Spring Out of Job Search Depression

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I don’t need a lot of “Likes” to know that this post will help some VIPs (Very Important Professionals). This is for those of you who feel like you’ve been forgotten.

Before we begin, please note that I am not a doctor or a therapist, and this should not be perceived as medical advice.


Sudden job loss can thrust the best of us into the unfamiliar terrain of depression and feelings of unworthiness. This is normal and I repeat, there is nothing wrong with you if you feel this way. Similar to the way soldiers battling PTSD aren’t expected to simply tough it out, job-loss-related depression is real and you can’t always shake it off.

But there are some very practical things you can do to loosen the grips of post-layoff depression on your life:

1. GET BUSY - Brian Tracy says in his book, No Excuses, that “the more you discipline yourself, the greater is your sense of self-respect and personal pride…the better is your self-image…you think about yourself in a more positive way.” I know how terribly difficult it is to initially snap out of it, but doing so will begin a momentous journey of returning to your former glory. Starting a new routine is hard (ever tried convincing yourself to get back to the gym?), but once you start, each subsequent step becomes a little easier. I’m not asking you to conquer the world, only to begin by getting up.

2. GO AT YOUR PACE - Some job seekers may be able to put in 13-hour job search days, but you may need to start with four hours. I often have to convince myself that slow progress is still progress. Baby steps are worthwhile.

3. GET DRESSED - Just being clean and presentable can make you feel better. Get out of those PJs and put on some work clothes because you have work to do. But don’t stop there. Wear bright, energizing colors because they do absolutely affect your mood and outlook. While you’re cleaning yourself up, you may want to pay attention to your space. If your house/workspace is a mess, it will be worth the initial time investment to tidy up. Having a clear, de-cluttered area can/will help you focus and feel good about yourself.

4. TAKE BREAKS - Maybe you can’t stay in the zone for longer than 30 minutes at a time. So take a break. You would have taken plenty of breaks at work, so why demand more of yourself than any employer would? We are not machines and we need to regroup and get recharged. So, if you need to, take a walk, a run, mindlessly watch a little TV, read a book, or perhaps play an app-based game on your smartphone. Distractions can be good, but keep these in check. For me, having someone check on me helps. I’ll tell my hubby to call me in 30 minutes so I can be accountable to someone.

5. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP - Just because your search isn’t moving as fast as others, that is not your problem. You are dealing with an added layer of complexity that they may not be facing. Run YOUR race.

6. DO FOR OTHERS - As I often say, doing things for others (volunteering, serving, holding the door open for others, offering to put someone’s grocery cart away, etc…) can give you a brief moment of pause where you forget about your own woes. Give it a try. No bad can come out of giving!

As I said in Crush the Pink Slip: Get Back to Work in 60 Days, my own depression was very real. Lying on the couch for months was my story following my own layoff…I aim to help you change your narrative if you feel stuck, unworthy, or otherwise rejected in this harsh, new job search climate. You are not alone and there are resources that can help you:

1. Open Phones - click here for information 

2. Free Consultation - click here to schedule

3. If you’re in the Phoenix area - Career Connectors

4. Job Search Ministries in your area. - click here to find resources close to you.

You haven’t lost who you are; only a mere title was removed from your life. You’re still the same awesome person you always were.


Yes, you are dealing with mental hurdles, and although you have no real knowledge of how to conduct a modern job search…the good news is, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  You are better at your job than me, and I’m better at my job than you. So schedule your free 30-minute encouraging, get-back-to-work strategy session with me. Click here to begin and I’ll talk to you soon.

Written by Brenda M. Cunningham: The one who will tell you like it is and help you get to where you want to be in your career.  To learn more about our career services, visit us at www.pushcareermanagement.com