Unemployment is wrecking my self-esteem. How do I keep going?
November 7, 2011 2:43 PM Subscribe
Six months of unemployment has destroyed my self-esteem. Help me persist through the awfulness of writing cover letters and applying to jobs.
posted by anonymous to work & money (20 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I've been out of work since moving to New York, where I thought opportunities would abound--and while there seem to be plenty of job listings, I've had only a few interviews.
Part of the problem is that I often don't match the requirements in the listings for positions that I'm sure I'm perfectly capable of. (Listings that match my skills often ask for someone with a degree in English or journalism. I have a degree in a social science. They want someone with X years experience in a specific field, which I don't have because I've worked in a variety of industries. That sort of thing.) Part of the problem is that I'm anxious and prone to low self-esteem in general. And part of the problem is I can't afford my normal psych meds and therapy since I'm unemployed and uninsured.
After six months with just a handful of interviews, my lack of self-esteem has rendered this ongoing unemployment completely unmanageable. I get overwhelmed when I encounter an annoying online job application interface or discouraged when I don't meet the requirements in an otherwise promising listing, and then I can't work up the courage to apply to anything for days afterward. My work on my own writing projects has slowed to a crawl. I'm so convinced of the futility of it all that I'm having a hard time mustering the energy to deal with other tasks, like making phone calls and running errands.
Basically, I'm a mess. Most important: I need to get back to work and have an income and insurance, which will help me solve everything else. How do I boost my self-esteem so I can sell myself in cover letters? How do I handle the endless waits to hear from employers and the seemingly inevitable rejection without feeling like a meritless loser? And how do I feel confident enough to apply to those jobs that appeal to me, even when I don't precisely meet the requirements?
I know I need to go back to therapy, which I will as soon as I can afford it. And I am dragging myself to events to network as much as possible, and several people have offered to pass my resume along, but nothing's come of it.
Right now, I'm looking for specific techniques and insights for dealing with unemployment and applying for jobs.
Thanks. Anon for obvious reasons.