegation, the bosses do not display ideal leadership qualities.
Can I quit my job because of stress?
If the work is consistently disregarding or hampering your mental health, it is important that you quit the job. Opportunities will come in, the money will flow in but time won’t. So it is important to be happy in content with what you spend your time on. If you are waiting for a sign, this is it!
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.