Fighting depression: Part 2 (The Job Seeker)

Our fighting depression series takes a second spin today with a look at how it affects the job seeker. And if you’re interested, you can check out the first part of the series – fighting depression as a student.

This post was inspired in part by a good friend (let’s call her Jane). One day Jane updated her WhatsApp status with personal insight into depression and how to fight it. The post resonated with me and this blog post was birthed (with her permission of course).

It’s been 5 years since James finished school. In the time frame, he has searched highs and lows for a job, started a few failed businesses, tried freelancing and is at the Oluwa wetin dey happen phase of life. There are many Nigerians on this table and while James at least has a roof over his head, there are others worse off.

Many graduates are drifting like a leaf fallen off a tree, moving with the wind. After sending CVs, several unsuccessful job tests and interviews, failing at getting scholarships to foreign schools, family and all sorts of peer pressure, some persons get depressed.

So what can you do?

Don’t beat yourself up

Seriously now, don’t. Okay maybe sometimes you slip into this valley of what should’ve been but get your grip together immediately. Self-pity, worries do less to help your cause in the long run.

Yes some things happened and you’re not where you want to be but thinking about it all the time without taking positive, decisive actions is all wasted energy. It’s like when a cup breaks after falling from your hand. You may scream when it fell and mutter about the cost. However, spending over a week dwelling on the cup is less productive than resolving the problem.

Talk to someone

Like in my previous post, you have to open up to someone. It helps during this time to surround yourself with optimistic friends and family. Avoid toxic people who only see corruption in the system, blame everybody for their failures but refuse to do anything about it. If things are not getting better than seek professional help.

Carefully examine where you are, where you’re going and what you need to get there

It’s okay if you’ve not given deep thought about what type of post-school experience you really want. Whether it’s a career, business or pursuing some other passion. You can start something today.

If you wish to enter a career path take time to study others that have gone ahead of you in the field, what they’ve done, how they got to where they are. You’ll see some pointers about tangible next steps to take. Rearrange your CV, get new skills and by all means keep adding value to yourself.

Refuse to be idle

Learning a new course, getting a small time job, freelancing or helping with the family business are some things you can do to keep body and mind in shape while chasing your goals.
Read books, learn an instrument, learn a new skill, engage your mind so it doesn’t have time to wallow in self-pity. Do something you love and likely ties to where you want to be in the future.

Ditch the comparisons

It’s hard to live happily when you’re always comparing yourself with others. Here’s one fact: there is always someone who has things going better for them (at least from where you’re standing).

There’s always that friend that works in a multinational or in government, married at early 20s, started a multimillion business or won a reality TV show.

Each one of us has our path and there’s more than enough room in the sky for everyone. You have to stay true to your goals, keep improving yourself so you can be ready when opportunities come.

Trust me opportunities will come. Like one quote says, “don’t pray for opportunities to come, pray to be ready when opportunities come”

In all, try to be positive, have positive people around you, keep adding value to yourself and working towards your goals.

Eventually, everything will be alright.

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