How to stave off depression caused by a grueling job search

For anyone who is at “rock bottom” in their job search process

Karen Liu
Dec 29, 2016 · 3 min read

I wrote this article as a result of my experience job searching in Q4; it certainly felt hopeless at times. Depression caused by a grueling and prolonged job search is real, but being depressed can really hinder your job search progress. So I’m offering you some encouragement and hope!

Step 1

Recognize that your emotions are coloring your perception of the world and making it seem darker and more hopeless than it is.

Step 2

Read some uplifting quotes from the internet. When I was at my lowest point I spent hours Googling how to get out of the funk. This is the choice sample of quotes that I’ve collected for you:

In no way is this job a reflection of who you are or what you are capable of as a person. — pink24

We often feel miserable because of the stories we tell ourselves. Your stories about your job are a creation of your mind and are neither true or false. They’re simply stories. Misery is created when we create and cling to stories such as “I can’t stand this,” “This is awful,” or “I should be doing something else with my life.” — Tiny Buddha

Simply accept that it will take time to move to a more meaningful career. And that for now, your work won’t be a primary source of meaning in your life. And then put your focus and energy into creating meaning in other parts of your life. — Tiny Buddha

It’s never the events of your lives, but the meaning we attach to the events — how we interpret them — that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow. — Tony Robbins

Step 3

Reach out to your friends and family for support during this difficult time. You don’t even need to talk about the pain of job searching. Just hanging out with people who care about you will make you feel better and take your mind off things.

Step 4

Reach out to industry friends. They understand your struggle and might have some insight or advice that will help you keep things in perspective. For example:

Job searching is partly about luck too. It’s not all a reflection of who you are as a professional. — Angie Ng

It always feels like hope is lost but
IT’S NOT!!! You’ll find something great soon
Just gotta keep applying
— Angela Mao

Another note about keeping things in perspective; keep in mind that this isn’t the be-all end-all of your career. Even if the next job you end up getting isn’t perfect, you have time after that to continue exploring other job opportunities.

Step 5

Be extra nice to yourself during this job search process. Focusing on your hobbies and giving yourself some extra TLC will help you maintain the will to live. And to persevere. And to succeed!

Step 6

Cling onto hope. Like this cat.

even when things are falling apart, stay cool and just keep job searching

Job searching is all about endurance and mental fortitude. Brush off the rejections and keep applying! It’s pretty much like dating. If it didn’t work out, that person or job wasn’t right for you anyway. Eventually you will land a job at a company that you like who also likes you back.

Follow the above steps, mind your EQ, and get the job you’re proud of. It will be worth all the pain in the end. You’re suffering now so that you can feel ecstasy later. When you get to the end, you’ll feel something like this:

You’ll be so happy to be alive.


If you are close to losing hope, just read this article again. You can also reach out to me if you need someone to talk to! Good luck!

Karen Liu

Written by

Karen Liu

Senior Product Designer @ Brave by day. Maker by night. Open to collaborating on blockchain 🌟 and life sciences projects. 🌿

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