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One of the scariest things to do is to go job hunting, which applies to those who do not struggle with mental illnesses. However, if you have depression or any other mental illness, the idea of looking for a job is scarier. You can also easily fall into the trap of self-sabotage since depression lies. You will believe that you don’t have the skills to obtain the job you want or the worth. You will believe that no one will hire you because someone out there is ‘better.’

Since your depression can easily cause you to sabotage yourself, you will need to utilize the following ten tips when looking for a job. You must do it, or else you will not follow through because your depression won’t let you.

You Will Feel Excitement Initially Which Will Fade Later On

When you begin your job search, you will feel plenty of excitement to the point that it will be a rush. You may even erroneously think that your depressive symptoms are going away because you will feel a degree of euphoria while you are in the early days of your search. Think back to other times when you were engaged in something exciting. You can remember feeling the same way. However, you must prepare yourself for the excitement to fade, which can be a challenge for managing depression.

Anticipate That Rejection Will Happen

Rejection is something that people with depression and without depression or any mental illness often fear. However, remind yourself that if you apply to a highly competitive job, the odds are lower you will get it only for that reason. The risk of falling into the trap created by your depressive thinking, which ruins your self-esteem is high. The only way to help mitigate that is by knowing that you are in the same boat as other applicants, and if someone is chosen over you, that person will be chosen over them too. 

Don’t Have Your Heart Set On Getting One Job

The best thing to do when you are job hunting is to apply to as many jobs as you can. Ones that you are qualified for that is! That is because if you have your heart set on one particular job, and you don’t get it, that will crush you, and your depressive symptoms will come back with a vengeance.  Do not attach yourself to the idea of obtaining a particular job, and allow things to run their course as you apply to as many as you can. The bonus thing about that is that you will not care as much if you don’t get accepted into a job because the odds are the more jobs you apply to, the larger the chances are that you will land onto something. 

Use What Is In Your Toolbox As You Search

The skills that your therapist has given you to cope with difficult or challenging situations will need to be put to use while job hunting. That is because job hunting is challenging! Therefore, prepare yourself to utilize any tip, skill, or tool that helps you get through each day as you look for a job. Examples are scheduling out time to do an exercise that can help you cope, or do some meditating, and be sure to get plenty of sleep. Whatever tool helps you function daily, make sure you utilize it when you are job hunting. 

Create A Support Network

If job-hunting is difficult for someone who does not have a mental illness, it is much harder to have depression or any other ailment. It is imperative when you are looking for a job to create a network of supportive people, whether it consists of friends, family members you trust, and support groups on Facebook or other forums. There are days when you will feel defeated, and you will need to lean on your support network. For instance, when you found out that you did not get the job you wanted, you will experience defeat. Depression causes low self-esteem to begin with, and facing rejection in addition to that will make it harder for you. They can help you keep going when you feel like giving up. Their words of encouragement will only help you and motivate you to continue when things get tough. 

Stay Busy, So You Don’t Have The Urge To Not Do Anything

The best thing for anyone with mental illness to do is to stay busy. That keeps you out of your head which will cause rumination, and rumination is bad for your wellbeing and self-esteem. Therefore, as you look for a job, the best thing to do is to remain occupied.  Do some reading, do some writing in a blog or your journal, or take up a hobby. That will take your mind off of how difficult it is to look for a job and currently being unemployed or working at a job you hate – which is why you are looking to leave. 

Set A Schedule And Stick To It

There is the risk of you becoming obsessive when it comes to your job search. You definitely want to keep at it daily until you find a job. However, don’t go job-hunting 24/7 either.  The best thing you can do is set a schedule and set a time when you will use that for applying to jobs and schedule out the other things you need to do for that day. That way, you can stay organized, busy, and you won’t become too hyperfocused on your job search. 

Ensure That You Stay Organized

Depression harms your memory as it is. That is why you must work extra hard to stay organized when you look for a job. Look at the point above about setting a schedule and sticking to it. That is essential, but you also need to stay organized to make notes with the places where you applied. You don’t want to re-apply to the same potential employer a day later. You also do not want to forget about other essential things you need to do for the day. The best thing you can do is list your to-do tasks for each day and cross it off as you complete each one. You will feel better too. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Share That You Have Depression With Your Potential Employer If It Is Appropriate

I am all for advocating mental illness, and I do not hesitate to share that I have depression. However, that is not something you should blurt out in the middle of an interview either. You only want to share it if there is an appropriate reason to do so during the interview. For instance, if the interviewer asks you about your largest struggle in life, you can tell them that you suffer from depression and managing it daily is a challenge – but you are successfully doing it. You could even say that you would not be at the interview if you weren’t (if you want). However, that is the perfect response to that nature that the interviewer will likely ask you. 

Know Your Rights

if you choose to disclose to your potential employer that you have depression or any other illness or disability, that is your right. And if you discover that your mental illness is the reason you are not being hired, that is illegal. In the American With Disabilities Act and Canadian Law, such as the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a prospective employer cannot legally discriminate against you because of having depression. The same applies to you facing discrimination at work for that reason too. 

While you are focusing on job hunting, don’t forget to indulge in some self-care such as taking a bath, watching your favorite show, listening to music, and eating delicious and healthy foods. I am going to make it clear that I am not a therapist or a professional. I am a mental illness advocate and have been one for years. 


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