How to Overcome Job-Search Depression

How to Overcome Job-Search Depression

By Jack Kelly

Job hunting is hard, even during the best of times. In a tough market, it makes matters worse, and the pressure intensifies if you are in between roles. When you have been let go and haven’t secured a new job after some time, it’s natural that you’ll start feeling anxious, afraid and depressed.

The constant rejection and roller coaster ride of ups and downs wreak havoc on your mental health and emotional well-being. Countless days of scouring job boards, submitting résumés and not hearing back can make you feel drained, discouraged and despondent.

Job-search depression sets in and, if left unattended, can lead to negative consequences. However, there are ways to push back. Try to maintain a positive mindset. Take care of your physical and emotional health, seek social support and focus on what you can control. Summon up the strength to get up when knocked down, brush yourself off and forge ahead, knowing there will still be headwinds.

The Symptoms of Job-Search Depression

There are signs you should look out for when monitoring your mental health during this transition period. Symptoms of job-search depression include lacking motivation to apply for new roles, attending interviews thinking that it’s a futile waste of time and feeling defeated and worthless because all you’ve been receiving are rejections or getting ghosted.

If you are constantly worrying about the future, feeling fatigued, becoming socially withdrawn, getting easily irritated, losing interest in everything and ruminating over negative thoughts, it may be time to talk with someone.

Constant Rejection Takes A Toll

Unfortunately, job-search depression is a vicious cycle.Interviewers want to hire a person who is upbeat, positive and enthusiastic. They are looking for someone likable and who comes across as a winner. The problem is that constantly dealing with rejection makes it challenging to come across as confident. It’s understandable that after being ghosted so many times, it’s hard to summon the strength to keep going. The hiring manager will pick up on your negative vibe and your depleted self-confidence, and since there are so many other applicants, they’ll just move on to the next person.

It’s hard to handle rejection when worrying about your financial situation and how you’ll pay the bills, rent or mortgage. After submitting dozens of résumés and completing lengthy, annoying and glitchy applications every day without hearing back, it’s nearly impossible to stay positive. It’s devastating when you think you did exceptionally well in an interview and haven’t heard back after several weeks. If you’re stuck in the same role at work, and no one is giving you a chance, it’s hard to keep making it through the day.

What You Can Do Now

You are not alone, as nearly everyone has gone through what you’re dealing with. Almost anyone who has been in the workforce for any length of time has been rejected for a coveted role, lost out to an office rival for a lucrative promotion or got ghosted after a long series of interviews. Even the most successful people still deal with bouts of doubt and losing streaks.

If your actions aren’t working, it’s time to try something different. Refine and improve your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Consult with a career coach, mentor, résumé writer and recruiter to get their respective opinions. Ask them for their honest evaluation, constructive criticism and feedback. Process what they have to say and put into action the noted alterations.

If you haven’t done so already, start cultivating a network of people who can help you find the appropriate people at the target companies you’re interested in. Take a hard look at your social media footprint to ensure you haven’t posted content that casts you in a poor light. Prepare and practice an elevator pitch to be ready to sell yourself in a calm, cool and collected manner. Role-play frequently asked interview questions, so you’ll easily answer them. Have several questions at your ready when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Stop dwelling on the past. Shut the door on what has already happened and focus on the now. Start with a clean slate. Replace the negative feedback loop in your head with all of your great qualities, achievements and the times you’ve overcome obstacles. Slowly but surely, you’ll regain your confidence. Then, it will only be a matter of time until you finally get that great new job.

Jack Kelly is a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms

This article first appeared on the Forbes website

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