Dawdling and Depression: A Sad Cycle

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Do you ever feel, after trying so hard to get a job only to be unsuccessful, a lack of enthusiasm? A sort of ennui that leaves you sitting on the couch moping, distracting yourself from the job hunt? The answer, among many job seekers, is often yes, to some degree. And those feelings often set into motion a vicious cycle that can hurt you and your chances at getting a job.

When you're months, maybe even years into your job hunt without much excitement or potential opportunities presenting themselves, it's easy to fall into a funk. A sort of depression sets in with a side of self-doubt. "Am I doing something wrong?" you might ask. "Or am I just not good enough?" This line of thinking is crippling, and can lead to dawdling. Your efforts aren't producing results, so why try so hard? You'll start sitting around playing around on your tablet or watching TV. This, of course, is a bad move and is not helping you to get a job. Which leaves you unemployed for a longer time. Which leaves you more depressed and dejected. You can see where this is going.

So what is there to do? As cliche as it sounds, you just have to keep fighting the good fight. Our own education committee here at SPN espouses some excellent methods (presented during their orientations) that help keep you on track mentally. Going out with friends, while seeming counterproductive, helps keep you sane, not succumbing to cabin fever and the like. And who knows, that little bit of networking could land you a job. Giving yourself lunch breaks and small moments of relief during your hunt will prevent the fatigue that comes from a non-stop job hunt and will hopefully stave off potential depression after working so long with little results.

But these little moments of reprieve must not take over the hunt, for you could easily use such instances to dawdle as well. Ideally, you'll balance those mental health breaks with some sharp job-hunting strategy.

"Seeking work? Don't dawdle" was an article posted this Monday in the Sacramento Bee by Darrell Smith. He speaks with Sanjay Sathe, CEO of an outplacement company in San Jose, about developing that strategy. He says sharpening your resume, polishing your pitch (your 30-60 me, to SPN members), not psending too much time on general job websites, and staying savvy on the net with social media are key to helping you get your job.

If these strategies sound familiar, they should be. These are outlined, too, in the SPN orientation. If you find yourself in unemployment, you may need to tweak your presence in these regards. You may find that you need to reinvent yourself somewhat. But with the times constantly shifting and employers valuing different things everyday, such a huge sea change may be necessary to be successful in your hunt.

So do not despair. Do not dawdle. For there are ways to keep focused and smart so that this stint of unemployment doesn't last long.