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 this 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 falling off a tree, moving with the wind. After sending resumes, several unsuccessful job tests and interviews, failing at getting scholarships to foreign schools, family, and all sorts of peer pressure, some people 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 then 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, and how they got to where they are. You’ll see some pointers about tangible next steps to take. Rearrange your CV, get new skills or certifications, 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 your body and mind in shape while chasing your goals.
Read books, learn an instrument, learn a new skill, and 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 the 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 and keep improving yourself so you can be ready when opportunities come.
Trust me opportunities will come. As 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 work towards your goals.
Eventually, everything will be alright.