Overcoming Depression

Q: I was laid off two weeks ago and it was very depressing. Since then, I’ve had a few job interviews that seem promising. But is there advice for people who are having greater challenges on the job front?
–M. Yerby, B.E. Bulletin Board

A: Your depression is a common reaction. When people are asked to rank stressful experiences, losing a job places among the top contenders, behind personal injury, death of a family member, and divorce. Sudden unemployment can trigger the same emotional responses as any other type of loss, and may be accompanied by various degrees of grief and sadness. Reactions include anger, denial, self-blame, and depression.

Be sensitive to certain signs–fatigue, irritability, withdrawal, hostility, a tendency to be late or miss appointments, and restlessness–so that you can ensure that your depression doesn’t creep up again. If it does, talk to a friend, a counselor, or clergyman.

Most important, take action. As you’ve witnessed, actively searching for employment and going on interviews can be empowering because it means you’re one step closer to achieving your goal. Spread the word about your job search by connecting with people whom you already know, staying in touch with your former employer, and building new contacts through networking organizations that share your interest. Also, use the Web to find career sites and post your résumé. Further, start exploring ways to earn money by doing what you love. Try these two books for guidance: Turn Your Passion Into Profits: How to Start the Business of Your Dreams by Janet Allon (Hearst Books, $25) and Turn Your Passion Into Profit: Information, Inspiration, and Ideas to Help You Make Money Doing What You Love by Walt F.J. Goodridge (Company Called W, $39.50).

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