Looking for a job is hard. Before you say, “it’s hard for everyone,” I’m not just talking about the time it takes to apply, prep, interview, etc.. Job searching is difficult because of the emotional turmoil that comes along with it for those of us who deal with depression and/or anxiety.
There are so many things that race through my head in a day and it’s exhausting. I’m having a hard time just sorting through them at the moment to try to express them to you now. The one good thing I have going for myself, is the fact that I always try to look at the positive side of everything. I drive to be better and to improve, specifically for myself.
Every morning I wake up and try to figure out the tasks that I want to accomplish that day. To give you a glimpse into my mind, I can think of any of the following tasks each and every morning:
- Look for jobs.
- Write a cover letter for each role.
- Apply to the jobs.
- Work on my portfolio site that I’ve now restarted 3 different times.
- Come up with other project ideas.
- Practice algorithm problems.
- Create a technical interview plan.
- Complete my bootcamp job search standards each week.
- Make 8 contacts.
- Write 1 blog post.
- Log at least 5 git commits.
- Should I start #100DaysOfCode again since I failed at completing it the first time?
- Look for meetups.
- Learn something new.
This doesn’t even begin to cover the things that I know I need to get done in a week’s time. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and I don’t think I can get it all done, but then every week I somehow manage it. Granted, some of the more lenient things on the list sometimes get passed over, but every week I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Besides the never ending task list that goes through my head every morning, there are other factors that play into the difficulty of the job search. I won’t lie and I’m going to be raw and honest with all of you. I have struggled with depression for over 10 years now, and over the past few months, things had gotten so much better. I was having an odd depressed day every once in a while and I was feeling like I was on top of the world. I had made so much progress, but over the last 3 weeks things have gotten a little weird.
Yes, I chose to use the word weird here instead of worse or bad. Why? Well, because I don’t think I’m necessarily going through a period of deep depression. I think I’m just feeling funky. The best way to describe it is that I feel numb/emotionless, like I have a coat of armor around me protecting me from disappointment. It’s like with every rejection email that comes my way, the stronger my armor gets, the less disappointed I feel.
I’ve been asking myself whether I should be happy or sad that this is happening? My initial reaction is to feel upset. I don’t feel like myself. It’s bleeding over into my everyday life. I feel … off. Then I think, maybe it’s a good thing that I’m becoming resilient. I’m getting used to rejection and when looking for a job, that is something you need to do. You need to come to terms with the fact that rejection is part of the search and that you need to take each one, learn from it and work harder. All you need is one company to like you. That’s it.
Job hunting is hard. It’s not easy for anyone. If you are currently looking for a job, I am proud of you. I am proud of you for waking up each morning and getting your s--t done. If you are job searching and working full time, I’m extremely proud of you, because it’s hard enough job searching full time.
I hope this blog post helps other people like me realize they are not alone. If you have any words of encouragement for those of us job hunting, please feel free to leave a comment.