Career Transition: Dealing with Depression II

Gail Nicholson Gail Nicholson, MA, LPC
www.gailnicholson.com
503-227-4250
Gail is passionate about working with individuals who want to explore and connect with a more authentic sense of self as a basis for defining their lives, work lives and roles in the larger community. She offers a blend of personal and career counseling, as she has found that attending to personal issues or mental health concerns can reduce barriers to moving forward. Gail works with clients on defining purpose and direction, handling stress and tackling career exploration, job search and small business start-up.

Dealing with Depression Part II by Gail Nicholson, MA, LPC

I have a special interest in helping people understand and respond to depression that often accompanies jobs search and career transition. My typical client is interested in finding direction and fulfillment in their life and work life, but has become overwhelmed or discouraged with the process. They may also be suffering from anxiety, depression, self-doubt, or experiencing high levels of stress at work.

As a result of this experience, spanning over twenty years, I am writing a series of three blog articles to help you deal with depression. The first five tips can be found here. I invite you to continue reflecting on the following ideas to help you through unwelcomed discouragement.

6.  Have you considered whether something about your depressing ole job search reminds you of a difficult time in your life?  And your job search feels heavier or more overwhelming because of it.  It’s helpful, for example, to realize looking for a new job reminds you of the challenges you faced as a teenager, moving to a new school every year or two.  The loss of work or sense of direction may bring back feelings of losing a parent, grandparent or spouse.  This unresolved grief triggered by a job loss could be overwhelming.

If you notice such a parallel in your own experience, try to spend time identifying what memories have been triggered by your job search and give them extra attention.  Name, sort, hold and work them through a little more.  Check out a local personal and career counselor.  You’ll feel clearer and less bogged down when it comes time to focus on identifying and exploring your ideas and find work that actually exists, is meaningful and pays the bills.

7. Let’s check your level of self-confidence.  If it’s not where you’d like it to be, there are many things you can do.  First examine limiting beliefs you have about your abilities or what others expect of you.  Appreciate the context of these experiences and try to let go of the hold they have on you now.  Remember, the future has not happened yet, and you are always capable of creating a new beginning at any moment.  Think of encouraging things to say to yourself that defy the past.  If you grew up thinking you were stupid, incompetent and lazy, tell yourself how smart, resourceful and competent you can be.  Give yourself time to turn things around.  Imagine the pace of a large ocean vessel turning out at sea.  Set goals, improve habits and acknowledge your positive results, starting with the small stuff.  Confidence comes from experiencing positive, meaningful accomplishments; get busy creating positive experiences for yourself, personal, social and professional.

8. Is there anything you can pinpoint from past experience that is a weak link in your skill set?  Research opportunities to strengthen or fill in your knowledge base and technical ability to increase your options and enhance self-confidence.  Accomplishing the smallest of tasks can help you change your experience into something you appreciate and boost confidence.

9. What can you do now to surround yourself with living proof of the above?  Start small.  It could be something like spending all afternoon at the library, signing up for that computer class or checking the bios of career counselors who write this blog to find that exceptional career counselor that is right for you.

 November is National Career Development Month, a great time to take one of these steps to overcome depression and discouragement. And, I’ll rejoin you next year as I add the final installment in this series.

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One Comment on “Career Transition: Dealing with Depression II”

  1. Anne Bryant Says:

    Good points, Gail. Can’t wait to read the next installment. I will be assigning this series as “required reading” for my career clients.

    Reply

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