Dealing with Anxiety & Depression in the Job Search
Sometimes career unhappiness can lead to discouragement, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness and depression. Once this happens, it is difficult to muster the motivation to change your career or life situation. This can lead to a lack of self-esteem in your professional role while not necessarily in your basic self-concept as a person. Over time, other areas of life such as family or social life can be affected. The level of depression and impact on other areas of life may be so intense that the original career issue can become masked and interventions designed to treat depression may overlook the original career problem.
If you find yourself feeling unmotivated to do much, feeling hopeless about your career or other areas of your life, frequently feel fatigued, or have noticed a change in your appetite you may want to discuss these symptoms with a trusted professional. It is important to first determine whether the depression is a result of a career problem or a clinical problem. Solutions may include career counseling and/or traditional therapy. Talk with one of our career counselors if you feel this may be a concern for you.
Anxiety is a common emotion experienced by people in any change process. Normal anxiety is healthy and helpful – it’s what motivates us to do our best. Sometimes, anxiety can be paralyzing and lead to avoidance or become so overwhelming that you no longer perform your best. This can impact every aspect of your career change process from avoiding or procrastinating tasks or becoming overly anxious in networking or interviewing activities. Don’t worry, you are not alone! There are many techniques that can help you to manage your anxiety, but the first step is to acknowledge it is there.
How can I tell if anxiety is getting the best of me?
– Do you find yourself procrastinating or avoiding tasks to move you forward with your career?
– Are you asking yourself many “what if” questions?
– Do you avoid talking to people that can help you with your career goals?
– Do you feel tense or restless and find it difficult to concentrate?
– Do you find yourself frequently worrying about choices and decisions?
– Do you worry about your “sweaty palms” when interviewing?
What can I do?
Relaxation techniques can be especially helpful in managing anxiety. Learn and practice relaxation techniques through a guided CD: Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation-Guided Meditation/Relaxation Techniques decrease anxiety, stress, anger
If you are experiencing anxiety as a result of a recent job loss, this guided imagery CD can help you manage the stress and anxiety to get focused and back on track: The Job-Loss Recovery Program: The Ultimate Visualization System for Landing a Great Job Now!
- Identify the fears underlying your anxiety. What is the worst case scenario? What is the likelihood of that happening? How can you solve that problem without avoiding it?
- Exercise and minimize your alcohol, nicotine and caffeine consumption.
- Talk with a trusted professional to identify any irrational beliefs that may be contributing to your anxiety and learn ways to calm yourself during stressful situations such as a job interview. Our career counselors use cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you break free from irrational beliefs and fears and stay calm.
These are just a few ways to get started on managing anxiety and depression. If you think you might be struggling with anxiety or depression in your career search, contact a career counselor who can help you get back on track and find motivation and direction in your career search.
Learn more about anxiety and depression
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