Challenges of Returning to Work After a Decade of Mental Health Battles
Throughout this entire year, I’ve dedicated myself to actively sending out my resume and cover letters to various companies that have advertised job openings online. I truly believed that these positions would be an ideal fit for me. Unfortunately, the majority of these applications haven’t received any response, and the few that did respond resulted in rejections. I haven’t even had the opportunity for an in-person interview. Just last week, I sent out more resumes, only to face yet another rejection today. I’m doing my best not to let it affect me, but I can’t deny feeling somewhat disheartened once again. I know I’ll eventually bounce back from this setback, but right now, it stings a bit. Ah, the challenges of returning to work after a decade of mental health battles.
For those who aren’t familiar with my background, I’ve been out of the workforce for over ten years due to grappling with mental health issues, particularly severe depression and anxiety. I’ve spent countless years in therapy, putting in immense effort to overcome these challenges and regain a positive sense of self. It’s disheartening to realize that this extended period of unemployment seems to negatively impact my job search. At least, that’s how it feels to me. Is that truly the case? I’m uncertain. But it seems as if employers aren’t willing to give opportunities to individuals who’ve faced similar challenges—people who have battled mental health issues, conquered their struggles, and are actively striving to reintegrate into the workforce.
When I apply for positions and submit my resume and letters of motivation, I’m transparent about the reasons behind my lengthy absence from the workforce. I choose honesty, not wanting to obscure the reality, as my resume plainly displays my last full-time job held from 2002 to 2009, followed by a significant gap due to the hardships I endured. I also emphasize that I’m presently in a place where I am eager and prepared to return to a regular work routine.
I’m genuinely doing my utmost to not allow this latest rejection to undermine my spirit. I’ve encountered disappointments from rejections in the past, but it’s still a bit disheartening. I’ll certainly overcome this and persist in my efforts.
Perhaps there are individuals who believe I should consider applying for jobs that fall below my usual standards or expertise. While that’s a valid perspective, I feel that, at this moment, pursuing roles aligned with my strengths and passions is the best way for me personally. I’m committed to finding a job where I can excel and find fulfillment. and taking this approach feels right.
I’ve made significant changes to my LinkedIn profile, aiming to optimize its impact. I’m optimistic that these changes will enhance my prospects. With these improvements, I am open to the possibility of being actively sought out by potential employers. Who knows?
I’m curious if others out there are facing or have faced similar challenges—individuals who’ve experienced a prolonged absence from the workforce and are endeavoring to reintegrate. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.
Despite the challenges, I’m determined to engage myself in activities to keep my mind occupied and prevent this experience from weighing too heavily on me. Today I’m planning to do some relaxing, listening to music, as it often serves as a therapeutic outlet, helping me find some mental clarity. On another note, I hope everyone else is having a wonderful and positive beginning to their week.