Hunting for a job is not, despite what people may tell you, fun, exciting or a world of opportunities; but there are things you can do to help you when you’re dealing with job-search depression. The majority of us have been affected by the recession, and now it may feel like you’re never going to get the job you want. I feel like that every day. So, from someone who knows far more about this subject than she would like to, here are the ways I deal with job-search depression.
1. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
There are few things more harmful to your self-esteem than endless rejections; it’s one of the worst things about dealing with job-search depression. It can pretty quickly start to feel like a horribly personal rejection of yourself, your ability and your ambition. But it isn’t. If you take each ‘no’ to heart, you’re quickly going to lose confidence in yourself and this won’t help your job search. Hundreds of other people who applied for the same job will also be sitting feel dejected after receiving the same email as you. Write it off, learn from the experience and move on.
Job-hunting will be easier if you have a routine. Don’t get into the habit of lazing around in bed all day, or you’ll just feel even more depressed. Get up at a reasonable time, and work out a timetable of when you’ll be job-hunting. Set a reasonable target of how many applications you’ll do each day, bearing in mind that some applications will take entire days to finish. You’ll feel more productive if you have a schedule and you won’t get confused about your applications.
3. THINK outside the BOX
Don’t just go onto the job sites online. Do that, by all means, but remember the majority of jobs aren’t even publicly advertised. Try looking in national and regional newspapers, go to recruitment agencies and talk to a living, breathing human being rather than a machine (you’ll feel better for it) or work on any connections you may have who could potentially help you out. Even if they can’t give you a job, they may be able to sort you out with an internship or work experience to bulk up your CV.
4. TALK to PEOPLE
It’s all too easy to become a job-hunting recluse. You probably have no money, because you don’t have a job, and little motivation to actually get out of the house and do something. But trawling job sites all day, every day, isn’t healthy. Everyone needs a break. Or at least a change of scenery – met up with friends in similar positions and help each other search, or take any opportunity you can get to talk to people who have experience in your industry – just by meeting them for a one-off coffee, you could receive personal advice you aren’t going to get anywhere else.
You hear success stories all the time about out-of-work people who took their break as an opportunity to work on something they’ve always wanted to do – and somehow they’ve ended up as millionaires/artists/authors/entrepreneurs etc. Why couldn’t that be you? Okay, so you don’t have to end up as an multi-award-winning author or a trillionaire, but you could make enough money to tide you over and you could have fun doing it.
6. DON'T WASTE TIME
If you're looking for a job, you may have more time on your hands than you're normally accustomed to. Don't waste the opportunity - if your CV is looking a little bare, use some of the free time you have to do some volunteering. You'll probably be surprised at the amount of experience you can gain through volunteering, and there are so many different options; whether that's helping out in a drama club or local theatre, working with disadvantaged kids or becoming a volunteer policeman, there's a whole world out there!
7. BELIEVE in YOURSELF
Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. There are millions of people out there – smart, driven, incredibly talented people – who are in exactly the same situation as you. Your difficulty in finding a job shouldn’t correlate with your sense of self-worth. Besides, if you don’t believe in yourself, how are you going to convince anyone else to either?
When you're job-searching, you can end up feeling trapped and lonely. I hope these tips help to send you on your way to more optimistic searching, and hopefully your dream job! What is your advice for staying positive through unemployment?