How to not Freak out if you’re Unemployed

Are you currently looking for a nonprofit or charity job?

Are you worried about paying your bills? Rent? Food? Phone?

Are you worried about unemployment running out?

How do you deal with the uncertainty?

How do you deal with the rejection?

It is enough to make anyone depressed! There’s an actual kind of depression associated with job hunting.


If you’re depressed by the nonprofit job hunt, don’t worry! You are not alone.

I hung out in a coffee shop the other night and made a new friend! We commiserated about how hard it is to find a job in Portland. It is REALLY hard. Because tons of people want to move here, and so that drives down wages, and ups the cost of living, and nonprofits can churn and burn through a bunch of people, because there’s always 10 more people there waiting to take their place.

My friend, Leah, shared with me her nonprofit job hunting self-care secrets. She writes:

“Here are several items I learned during my research on depression associated with job hunting:

  • Be a good manager to yourself. Set attainable goals.
  • We have very little control when job hunting. There are so many factors we can’t know that come between our best effort made to in applying jobs, to actually getting a job. Knowing this, in the process it is necessary to know that we are in control of our own reality. We have to take care of ourselves: spend time with friends; get physical activity; do things that bring a reward; etc. Motivations and rewards must come from within.
  • Reward oneself often.
  • It’s okay to feel down from time to time. Accept the negativity and then move on.
  • Maintain a sense of humor and find ways to laugh.
  • A job is not our identity. We are valuable for being who we are.
  • Give your mind a break from job hunting. Don’t let it encompass everything.
  • Getting turned away from jobs is difficult and leads towards feeling like you aren’t accomplishing anything.
  • Find other things to learn, study, develop, create that help build a feeling of productivity and accomplishment.

Beyond these, I also set a weekly schedule to follow so that I didn’t waste my time getting overwhelmed by everything.”

Here are some more helpful articles about the nonprofit job hunt:

Free fundraising cover letter

5 questions to ask in the interview to find out if this will be a healthy workplace

10 fundraising interview questions to help you succeed

What needs to be done in your first 90 days

Passion for the mission is a must!

What if “Follow your passion” is bad advice?

Are you feeling stuck in your career?

A confidential letter to the overworked, underpaid fundraising professional

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