Everyone has their list of things they’d rather chew their arm off than have to do. Well, maybe not chew their arm off, but you get the picture. I would rather do just about anything than look for a job. Even blind dates had their upside, what with a movie or meal generally involved.
Job hunting, rife with rejection, requires resilience. But rejection is crack to depression and nothing zaps resilience like depression. Last week, I wrote about three ways to keep motivation high when your mood is low. Here are three more from the same source, an article by Megan Bruneau on mindbodygreen.com.
Be kind to yourself.
The voice inside my head belongs to an evil witch. I call her “Cruella” and she’s always ready to give me a sharp kick when I most need a warm hug. “If you beat yourself up for being so ‘unproductive’ and ‘lazy’,” says Bruneau, “you’re going to keep yourself feeling like crap and thus, paralyzed.” What Cruella needs is a more compassionate sister, one who will applaud what I accomplish instead of pointing out what I didn’t.
Just do it. You don’t have to dig it.
Expecting to like looking for a job is kind of like expecting to like having a tooth extracted. Both are necessary and both can be painful. Bruneau notes that anxiety and self-loathing take over when we’re depressed and that leads to feelings of detachment and defeat. No one says you have to enjoy looking for a job. Instead, focus on the pride you’ll feel after taking a step in the right direction.
Admit it takes courage to step out of your comfort zone.
Bruneau calls depression the “devil you know.” “You know what to expect, for the most part. You know the pain, you’re in the pain, you can predict that tomorrow will be more of the same. The idea of stepping out of this comfort zone can be quite anxiety provoking,” she says. Acknowledge the anxiety and pat yourself on the back for having the courage to accept it as part of your process.
For me, these three are probably the most valuable of Bruneau’s tips. I’m hard on myself and I fear rejection even when there is no reason to. I’m not particularly good at applauding my efforts, either. I’m sure I’m not alone; even those without depression have the same issues. I plan on re-reading Bruneau’s advice when I’m feeling the job-hunt blues creeping up on me.
What about you? What’s your favorite way of beating back depression, career-wise or otherwise?