Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Depression and job hunting

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Searching for a job is a frustrating and tedious process for a lot of people, and even more so when you have depression. Some people with depression struggle with job hunting because it makes them question their professional value; the longer a job hunt takes, the more they begin to question whether they are an employee worth having. At my previous three jobs, I was offered a promotion within a few months, and I have consistently received great performance reviews; so, while I certainly struggle with these kinds of self-deprecating thoughts, most of the time my logical mind is able to fairly quickly say, "Hey, that's not true!"

Where I really struggle in a job search is accepting that things are the way they are; the best candidate for a job may not even be considered because resume searching software does not find a specific keyword or the employer has a rigid idea of what the "right" candidate is. The truth is, employers often have to wade through many resumes every time they are looking to fill a position, and looking over every resume thoroughly is usually not realistic. And even if it were, the perfect resume does not mean the perfect employee. Even a perfect interview does not mean the perfect employee. So, what all of this means is, no matter how great of an employee you are (how wonderful your resume is, or how well you interview), you often will not get the chance to demonstrate it. Of course you can tweak your resume, but that will only get you so far, as there are a million other reasons you may not be given a job. People with depression, practically by definition, are not very resilient, and resiliency is one of the most important traits a job hunter can possess; when you put yourself out there professionally time and time again, you need to be able to not take it personally when you do not get the outcome you hoped for. Unfortunately for me, this is not something I have mastered yet, and perhaps never will.

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