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Depression and Job Hunting Can be a Vicious Combination

March 18, 2024 Dawn Gressard

Looking for a new job is never easy, but depression while job hunting is even worse. Being unemployed at the same time is terrible, too. Unfortunately, I have experienced that in the last couple of years. Getting lost in the cumbersome tasks of revamping my resume and applying for jobs is dispiriting. Thus, it becomes easy for job hunting to cause my depression to set in quickly.

Depression Affects My Job-Hunting

The depression that is fueled by rejection and the monotony of job hunting is a deep-rooted one. Until I am offered a job, as hard as I fight off the defeated feelings, depression still lingers like a little devil on my shoulder, similar to the ones in cartoons. 

Once the depression sets in, I experience a flippant attitude and feeling of hopelessness that tend to co-exist with my depression. I do not care about perfecting my applications or motivating myself to apply for jobs. Yet, in the back of my mind, I know that if I don't submit multiple applications, I will never find new employment. As a result, I would not be able to support myself and my kids with even the basic needs. 

These thoughts then push me over the edge, and I begin my spiral into a dark space that is even more difficult to climb out of. Some of my lowest of lows have been precipitated by job hunting. Avoiding depression while job-hunting is tough. 

Coping Skills for Depression Caused by Job Hunting

One of the most important things to remember when searching for a job is to be proactive with coping skills. Admittedly, I need to remind myself of this at least once a week. It is easy to get lost in the virtual world of job boards. I have been down many rabbit holes when scrolling through employment postings. 

My coping skills for job-seeking while depressed have to be strong. For instance, I will play relaxing music in the background while I work. Other examples are taking short breaks throughout the process or having sweet snacks on hand while sprucing up my resume.

Regardless, there are times when even my most solid coping skills are not enough. This is when I need to be mindful and know I must walk away. I must close the laptop and put it away for the rest of the day to recalibrate my emotional energy. 

All in all, one of the most humbling experiences of my 40s has been job hunting with depression. My age is a factor, and the skills I thought I excelled at need improvement. I sometimes look back at my education and skills experience and wonder why I am not getting interviews. Job hunting has tested my coping skills. Some days are better than others.

I would love to hear if any of you have advice or coping skills you have used to avoid becoming depressed when job hunting. 

APA Reference
Gressard, D. (2024, March 18). Depression and Job Hunting Can be a Vicious Combination, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2024/3/depression-and-job-hunting-can-be-a-vicious-combination



Author: Dawn Gressard

Dawn Gressard is a freelance Veterans Affairs benefits, mental health wellness, and suicide prevention writer and a trainer of a peer-supported suicide prevention and crisis intervention program. Find Dawn on X, Instagram, LinkedIn, and her personal blog.

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