Healthy Self-Esteem Regardless of Employment Situation
Having a healthy self-esteem can be challenging depending on your employment situation. Whether or not you’re employed, your occupation, and your income can affect self-esteem in a big way. Employment gives you a sense of purpose and meaning and it’s also a connection to other people and society. There are times when you might find yourself without work. You may be unemployed, have time off due to illness or injury, or be permanently unable to work. Alternatively you may be working but dissatisfied with your job. However you can maintain a healthy self-esteem regardless of your employment situation.
Why Employment Situation Affects Self-Esteem
Many people judge others based on the work they do and there is stigma around unemployment, disability, and illness. There could be expectations from others or yourself. You might believe you should be doing better and that impacts on your self-worth. If you’re looking for work, the application process and knock-backs can really get you down. If you are working, your job might be unfulfilling. Alternatively it may be considered a "lesser" job or inadequate by some.
When you find yourself not working or with a job that does not meet expectations, there are things you can do to maintain a healthy self esteem.
Have Healthy Self-Esteem Regardless of Employment Situation
- Realise that work does not define you. Your worth as a person is not determined by your employment situation, the work you do, or income.
- Know that all jobs matter. Society needs the full range of jobs to function. All jobs are important and your work is valuable.
- Know that there is no perfect job. All jobs have their pros and cons. Keep your expectations reasonable when looking for work or when being critical of your current job.
- Acknowledge your current employment situation. Your situation might not be great at the moment, especially if you’re unemployed or unwell, but that’s your reality right now. Acknowledge the reality and steps to change the things you can control.
- Believe you can create change. You can gain new skills, find a new job, or recover from illness. If you’re permanently unable to work, you can change other parts of your life and change your thoughts about it.
- Realise that finding work takes time. The process can take a while and it's important to have patience.
- Understand that knock-backs are normal. If you’re applying for jobs, knock-backs can be disheartening. It’s a competitive market and most people get turned down many times. You’re not the only one and the key is to keep on going.
- Learn from the knock-backs. Learn something from every knock-back and use it to give you a better chance next time.
- Know that your situation is temporary. This is particularly important if you’re a job seeker or recovering from an illness. It might be unpleasant now but it’s a temporary phase that will pass.
- Take advantage of the extra time. Time away from work is an opportunity to learn, expand your skills, work on yourself, or prepare yourself for work. It’s a great time for personal development and that will help you later on.
- Connect with people. Participate in social activities, talk to friends, or join social groups. Connecting with people might also open up job opportunities for you.
- Volunteer. Volunteering gives you a purpose, it connects you with people and helps you feel good about yourself. You gain skills and experience and it's also a stepping stone back into employment. Sometimes an illness may prevent you from working but there are voluntary activities that you may be able to do while you recover.
- Take care of yourself. Not working, or being in an unfulfilling job, can affect your wellbeing. It’s very easy to become depressed and it’s important to take care of yourself.
- Look at the positives in your life. Your employment situation might not be great but its not your whole life. There are positives and it’s important to notice them. Practicing gratitude can help with this.
- Set yourself goals. These give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
- Schedule some activities every day to provide some structure.
- If you’re unwell, focus on getting better. It's okay to take time out for yourself.
- Get the help you need. There is help available and you don’t have to do this alone. For example, you may need help to find work or support to deal with mental health challenges such as depression.
While your employment situation might not be ideal and it might affect your self-esteem, it's important to note that you are worthy despite of it. You have the power to make positive changes and to maintain a healthy self-esteem regardless of your employment situation.
Agathangelou, F. (2015, February 24). Healthy Self-Esteem Regardless of Employment Situation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/02/healthy-self-esteem-regardless-of-employment-situation