Searching for a new job can be a full-time job, it’s thankless, tiring — and, yes, a depressing task. Searching for roles, filling out applications, networking, tailoring endless versions of your curriculum vitae to each potential job, interviewing, handling rejections — the entire process can be so overwhelming and can leave you feeling unwanted, dejected and sad. In line with this, we share 6 tips to avoid job search depression.
Staying emotionally healthy during such a turbulent time requires patience, positivity and stamina. You need to have patience with the process and make sure your expectations are realistic. Your entire professional life right now is focused on finding a new job, but the recruiters, hiring managers, people in your network — they aren’t on the same timeline you are. Try to strike the balance between timely follow-up and constant pestering, because you can risk alienating people.
The power of positive thinking
Try and stay positive as much as possible and remember to maintain a good balance between work and life, just as you would with any other full-time job. Regular exercise, volunteer work, spending quality time with friends and family in addition to networking and making career connections can help keep your spirits up.
Stay the course
Stamina and perseverance are important in any job search. Even in IT, where many hot, in-demand talent is snapped up quickly, there are some roles or positions that might require an extended job search. Pace yourself, network, keep your skills up-to-date and don’t give up. This can be a long road and a more intense process than you expect, but you have to keep going.
Don’t settle for less than the best
Remember, too, that you shouldn’t settle for less. If you’re being selective — as you should be; this is your career we’re talking about — the search process might take longer than expected. And if you’ve been committed to it, you’ve logged a lot of hours and poured a lot of energy into the process. So, when an offer comes in for a job that doesn’t match what you set out to find, part of you may want to accept it just so the process can be over with. Don’t give in to that temptation. The decisions that you make as a job seeker have both short-term and long-term implications on your job security and earning potential. It’s critical that you have the resolve to stick with it until you find the right fit.
Asking for help
If despite these efforts, you find yourself spiraling downward and your job search blues seem much more serious, it can be beneficial to ask for professional help and that’s OK. There shouldn’t be any shame involved. If the depression, anxiety and hopelessness are taking over and you’re just unable to get out of your own head, if you’re feeling worthless and without purpose, that’s a red flag–these are issues that should be addressed with the help of medical professionals. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
By Damilola Faustino
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