What is Depression?
Several factors contribute to depression, including genetic/personal attributes, life events, and changes in the brain.
It is the feelings, thoughts, physical, and behavioural effects of continuous sadness.
For example, being unemployed for a long period of time and facing constant rejection of roles can contribute to consistent feelings of unhappiness and thoughts of not being good enough. Without routine and purpose, you may go out less, stop doing things you enjoy, and feel run down or tired. All of these feelings and behaviours can lead to depression.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety can be a panic attack, the inability/difficulty to calm down, experiencing reoccurring thoughts that cause you anxiety but seem silly to others, avoiding things that cause anxiety (like job interviews).
Anxiety can also be caused by stressful life events, physical health problems, and substance use.
Tips to manage your Depression and Anxiety while job searching
- Develop a routine and schedule. Set out small, achievable goals to build your confidence when searching for jobs. Doing so can give you a sense of accomplishment. For instance…
7am: wake up
8am-12pm: apply for two jobs a day
1pm: go for a 20-minute walk
- Have a plan for rejection. Rejection is unavoidable in job searching, everyone experiences it. Reflect on the rejection positively by framing it as a learning experience.
- Talk to your Employment Consultant. They can help you find healthy ways to cope with rejection and negative feelings towards job hunting.
- Take a break and do something you love. Step away from job searching to recharge and engage in a hobby or relaxation activity. These include meditating, reading, exercising, playing music, or anything that helps you feel better.
Jobs and Careers
The right job gives you a sense of fulfilment and purpose, which can greatly reduce your symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Consider applying for roles that incorporate all or some of the following:
• Work from home options
• Flexibility in work hours
• Backend roles (like pick packing, computer programming, or office jobs)
• Allows you to be active (such as manual labour or support work)
• Healthy mental health culture with supports in place for employee mental wellbeing. You want to insert yourself in an environment that you feel comfortable in.
Turn a hobby into a career
Do you love to cook? Apply for hospitality roles. Love to garden? Apply for yard hand work.
There are government programs that can support you on this path. This includes the National Work Experience Programme and Work for the Dole. You never know what full time opportunities may come from volunteering to get a foot in the door.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Health of People with Disability
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, People with Disability
Beyond Blue, Statistics
Beyond Blue, A Guide to What Works for Anxiety
Beyond Blue, A Guide to What Works for Depression
Better Help, 15 Jobs for People with Depression
Better Up, Job Search Depression is Real- Here’s How to Overcome It