5 Ways to Survive Job Search Depression

Having trouble finding work can take a toll on your mental health, with anxiety and depression being two potential symptoms of job search depression. But there are things you can do to make the process easier—and more importantly, to prevent these symptoms from developing in the first place. The following five tips can help you fight job search depression and keep yourself feeling good as you look for your next job opportunity.

1) Evaluate your current situation

Before you can determine how to improve your situation, it’s important to evaluate what’s going on right now. Think about which emotions you’re feeling (like anxiety, stress, and depression), and then think about what caused them. Be as detailed as possible in your answer; avoid generalizations or broad statements.

2) Get motivated by setting goals

Having goals can be a strong motivator and provide much-needed clarity about your career path. If you set short-term and long-term objectives, you will have a clear picture of what you need to do to achieve these results.

3) Focus on your skills

If you’re feeling depressed because you haven’t found a job yet, one of your main focuses should be on ensuring that you have as many skills as possible. You can never have too many skills, so go back to school if you need to, start freelancing, or take up some new hobbies. The more things you can do—and do well—the more attractive and valuable you will be in a job market. Remember: You are what you can do for others.

4) Don’t look at others’ success

Research suggests that one of the most detrimental things you can do is compare yourself to other people. If a friend has a new job and you don’t, remind yourself that he or she could be wishing they were in your shoes. The grass is rarely greener on the other side—it’s your responsibility to fertilize and water it so that it grows for you

5) Take care of yourself

Job searching is a roller coaster—one day, you’re ecstatic that someone wants to interview you, and then another day, you’re bummed out because you didn’t get hired. These ups and downs can be tough on your mental health.

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