5 Ways to Overcome Depression When You Can’t Find a Job

If you’re depressed because you’re unemployed, you’re not alone. Here, therapist and writer Heddi Zalamar offers tips for fighting the blues when you don’t have a job and are worried that you’ll never work again…

First, did you know that we’re ALL entrepreneurs – even when we work for someone else?  A few years ago, I read an article on a jobs and careers website that said no matter where we work we should always, always act alike entrepreneurs.

“Acting like an entrepreneur” includes networking (making and keeping friends in your field), acting professionally at work, keeping your credentials and training up to date, and remembering that unemployment can happen even to the most dedicated, skilled employee. The economy can make or break our careers, unfortunately.

But even so, we’re not powerless! And that’s what these tips for getting through employment will show you. Even better, they’ll help you overcome the depression that often accompanies not being able to find work.

Another thing to consider is your financial future. Even if you don’t have an income right now, read 10 Tips for Achieving Financial Goals – Beyond “Use Cash”. It’ll get you in the right mindset.

5 Ways to Overcome Depression When You Can’t Find a Job

Unemployment, whether or not by choice, is a huge challenge for anyone used to working consistently for years. Being a part of the “rat race” becomes normal. And when you’re not running it, adjustment can be hard.

These five ways to make the best of unemployment will help you take the time you need to make the best choices for your career path.

Connect with your network

Talk to the people who know you the best. Family and friends can point you in the right direction to finding a job. Make some calls or send an email out letting your people know that you’re looking for a new job. And if they don’t know of any jobs, have them forward your info to their networks. Somewhere down the line, someone will have information about a new job.

Take on part-time, temporary or contract work

Sitting at home can make things worse. It’s bad enough if you’re not working. Negativity and depression can set in if you don’t have something else to focus on other than finding a job or how you’ll pay the bills. Taking on a temporary job may not bring in the salary you had before, but it’ll bring in money that you can use. When you’re unemployed and depressed because you can’t find work, something is better than nothing.

See a career coach

Career coaches specialize in assessment of skills and interests. Along with helping you work on your resume and cover letters, a career coach can help you pinpoint the work that you are passionate about. A coach can look at how your skills can be transferred from one field to another and help you find the job that is the best fit.

If you’re depressed because you can’t find a job, a career coach can help you figure out what to do when nobody will hire you.

Enjoy your unemployment – see it as “time off”

Pack a lunch, a good book and go out in your area. You can enjoy your time off especially if you’ve not had a vacation in a long time. Taking a rest is okay while you take action to find a job. By keeping your trips local, you can stick to your budget and still have a good time.

Surround yourself with cheerleaders

Unemployment is hard to deal with, especially if you’re used to working. You’ll have a range of feelings around it – including depression, perhaps. Unfortunately, there will be people in your life who will offer you unwanted advice and opinions. Stick with the people who support and encourage you. Cheerleaders can keep you uplifted when you feel like hiding and will help you push yourself to get a job when you think you can’t.

 Hopefully, these tips will help you overcome the depression that often accompanies unemployment. Let’s face it, the economy is not great and people are struggling. Unemployment comes with lots of negatively, but by changing your perspective (and actions) while unemployed, you may find that it was the break you needed after all.

Are your personality traits affecting your job search? Read Best Jobs for Introverts.

About the author: Heiddi Zalamar is a mom/therapist/writer living and working in NYC. To learn more about her, visit her blog or email her at Hzalamar@gmail.com. Heiddi also wrote Expressive Writing – 5 Ways to Write With Emotion and Hook Readers on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers.


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3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Overcome Depression When You Can’t Find a Job”

  1. Hi Theodora,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article and think it’s useful. I can understand why you want to hide out. Being unemployed just isn’t fun in the long run especially if you’re on your own or you have others depending on you. If you can’t see it as time off, then don’t. You can take this time to take action – whether it is in looking for a new job, taking a course that would help you find work or simply giving yourself tasks that would help you find what you’re looking for. Feel free to email me if you need some extra support. :) Hang in there. Things will get better.

  2. Hi Laurie,
    Useful post. And I like how that image has greek words in it since I’m Greek! But, in my case, I have seen that I tend to hide out now that I’m unemployed. Even though I love being around other people I end up spending all of my time by myself compared to when I used to work, even at times when I was exhausted from too much work! Any time that I try to enjoy being unemployed and see it as time-off I just can’t..And the longer it lasts, the harder it seems that it will change..