Unable to find a job depression: 5 Tips to overcome depression

In this blog we present to you a few tips that you can try out if you are unable to find a job and it is making you depressed.

We will also briefly discuss how unemployment impacts mental health and how job search fails can cause depression. 

Unable to find a job depression: Tips to overcome depression

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr... x
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Here are some of the things that you can do to overcome depression:

Get in touch with a career counsellor

Now, if you find that your job search is not moving forward and you have reached a dead end, an option for you is to talk to a career counsellor. 

Career counsellors are well equipped in helping individuals move forward when they find themselves stuck in their careers, they can help you identify skills that you might need to get you an upper edge in the job search as well as point you towards the right direction for your skills. 

Don’t Let the Job Search Define You

It’s important not to take the results of your job interviews and any rejection personally. There may have been several reasons why you didn’t hear back or land the role, many of which may be out of your control.

For example, a lack of communication between hiring managers and decision-makers, or poorly organised interviews can lead to mistakes being made. Your rejection should not disregard the amount of good you can do so, keep the mindset that it’s their loss, not yours and this rejection is a redirection on to something better.

Be organised in your efforts

If you’re not having much luck with your job search, it may be time to buckle down and get more serious and consider a more organised approach. 

Start by setting daily targets and setting specific hours of the day to dedicate to different tasks. For example, spending two hours browsing for jobs and two hours in the evening applying for openings.

Keep all your efforts organised so that you can keep a track of where/when you applied, whether you’ve heard back, and the results. 

Expand Your Skills 

It is advisable to switch gears and fill your time sharpening your skills or adding new ones while you are searching for jobs. You can add these new skills to your resume, which will also help you stand out as a well-qualified candidate.

An easy way to do this is to see what the job ads you’re applying to are looking for. If anything is missing in your skillset, start there.

Stay Social

If you’re currently out of work, you might be feeling isolated and alone especially if everyone around you is occupied with their own jobs. 

As much as you might not want to, socialising with people who love and support you can be a good place to start if you want to overcome the stress and worry of your search. 

Talking to them about your job interviews and your experience can help you garner support and some might even give you some helpful tips around it. 

Talk to your doctor

If you have been experiencing depression-like symptoms that are impacting your ability to do anything- like maintain your relationships or keep up with your responsibilities, it could be time that you seek out medical help. 

Usually when you meet your doctor, they will do a general assessment and direct you to a psychiatrist or give you the medication you need as well as refer you to a therapist. 

Talk to your doctor about your symptoms as honestly as possible and work with them to come up with a treatment plan with them.

When they prescribe you medication, make an effort to give them feedback as often as possible about the dosage and the side effects as well to ensure effective treatment. 

Try therapy

We also advise you to seek out professional help immediately since depression is not just low moods, it won’t simply “go away”. 

There needs to be an active effort to work through your condition as well as pharmacological support that you might need in the case there are neurological causes to your condition. 

Talking to a therapist and engaging with them to understand what is happening to you does not mean that you have failed in life. It simply means that you need help like everyone else and that does not make you any less of a person. 

Your therapist will help you understand what is happening to you, might prescribe you medication if needed, and can help you tap into your own strengths that can help you adapt to challenges, changes, and overcome them.

Understanding your condition, diagnosis and Engaging with a therapist, being diligent with your medication, and making the changes

Consider something new

Sticking to the same job search sites can limit you especially if your preferred industry is a niche one. So opening yourself up to various new opportunities can be something you can try out. 

Instead of sticking to a traditional career path, considering your hand in new roles and new opportunities can be something you can do to grow into your career. 

What you need to do to get better will help you during this difficult time. 

Does unemployment cause depression?

Yes. unemployment is closely related to depression and other psychological distress.

A recent study on the impact of Unemployment on the Mental Health of Youth for the Journal of Psychology and psychotherapy found that,

“…Unemployment …can greatly affect one’s mental health, leading to depression and decreased self-esteem. In addition, one can alienate family and friends or feel alienated, which can result in lack of support in one’s life.”

A similar study conducted on adults in the US found that the longer one remains unemployed, the more likely they are to experience poor psychological well-being. 

Your mental health impacts your employment prospects and your employment impacts your mental health. 

A positive mental health status is important in the process of finding a job and maintaining that job. 

In fact, if you are not mentally resilient, your job search process can be affected, leading you to develop issues related to stress like depression and anxiety.

Causes of Job search and interview depression

Some of the reasons why you might be feeling depressed due to your inability to find a job could include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness after continuous rejections and failures to attain a position or a job. 
  • Internalising rejections and failures instead of externalising the problem and orienting one’s focus to problem solving. 
  • Conflict in relationships due to stress related to lack of financial stability and safely between spruces, between parent and child etc. which adds more stress.
  • Feelings of hopelessness because one feels like they are ill equipped or poorly equipped to deal with the challenge of finding employment leading them to lose hope after consisten rejections. 
  • Lack of quality positions and having to settle for a job that you don’t like because you need money to survive. It is also possible that the job market is so competitive that the position that you want might seem out of your reach, making you feel hopeless. 
  • Not getting called for an interview after applying even if you think you are a perfect fit can impact the way you see yourself, especially if you take things too personally. 
  • Not landing the role after your interview can leave you wondering what went wrong with no concrete answers. And the more time that passes, the worse you may end up feeling.
  • You regret not performing well as you expected in your interviews. This can make you feel immense regret and you might even get angry with yourself.

Conclusion

In this blog we presented to you a few tips that you can try out if you are unable to find a job and it is making you depressed.

We have also briefly discussed how unemployment impacts mental health and how job search fails can cause depression. 

FAQ related to unable to find a job depression

How do you deal with not finding a job?

Here are a few things that you can do to deal with not finding a job:

  • Get in touch with a career counsellor
  • Dont let the job search define you
  • Be organise in your efforts
  • Expand your skills
  • Stay social
  • Consider a new career

Does depression make it hard to get a job?

Yes, depression does make it hard to get a job because it might negatively impact your motivation to do the work required to job hunt and job search like applying, interviews, studying for tests etc. 

Why am I scared of getting a job?

A previous negative experience or event in the workplace can be one reason why you are afraid of getting a job. 

Another reason could be because you have anxiety about adjusting to a new place and with new people. 

Why are job interviews stressful?

Job interviews can be stressful, even if you have gone on a lot of them. The reason it is so stressful is usually because of our own beliefs about our own skills and abilities. 

A lot of the stress can come from the idea that if you do not land this job, you are a failure or that your life is over which is simply not true.

Can you get a job with depression?

Yes, you can get a job even if you have depression as long as you are able to manage the work and responsibilities and have the credentials to land the job.

No employer can fire you on the basis of your diagnosis of depression since it is protected by disability laws and you need to disclose your diagnosis during interviews.

References

Steps To Take When You’re Depressed and Can’t Find A Job. Supportive. Retrieved on 17th April 2022. https://www.supportiv.com/tools/steps-when-youre-depressed-and-cant-find-a-job

Maggie Wooll. Job search depression is real: Here’s how to overcome it. BetterUp. Retrieved on 17th April 2022. https://www.betterup.com/blog/job-search-depression

Micaela Marini Higgs. How to Deal With Job-Search Depression. The New York Times. Retrieved on 17th April 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/27/smarter-living/how-to-deal-with-job-search-depression.html

McGee RE, Thompson NJ. Unemployment and Depression Among Emerging Adults in 12 States, Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2010. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140451. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.140451external icon

Bhat, M.A., & Joshi, J.M. (2020). Impact of Unemployment on the Mental Health of Youth in the Kashmir Valley. Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy, 10, 1-7.

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