I hear that you have been feeling sad because you are not where you want to be in your career and, at the same time, feeling scared about not being able to land a job and, most notably, not being able to achieve your goals in life. All these have also contributed to you doubting your capabilities and even affecting your self-confidence and self-esteem.
From your message, you have tried many ways to cope with these emotions. If I hear you correctly, you seek an escape or way out.
Thank you for coming to this platform and for sharing with us.
It is understandable to be experiencing feelings of stress and anxiety in response to difficult situations such as these. If managed in an effective manner, these feelings can be temporary and will eventually come to pass. In your case, however, I’m hearing that these feelings have also brought about thoughts of death. I’m glad that you’ve taken the first step to reach out for support by sharing these emotions with me, but I would also like to urge you to seek Professional help in order to address these thoughts and feelings as soon as possible. You may refer to this page (1) or this directory (2) for a list of hotlines and organisations that you could consider reaching out to. These Professionals will be able to work through these thoughts and feelings in-depth with you.
In the case whereby these thoughts on death become more frequent and/or intrusive, I urge you to please approach SOS (Call 1-767) or IMH (Call 6389 2222) immediately. To make sure you’re kept safe until you manage to get the necessary help, please also approach a trusted friend/family member to highlight your struggles and to accompany you in the meantime.
I would also like to share that we all come with our own sets of skills and interests, and we may not always make perfect career choices – this is perfectly okay. I would like to remind you that switching jobs upon realising that a particular role may not be for you is in no way a reflection of your competency nor a sign of weakness, and commend you for making that decision for the sake of your mental well-being. Although it may feel like it at the moment, I assure you that you are most definitely not alone in this experience. Many of us, especially in the early years upon graduation, go through more frequent job changes and end up having to navigate the job search process. I encourage you to reach out to friends, family, and support groups for support in this process. In the meantime, here are a couple of things you could do to help you cope:
1. Practice self-compassion
Self-compassion is the concept of accepting yourself for who you are and treating yourself with the same kindness, care and understanding that you would extend to a good friend. In trying times, we may become particularly self-critical and this can compound the feelings of stress and anxiety. One way to help you practice self-compassion is by identifying positive self-statements that are uplifting to you, such as “I am doing the best I can”, “I am worthy of compassion” and repeating these to yourself whenever difficult thoughts or emotions arise. If this is challenging for you, you could try thinking about it from a different angle – what would you say to a good friend going through the same situation? We often allow more room for mistakes when it comes to others. Give yourself the same kind of permission to be human and remember that you’re not alone in being imperfect - we all have our own set of flaws. You may refer to this thread (3) for more ways of practicing self-compassion.
2. Set SMART goals for yourself
Periods of uncertainty can make us feel lost and helpless, and this sometimes can paralyse us. Something that could keep us going is to set realistic goals that you are able to focus on daily. SMART goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, the goal “Finding a job” could be made more specific by breaking it up into smaller goals – what are some of the things that you could do every day in order to eventually help you get there? Here is a worksheet with guiding questions for you to try out (4).
Remember that these goals do not necessarily all have to do with your career situation. This period of time could also be an opportunity for you to focus on self-care and to get to know yourself better – some questions you could ask yourself are: Are there any particular interests you would like to develop further? Are all of your basic needs (e.g. sleep, nutrition) being met and if not, is there anything that you could adjust to help you with that?
Lastly, I’d like for you to know that it is okay to take time for yourself to process your feelings and to take care of your mental health. Be patient with yourself and give yourself the time and space you need to heal. Please take care and I wish you all the best.
The resources I mentioned are linked below for your reference:
(1) Get Help Now Page - let's talk