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Job search depression and how to overcome it

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 2 years ago

​​​Looking for a new job can be a frustrating and stressful experience at the best of times. Throw in a global pandemic, and it can be a miserable mission.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, many candidates have found opportunities and roles harder to come by. The financial implications of the pandemic have meant companies making cuts to staff and/or choosing not to hire during a time of uncertainty, meaning new opportunities are more limited.

And for those who have been able to apply for a vacancy, circumstances may mean it’s been harder to sell themselves; for example, some people might find it more difficult to come across as themselves when interviewing over the phone or a video call as opposed to in person.

Job search depression is a real thing

It’s true: a fruitless search for a new job can have a significant impact on your mental health, in some cases leading to depression, anxiety and stress.

Whilst there are many employees looking for new roles, there are also millions –almost 20 million in the US– that find themselves unemployed as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic. This unemployment status can quickly cause a rise in depression rates.

This larger pool of candidates looking for work also means intensified competition for roles (which are already harder to come by) – and so more and more people are tasting disappointment when trying to find work.

How to overcome job search depression

Though it can be difficult to see a way out of the situation – especially the longer it goes on – there are some steps you can take to combat the effects of a prolonged job search.

  • Review your resume to ensure it’s up to date and paints a great first impression of you. Even better, have a professional take a look at it as a fresh pair of eyes. They may be able to give you some pointers and tips on how to improve it.

  • Network with professionals in your industry, for example on LinkedIn or Slack groups. The exposure will help you get noticed and you’ll be able to learn a lot from your peers that may help you in your job search and your career

  • Broaden your horizons if your circumstances allow. For example, could you consider remote working jobs or even a relocation to land the role you want?

  • Upskill yourself by taking new qualifications or relevant industry courses to enhance your resume

  • Get feedback if you’re unsuccessful in a job application. Constructive feedback can help you improve your responses at your next interview and increase your chances of landing the job.

  • Talk to someone if you’re feeling the strain. Confiding in someone who can help you ease your burden and pick you up can be really helpful in maintaining your positivity and the desire to land the job you want.

Don’t give up!

When the going is tough and you’re feeling low, it can be tempting to end the search and just continue as you were. But if you’re in a role you’re not enjoying or you’re unable to progress, don’t give up.

You might be tempted to lower your expectations, perhaps by applying for a role you’re overqualified for. Sure, this might be a way of quickly landing a new job, but it can also be damaging for your career in the long run.

Instead, stick to finding a role at the right level that you know is the logical next step in your career. If you need a helping hand, our team of recruitment consultants can help you to narrow your search and find that dream role.