Attention job seekers! How do you maintain your mental health while searching for your Dream Job? We all have been through the COVID-19 pandemic ringer, many of us having lost jobs, struggled with the illness, searched for employment; some of us have reached out for government assistance during this time. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely dealt us a lasting blow. But regardless of the challenges of the times, searching for work is an incredibly emotionally demanding job. And what if a job seeker also struggles with mental health challenges such as mood disorders - anxiety and depression, mental illness, addiction issues, among many of the other challenges that unemployed individuals face? 

Clearly, the struggles of living with mental health issues while on the hunt for work will only compound the difficulty of landing a job. And the struggles of both unemployment and mental health issues can be exacerbated by further challenges associated with race and gender as Black women’s unemployment rates have been the slowest of any group to recover from recession created by the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Black women’s mental health issues may be at their worst in decades. Other minorities struggle with unemployment and mental health issues also impacted by the socioeconomic challenges that they face specific to their group. 

Learning how to maintain one’s mental health while on the job hunt is crucial for anyone engaged in this demanding endeavor. But you are not alone. Many people struggle with mental health issues while seeking work, or as mentioned, struggle with mental health issues in their daily lives. There are many organizations you can reach out to for assistance. AACF has partnered with Sista Afya to address mental health issues for Black women and women of color, free to low cost mental health support, education, and resources including free workshops and networking. We highly encourage you to reach out for help during challenging times such as seeking work, and/or struggling with mental health issues, whether from a professional, family member, or a friend. 

As you travel along your journey of job seeking, accept yourself where you are in life and how you are. We suggest that you not do this alone, but as previously stated, reach out for support and build a network of support people and organizations to help you to achieve your dreams. Join networking groups and employment support groups. Reach out to friends and family and let them know that you are seeking work and support. Take some time to socialize while you are seeking work. Talk about your experiences. 

Set goals that you can achieve, such as calling five companies to inquire about openings or searching online for five positions and applying. Celebrate your hard work in searching and appreciate yourself for each success that you achieve, such as landing an interview, or receiving a callback from a company. Seeking work is a challenging job in and of itself. Take the time to celebrate each triumph that you achieve along the way!

Make positive use of your free time. While seeking work, there can be downtime in which you can take the time to investigate a new skill, join a support group, volunteer, explore a new hobby, or take a class. Take some time to enjoy life, catch up with old friends, call a family member you’ve been out of touch with. Let people know you are seeking work. You never know who may have a connection with a place that is seeking a new employee - and you may be the perfect candidate! 

Remember, whatever your challenges in life may be, you are not alone. Reach out to us if you are seeking work, education, or mental health support and we will be there for you! Call our office to learn more: 708-848-1700

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