Job Search Depression Is Real, And We Need to Talk About It

Job search depression is a real thing, and it’s not something you should take lightly. Stress from job-seeking has been linked to emotional and mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Having someone to talk to during your job search gives you much-needed emotional support.

overcoming job search depression

Whether internal or external, pressure can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. People who are passionate about what they do are more likely to succeed in finding a job and perform well when they have a job that’s right for them. Just as you consider the position’s hours, workload, wages, employee benefits, location, and so on, they have certain qualities they’re looking for.

Cultivate a support system

Unfortunately, job searches can be grueling—even without the added challenge of dealing with depression. And those initial feelings of excitement may fade; they did for Mulvihill. Shut the door on what has already happened and focus on the now. Replace the negative feedback loop in your head with all of your great qualities, achievements and the times you’ve overcome obstacles. Then, it will only be a matter of time until you finally get that great new job.

  • In 2020, an estimated 21 million adults in the U.S.—about 8.4% of all U.S. adults—had at least one major depressive episode, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
  • You are not alone, as nearly everyone has gone through what you’re dealing with.
  • In fact, the Americans With Disabilities Act considers clinical depression a protected disability, which means you can’t legally be discriminated against because of your depression.
  • This can have an impact on both your mental health and your job prospects, Mr. Witters said.

You might not feel like you’ll be in a position to have options to decline an offer that isn’t the perfect fit for you. Feeling hopeless about your job search can stem from applying for jobs that aren’t right for you. You might not have the right skills for the job you’re applying for. Preventing job search depression and managing the emotional toll of interviews, rejection, and fear can be challenging, but some strategies can help.

Set realistic goals

Depression is extreme sadness or despair that lasts more than days. It interferes with the activities of daily life and can even cause physical pain. Besides pressure from those around you, the pressure you put on yourself can cause you to have unrealistic expectations. And when you don’t meet them, you’ll only harbor more mental and physical stress, as well as burnout and physical exhaustion. If you’re having a hard time prioritizing your health during your job search, go one step further and ask a loved one to act as your accountability partner, Mr. Witters suggested.

overcoming job search depression