Thursday, December 30, 2010

What to Do About Depression When Your Job Search Stalls

In hard economic times such as we face today, it's easy to fall into depression if your job search isn't producing results. I asked job search advisor and author, Lavie Margolin, what a struggling job seeker can do to avoid or get out of depression? Here's his answer:

It is important not to forgot to do things for yourself in order to relieve stress and anxiety during a potentially difficulty time. For example:

Take a morning walk to get some fresh air and reset your circadian rhythm. We forget that part of our daily work routine was the commute to work, the stroll to the subway or bus, and the time it took to walk to the job. These brief moments in the sun are extremely helpful for charging your batteries for the rest of the day.

Do some work outside your apartment. When you get anxious after staring at job listings on the computer screen for a few hours, change your setting. If you have a laptop, work on your cover letter or resume revisions at Starbucks or the local bookstore chain.

Take some time to relax and enjoy your pastimes. When one does not have a consistent income, they often have to cut back on doing things that they enjoy, whether this is going to restaurants, movies or baseball games. Take a realistic approach to your financial needs. If you can afford it, continue to do one to two things a week that are not necessities and that you really enjoy.

Making sure to take care of yourself and your needs will help you in your job search. You will be more relaxed when interviewing.

Lavie Margolin is the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. His blog is Lion Cub Job Search.


Anonymous said...


Having been unemployed myself, I realize the importance of maintaining a semblance of a lifestyle. For me, the most difficult thing about being unemployed was not the financial situation (although, it certainly was hard); it was the emotional strain on my family and me.

One other thing I'd suggest is seeing the time you spend with family as something you won't have again when you land your next job.

You must believe that you will land a job in the near future...don't give up hope. Without hope, your chances of finding rewarding work is slim to none.

Great topic.

Bob McIntosh

Lavie Margolin said...

Dear Bob,

Thank you for your insight. I am sure your words will be helpful to many readers.



Patricia Frame said...

All good ideas. Exercise is tough but critical to combating depression so fit in a walk or climb stairs indoors in bad weather or do some other free exercise you enjoy.

And remember to keep up your networking - talking to folks, having a coffee, helping a neighbor - all give you some positive chances to help another. And to help yourself.

Sri Harsha said...

One of the important things during the job hunt is to be with successful people, who take things positively and do not indulge in negativity or show excessive self-pity. During the job search, one should strive not be melodramatic, but be very practical and stay focused.

Terri B. said...

Hi Lavie,

As a currently unemployed designer, I have found taking classes at a local community college helpful for developing new skills and for making new networking connections as well. With many grants and tuition assistance programs, it is possible to afford classes while maintaining a tight budget. In addition, I have found part-time employment through the college which has been helpful in combating depression and isolation. Thanks for tackling this tough issue...

Terri B. said...

Hi Lavie,

As an unemployed designer, I have found it helpful taking classes at a local community college where I have developed new skills and grown my personal network. With many grants and tuition assistance programs available, it's possible to take a few classes and still adhere to a tight budget. In addition, I have found part-time employment at the college which has helped with the depression and isolation associated with a stagnant job search. Thanks for addressing this tough, but very real, issue...

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