It’s hard to not get depressed in circumstances like these…yes, depression – the big “D” word that everyone knows exists, each of us have experienced it at some point in our lives, but no-one really likes to talk about too much.
When depression creeps into a lengthy job search, the effects are crippling and often devastating…it’s hard enough dealing with a loss of income and loss of job title.
I am not a certified counselor or psychologist, but my advice in this area comes from personal experience and it comes from the heart. Whether you are knee-deep in a job search, involuntarily unemployed or about to start a search on your own, here are a few things to keep in mind.
A) Get your mind prepped for the long haul: What often surprises most job seekers is how long the job search may actually take – yes, the opportunities exist, but in a competitive market where companies want to minimize their job search costs, it can take more than six months to a year.
B) Blame your executive resume, but don’t blame yourself: It’s hard to avoid doubting yourself and questioning your abilities when the job search seems to drag on and on. Before you start beating yourself up about your age, your degree, your experience or your places of employment, consider your online and offline brand presentation. Is your executive resume targeted? Is your LinkedIn profile complete?
C) Lose the online/computer addiction: Technology has transformed how we think and relate to others, but don’t become addicted to emails and online job portals as your only source for job opportunities. If your daily goals, include resume blasting and applying for 10 jobs each day, you are drowning yourself in the black hole.
D) Get uncomfortable, do it anyway: A former client of mine admitted to being uncomfortable with networking and even reaching out to people she knew to explore untapped job opportunities. As a confessed introvert (yes, I am!), I can relate, but I challenge myself to do it anyway…make a phone call, invite someone for coffee, hold your own networking meeting with employed colleagues, create your personal advisory team, just do it anyway.
E) Take a closer look at that bridge job: It could be a lateral move, a short-term consulting project, a part-time job or a new industry to offer your expertise…a paid job of course…you are not doing yourself or your career any justice by “volunteering” your expertise and skills.
F) Connect and stay connected to others: Your personal job situation may only affect you and your immediate family, but you are NOT the only one going through it. Find support groups through church, neighborhood, professional and other associations…the more you disconnect from others, the more you will become isolated and depressed.
To those of you still searching, still hoping and still trying, keep pushing and pushing until you reach success.