Looking for a new job can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The very thought of landing a new opportunity breeds optimism; most job seekers look forward to the fresh start a new role brings. But what if the job search doesn’t go as planned? What if days of job seeking quickly turn into weeks with no offers? What if weeks then lead to months of fruitless searching? For many job seekers, this is an all too common scenario that often leads to a sense of hopelessness. Consider the following tips for overcoming job hunt blues:
Create a routine. When you’re unemployed, it can be tempting to let your schedule become erratic. One of the keys to avoiding the job hunt blues, however, is to keep your days structured and organized just as you did when you were working. In fact, it’s a good idea to treat your job search as your full-time job. Set an alarm in the morning, get showered and dressed, and let the search begin.
Volunteer. Volunteering can help you overcome job hunt depression in two important ways: first, it gets you out of the house and allows you to interact with people. Secondly, it helps you maintain your skills or develop new ones. Remember, volunteer work is also a valid addition to your resume; it shows that you took initiative to bridge gaps in employment with meaningful activities.
Exercise. Exercise impacts both physical and mental health in positive ways. In fact, exercise can be one of the most powerful weapons you have against job search depression. That’s because exercise provides the body with an endorphin boost, which floods the body with positive feelings. So, make sure to carve out some time each day for physical activity when you’re creating your job hunt routine.
Don’t take it personally. Let’s face it: no one enjoys rejection. When you’re caught up in what seems like an endless stream of rejections during the job search process, it can quickly become demoralizing. What’s important to realize, however, is that hundreds of other candidates likely received the same rejection message each time you get a “thanks but no thanks” from a potential employer. Learning to view rejection as part of the search process and not an attack on you personally is critical to avoiding job hunt depression.
Seek professional help. Honestly, if you suffer from clinical depression, a blog post with chipper tips isn’t really going to help you. Depression is real and can only be diagnosed and treated by medical professionals. Even if you’re short on cash, there are agencies that can help. If you think that you might have depression, please don’t hesitate to tell someone.