Finding a new job after depression Employment

Finding a new job is a stressful activity for most people. And it’s only more difficult when you’re dealing with the consequences of mental illness. If you’ve been off work because of depression, or another mental health condition, you might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of re-entering the workplace. You might also feel anxious about job searching and doing interviews, too. 

If this is the case, Building Better Opportunities have put together this resource to help you find your way and find the right support for your needs. Building Better Opportunities are a charity, providing employment support in Staffordshire. We aim to help our clients either get back into work or stay at work. 

Read on to discover some very useful tips on getting back into work following depression. 

Get into the Right Mindset 

Before attempting to get into the job market, the very first thing you need to do is to get into the right mindset. Getting a job is a very difficult thing to do, and, likely, you won’t get the first job you apply for or even interview for. But you can’t give up. No matter how difficult it feels, no matter how many setbacks you’ve had, you can’t give up.  


So the first thing you need to do is to have confidence in yourself and approach the job search from a position of mindfulness. Not only will this confidence help you through the application process, but it will also help you when it comes to interviews. 

For help building confidence, see our recent knowledge hub article on the subject

Ask for help 

Throughout this process, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are lots of people out there in the same, or similar, situation to you. And the fantastic thing is there is help available. 

If you feel well enough to work, take some time to consider what sort of work you would like to do. This could include choosing part-time work over full-time work to ease you back in. Or even explore volunteering opportunities to gain some experience, build your confidence and get a current reference. 

Whichever route you choose to return to work after depression, if you need help then you must reach out. Here at Building Better Opportunities, we regularly work with individuals who want to go back to work following depression. In some cases, we help them to build a budget and understand how they can manage their finances, for others we help them access training courses and programmes designed to boost confidence and self-worth before a return to work. 

And if you feel ready to head straight back into work, we can help you refresh your CV, narrow down your search, prepare for interviews, and even help with transport arrangements. 

Prepare your CV

Before you start looking for a job, take a look at your CV and bring it up to date. It may be that while you have been off work with depression you have taken up a hobby, volunteered for an organisation, or started your own business. If this is the case, add these kinds of things to your CV and personal statement. For more help with writing a CV, preparing a personal statement and looking for a job, check out the resources below: 

During the application and interview process, it’s good practice to get all of your documents together in preparation. This includes your National Insurance Number, birth certificate, passport and any certificates or qualifications you may have. 

Build your experience 

If you feel that you’re not quite ready to return to work yet – that’s okay. Depression can make us feel a whole range of emotions including unsure and anxiety. First of all, it’s fantastic to recognise that you’re not quite ready. Returning to work before you feel mentally or physically able can do more harm than good in the long term. 

If this is the case, our resource: ‘I’m not ready for work yet, can you still help?’ is a good place to start. Also, while you may not feel quite ready to return to the workplace, you may feel strong enough to volunteer or try a few placements to get you in the right frame of mind. 

If this is the case, there are a whole range of resources available to help and our Advocates at BBO can support you in finding them and accessing them – at no cost to you. 

Welfare Advice in Stafford, Stoke-On-Trent, and Staffordshire

If you need support in returning to work after depression, then contact us today. Our friendly and non-judgemental team are on hand to help you make a personalised step-by-step plan that will support you in moving forward positively. 

You will regularly find our Advocates at Work Clubs and drop-in sessions all over Stafford and South Staffordshire. You do not have to make an appointment to see them, and they will work with you to understand your needs. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of our team about your situation, give us a call on 01902 696 228 or fill in the enquiry form below to request a callback.