I am unemployed and depressed, how can I stop depression from affecting my job search?

153 Answers
Last Updated: 10/05/2019 at 2:41pm
I am unemployed and depressed, how can I stop depression from affecting my job search?
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India
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Shruti Naik, MS in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Psychologist

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Top Rated Answers
Jedda - Expert in Work Stress
November 2nd, 2014 10:01am
Being depressed while you are unemployed is the worst. If you are also socially isolated or being excluded from social contact then you have just about the worst situation. Not only is is difficult for you to remain motivated in your job search, you also have very few people around who can support you or encourage you and your morale is at an all time low in this doubley negative situation. It is really hard to stop yourself from continuing with a negative frame of mind if you are also being unsuccessful in your job searching, but, dont give up. There are lots of things you can do luckily. One thing which is really useful is to take a volunteer role, one or two days per week for at least 4-6 weeks. Doing this should help to re-inforce that you have suitable work skills, not only to potential employers but to yourself. If everything around you is really dragging you down, you need something to lift you up! Volunteering is a good way to make a new network of friends, feel that you are useful and contributing to the world, and keep an ear out about paying jobs. It should help you take an edge off that depression too. As per usual treatments for depression, regular sleep, exercise and a good diet will help. Try to avoid further isolating yourself and doing depressing things like watching tv all day or staying in bed all day, keep a usual daily schedule.
OceanWaves23 - Expert in Work Stress
December 11th, 2015 1:24pm
In the past i have been unemployed and depressed, but the problem at the time was that i didnt know i was depressed, nor did any of my friends or family! i stayed awake all night watching crappy tv and playing video games, and i would wake up in the middle of the afternoon the next day and repeat this process every day except for when i had to go to the job centre to sign on! My parents just called me lazy, most of friends had jobs during the week and partied/socialised at the weekend, but i couldnt join in because i had no money or was too busy sleeping!............ a new job, meeting new people, having to speak positively about myself, some of my biggest fears all in one go!... how do you get yourself out of that cycle? there is no answer, one day i just woke up and thought "this is no way to live, I need to beat this!" i called a good friend i knew from school and explained the cycle i was in. He was in a great position himself, steady relationship, good job etc, but still took time out to help me develop my CV and suggested i enroll in business college with a work placement, this is the route he had taken so gave me all the help i needed.... It was still a struggle and made me very anxious but i found a way to block it out, i joined a new college and made some new friends along with a work placement..... i never looked back, my apologies for the cliche but you really do have to face your fears and you will be rewarded in the long term! .... i owe a lot to my friend and i wish there was a way i could thank him, but i also know deep down that i had to take the first step of a very long road on my own and i have never looked back and been in permanent employment now for over 15 years!
AfactorDJ
January 16th, 2016 11:31pm
As an employer I interview potential new employees almost every week. Typically people focus on their resume and how they dress, talk, etc. Most of the time the resume is just a piece of paper that I reference for their experience, what I'm really looking for in a new employee is self confidence. I look for confidence, happiness and honesty. If you can radiate all three of those you'll be surprised how your interviews with potential employers will go much better. Good luck
TheBuddy
August 13th, 2016 1:57pm
I think it's important to realize you are not alone. Millions of people have been in your position and have overcome. Your worth is not dependent on your job status. You are valuable with or without a job. Keep focusing on getting a job but don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself. The right job will show up at the right time. It's just a temporary state and life will always get better!
Anonymous
December 27th, 2014 11:00pm
I would instead ask, "how can you not let your job search exacerbate your depression?" It's really important to take care of yourself. Job hunting requires a ton of energy and drive--things that are hard to come by when feeling depressed. Limit your searches to a few hours each day--not all day and all night. And if you're coming up empty handed, do even less: like once a week. When you do apply for jobs, reward yourself with something nice and healthy! You deserve it.
Anonymous
October 21st, 2016 11:28pm
Unemployment and depression can create a vicious cycle, because being unemployed can cause depression, and depression can stop you from looking for a job. To avoid geting stuck in that cycle, one of the best things is to do is to have a schedule at home, the same way you would have at a job. Set a time of the day for doing dishes, another for laundry, making your bed, etc., and most important, set a time of the day when you focus on job searching, it can be for 1 or 2 hours a day, up to you! Find a reason to get out from your house even for a 10 minute walk every day, and always remember that the first heroic action of us all is deciding to get up in the morning and face the challenges of the new day. Blessings and good luck!!
kjaaquinn1
February 11th, 2016 1:49am
Eat well. Love Strong. Forget the past and believe in the future. You are the only one who controls it!
Anonymous
November 11th, 2014 2:18am
Depressed because you are unemployed. You should think positive from here and on. It might take some time looking for a job, but you'll eventually get something out of your search. Just be patient.
Chinchillin
January 1st, 2016 5:31am
Depression and job search are a terrible combination. The loss of income and employment makes it really hard to be happy. First, you can identify the kind of work that will make you happy. Even if you don't think you will get a job in that field, just the act of pursuing something you would love can give you the motivation to get cover letters written, resumes completed, references set up, etc. Once you have those done for your "dream jobs", you'll at least have an easier time submitting applications for everything else because you'll already have the documents you need. This will also help work through your depression a bit because you're focusing on things that you want to do. Second, understand that even though "looking for work" is a full time job, like any job, there is a risk of burnout. Don't kid yourself into thinking that you can apply for jobs 12 hours a day, every day. Take breaks. Set realistic goals. Third, make sure you set time aside for normal "after work" activities such as talking with friends, getting their input into your situation, networking, etc. Most often, the best job leads come from people that you know or friends of friends. Put yourself in a position to meet them. Fourth, find places where you can work. When I lost my job, and found myself wasting too much time at home, I began going to Starbucks, and to the library- places where I could more easily focus and get work done. The idea is to get yourself into better environments that are more conducive to getting things done. Fifth, get a part time job, or volunteer. Do something that keeps you active and engaged in the community. Again, you may feel that this is counterproductive to your job search, but it's actually helpful in several ways: it gets you busy, it helps you keep a normal schedule, it helps you meet people who can help you, it puts some money in your pocket, and it helps to demonstrate a consistent work history. These are all great and important things both for finding your dream job, and also for battling your depression.
HattieMae
January 2nd, 2015 8:30pm
First, off. I'm sorry you feel that way. But please remember that emotion is one that every person feels at one point or another. If your depression is impeding your life in a significant way, please seek professional help. Trying certain techniques found on this websites self-help guide for depression might help you. They are amazing for combating that negative thinking that might hurt you doing your job search. In any rate, asking for help by asking others or looking for resources yourself is the best way to overcome this…. Stay strong my friend!
StrangerLendingSmiles
November 16th, 2014 6:42pm
There are ups and downs in life.. I know this may be sounding similar as other people must have saod it. Many times...but remember you have potentials.. things will work out... trustme... gather confidence nd do a job of your satisfaction....
Pandette
September 18th, 2014 12:18am
Depression can be a tricky and nasty little issue to tackle head on. Do you know what is causing the depression? From personal experience, it really does help to figure out what caused it and work up from there. If you try to ignore it, it won't go away. It can come back and be much stronger than before. What about keeping a daily journal to see what effects you the most on a day to day basis? Taking little steps can really help and in the end, help with your job search. Also, try to remember the things you once loved and look for a career that focuses on that! You never know what you may find.
guidamaximo
November 11th, 2014 2:36pm
I understand your life is not what you wanted it to be, but you have the power to change that, and once you achieve your goals you will feel much happier, try to see the experience with the most positive eyes you can. When searching for the job show that you are a nice person, that wants to work and is trying to change her life, I know you can do it! If you feel deeply depressed you should consider in searching a speacialist, there is nothing wrong in asking for help! Good luck :`)
SpaceMermaid21
December 10th, 2015 3:42pm
I've been through this, it was one of the hardest experiences I have ever had to go through because I was fired from my previous job which depressed me more. Tell a friend, a close one. They will motivate you and help you. Listen to them, push through!
wishfulParadise27
December 9th, 2015 2:13am
With unemployment and without a purpose (or the inability to provide for the family/self, I fell into depression after 4 months unemployed. i was laid off from my job and in the first 3 months, I was looking around, but the feeling is that I got my well deserved sabbatical. But after a few rejection from interviews into the 4 months, I started to feel depressed. I always keep the thoughts at bay, keeping myself active through exercise, spend time with the family, have positive thoughts. There is going to be a job that I can apply my skill sets to. Keep these activities / thoughts. As it will show during the interview that you are eager to move on to the next step in your career.
Anonymous
January 1st, 2016 12:19pm
one of the most negative things about being unemployed that feeds depression in this situtaion is the lack of routine, so try to keep a healthy routine for your day to day life .
OpenAndHonest - Expert in Work Stress
July 17th, 2016 1:52am
Trying to have a positive outlook on your current situation will help you succeed in your search for employment. The mask we all wear on the outside no matter how we feel on the inside is the first thing people will notice, as sad as that fact might be, it is true. Just remember that everyone goes through hard times in their life and while it may sometimes feel like the world is working against you, just keep in mind that you are a good and caring individual with lots to offer, to not only a business that hires you, but to the whole world. Ever here that saying "a butterfly flaps it's wings, and across the earth a hurricane forms"? Well it is true for yourself aswell, while it may feel like you are not accomplishing much at this moment in time, every little thing counts. Having someone to talk to about what is currently going on is very important to help understand why you feel this way, and help to take the right steps in healing. And always remember, to someone out there, whether it be a family member or a friend, you are important to them and you bring joy in their life, in one way, shape or form.
AgusD96
October 25th, 2014 5:21pm
First of all, identify the cause of your depresion and then do what it suits you best to get distracted. That way you'll keep depression of your mind and will be able to search for a job.
ItsTheSheppy
June 18th, 2016 2:07pm
Treat you job search as if it were a job in itself. Wake up early for work. Dress like you're at work. For 8 hours, devote all of your efforts for job searching. Take the same breaks you would take as if you were at work. If you treat job searching like a job, then it feels like you're at work. It will make you feel productive, which is vital for mental health. You may find the job search goes better, as you will put in more applications, try harder, and present yourself more professionally.
nadi18
January 3rd, 2016 3:22am
always think good thoughts. Never put yourself down. Amazing things can happen in an instant so don't lose hope and believe there isn't anything out there for you
SashaK
April 22nd, 2016 2:34am
Try to imagine what kind of new possibilities you will have when you finally land a job, and how it would feel, and behave as if it has already happened. Especially when going to the job interviews - imagine that you're already there.
contentedDew80
December 9th, 2015 6:07am
We need to look at the loss of employment as a do over in our journey. I have been in this boat for over a year now and find that I am now able to look for a position I really want and one that will make me happy. So each day you have to look at it as a fresh start. Try to remember your worthy and will find another position.
Usagichan
January 24th, 2016 10:58pm
From personal experience of being unemployed for an extended period of time, I found the best way to stop depression from affecting my job search was to explore new hobbies. Try an Adult Coloring book. They are surprisingly therapeutic and can inspire you. Going to the gym or trying at home exercises can increase your endorphins and boost your self esteem.
Greatlistener87
December 10th, 2015 1:53am
The only time when you have truly failed is when you give up. Depression comes when you have low confidence and self esteem because of the rejection caused by your work/job search.You need to make sure to stay focus until the job that is really meant for you and the people who sees the potential that you have hires you.
Anonymous
December 17th, 2015 11:17pm
You have to realize that being depressed won't solve your financial issues. In order for you to get a good job you must take action and not even take the time to consider failure or negative things. Understand that you are in control of your life, and you will only feel depressed if you allow it to happen. We all know how depression makes everything much harder, but you have to take responsibility for everything that happens to you. You are the one who chooses the way you respond to situations, you have to take action. Whatever it is that makes you depressed, remember that even if things don't go as you planned, everything will be fine.
Anonymous
April 16th, 2016 12:06am
I'm sorry. I'm in the same position and it is very hard. What I try to do is think positively about what will be coming for me in the future if I can maintain my positive attitude. I like to think about how much I've done and achieved already so as not to beat up on myself for not following the cultural norm (e.g. working). This doesn't mean I don't want to work; it just means I'm doing a different type of work: healing. I wish you all the best!
rainbowstar
August 26th, 2016 3:54pm
Many of us go to these situations in life... depression due to unemployment... it affects negatively on job search. Having positive attitude helps for job search. Few things you can do is.. stop thinking all the time about it.. plan sometime of a day for job search. Develope your job skills or join some extra course.. it will boost your confidence at some level... do some activity in free time.. give time for your hobbies. Meet freinds..these involvement in other things in life helps to reduce anxiety and depression
niceAngel77
June 10th, 2016 10:58pm
I've been in the same situation, and it is extremely difficult to concentrate on what you need to do. You will follow where your mind goes, so what I have done is just decide on small tasks at first. Taking on too much pushes one back to feel overwhelmed, which can further your depression.
Candid0211
April 15th, 2016 12:30pm
Every night when you go to sleep choose how you would like to feel the next day. And say it out loud. So for example if the next day you would like to feel upbeat and positive and get lot of interview calls. Then say that to yourself last thing before you sleep and you will be suprised how well it works. Keep believing
Uniqueg
October 23rd, 2014 9:12pm
Maybe you need to deal with your depression first, seek help and some techniques (info, skills,coping mechanisms) that can help you deal with your depression while you search for a job!