Tuesday, September 15, 2009

6 Ways to Beat Depression in a Recession

Nobody said it was going to be easy to get a job or navigate a career path; but who knew it was going to be so hard? On top of a tough job search during a recession, you have to beat off depression.

It's not all your fault
Most of what's going wrong with your job search probably has nothing to do with your professional performance. In fact, most of it is out of your control, stuff like:
  • The national and global economy
  • Industry shifts
  • Unforeseen personal and public disasters
How to fight the recession depression
Despite all that's beyond your control, there are steps you can take to make the best of things, in addition to looking for a job. Here's a list of ideas, which I bet you can add to:
  • Be generous. Give your time and money if possible to causes you believe in. If you don't have time or money, be generous with your kindness. Even a smile can lift someone you meet, and will add a little sunshine to your day.
  • Stay involved. Keep up on your professional and personal passions by volunteering, reading, discussing, and networking about things you sincerely care about. It's important to have a sense of purpose.
  • Nurture community. Spend quality time with your family, friends, and associates, realizing that these are difficult times for most people. Your circle needs you, and you'll gain benefit from their company as well.
  • Be a teacher. Find someone who could benefit from your knowledge or expertise, and mentor him. You'll not only enrich his life, you'll build your self-confidence.
  • Be a student. Find something you want to learn and go about doing just that. Whether you do independent research, attend a class, or invite a mentor into your life, learning will keep your spirits up.
  • Get outside. Even a short walk in the park, trip downtown, or drive in the country can expand your perspective. By looking outside your immediate world, you'll see your problems aren't the only reality. There are things to smile about, be grateful for, and look forward to. It's the old "glass half empty or full" concept.
While you're working hard at finding a new job, take care of yourself. If you have extra time on your hands, fill it with constructive projects that will keep you mentally, socially, and physically active. If this isn't enough to beat your depression, be sure to talk to someone (a friend, counselor, or doctor) to see what help they can offer.


Rob of ResumePro Plus said...

Buy a dog! As much as I REALLY mean that, I say it only for fun. I do however have a more serious suggestion.

Similar to the effects of “be a teacher” and “be a student” is get in front of people who care. It’s wonderful when you do. Here are a couple of thoughts:

Research where you think you may be marketable; and goodness, if you want to float 6 inches off the ground that’s ok too. Today researching has a snowballing affect. You may surprise yourself with all the new ideas that just pour onto your screen. Next, share your findings with your friends and let them take over – sharing and shaping with you the ideas you bring to the table. This will result in some better ideas or additional ideas or both! People like to help others, they just don’t always know how; tell them how (bring them your new ideas) and they will! Hey…there’s nothing like it when there’s a need to recognize once again your self-worth.

Once you begin to feel your self-worth, and relevancy, you are farther down the path to your new job!

Susan Ireland said...

Thank you so much, Rob. Great points!

Anonymous said...

These are great suggestions, though I like the "get a dog" one best, because, well, I have a dog and he keeps me very happy. But seriously I would also add to your list, "Don't drown your sorrows in shopping." Now is not the time to indulge in "shopper-tainment." If anything, embrace your inner frugalista so that when you do get back in the job game, you're on top financially, too. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Volunteering is a wonderful way to help others, lift your own spirits, fill in resume experience/skill gaps, feel competent and useful, and network.

Much good comes from volunteering!

Jeff Lipschultz said...

I'm a big fan of the "get outside" option. Here's a list of my top ten reasons to take up biking during a job search:

Best of luck!

Susan Ireland said...

Great additions to the list, gang.

Jeff, I tweeted your top ten reasons to take up biking during a job search. Thank you!

Alex said...

The post is inspirational and the suggestions are very hopeful. I was very much depressed when I lost my previous job. Even it is not my fault. I was so depressed, but I am not a kind of person with negative mind. I desperately wanted to come out. All I need at that time was support and continuous effort and I got it in the form of beat depression