Losing your job at any age can be devastating, but when you’re over 50, it can become terrifying, depressing and put you in a state of helplessness. Being over 50 unemployed and depressed is probably one of the hardest things to deal with.
Today I want to talk more about this as I get so many emails from women telling me that they are dealing with this crisis now.
Here are just a few situations in which a woman over 50 feels depressed and hopeless because she’s unemployed and scared.
- she recently left her relationship and has nothing
- her husband/partner ended the relationship and left her nothing
- she was recently released from her job
- the pandemic hit, and her job became null and void
- her husband/partner has passed on and left her with nothing
- her husband/partner has become ill, and they are in a financial crisis.
Do any of these situations resonate with you? Or maybe you have your own crisis not listed above. Whatever the case may be, it can happen to anyone at any time. My goal is to give you some hope for a brighter future.
Many women are finding themselves unemployed at 50, and while it’s scary, it’s not as hopeless as you think. Sometimes, being 50 broke and unemployed is the kick up the pants we need to create a new amazing life!
Let’s get to it.
(This post contains affiliate links, so if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you – affiliate disclosure here)
Being Unemployed Over 50 Can Lead to Great Depression
Society has had a hard focus on youth, looks, beauty, popularity, and maintaining your youth at any cost. This has caused enormous pressure for women over 50 to stay young, be young, and compete in this world where beauty and youth win all the time.
Not only that, women over 50 have a tendency to feel unworthy, helpless, and unwanted, and that all lead to depression. Now throw in the fact that she suddenly is unemployed by no fault of her own and has to look for a new job in an extremely competitive market, and you have a desperate woman who feels worthless and lost.
Not to mention scared and frustrated.
According to Forbes.com:
Unemployment poses many psychological hardships. It causes people to lose their sense of purpose. For some, it can serve as a precursor to depression.Source: Forbes.com
Being over 50 unemployed and depressed can lead to physical health problems as well as mental health issues.
Once you start having feelings of worthlessness and depression, they can easily spiral out of control. It’s so important to recognize and deal with them before they take over your life. Once that happens, it’s extremely difficult to start the journey to heal.
If you are at the risk of depression or already deep into it, please seek professional help. Sometimes that’s the only way to start healing and improving your mental health. I always recommend the amazing therapists at online-therapy.com, and I stand behind them 100%.
Dealing With Feelings of Worthlessness
It’s no secret that if you are an unemployed woman over 50 and new to the job market, your chances of getting a job are fairly low. The years of experience you have in your field suddenly mean little.
Older adults just aren’t getting the jobs being posted on job boards. Employers are looking for younger adults who:
- can be easily trained
- can commit to a longer period of time
- show more drive and enthusiasm
- don’t bring bad habits with them from years and years of experience
- have the potential to grow the company
- and more
Needless to say, being over 50, unemployed, and looking for a job is depressing all on its own. Very few employers are interested in hiring older persons to fill positions. And this leads to our feeling of worthlessness and then depression.
So I want to share with you 10 great tips to help you if you are over 50 unemployed and depressed because you don’t, and shouldn’t, have to live like that. You still have so much life ahead of you.
My Own Personal Story About Being Over 50 Unemployed and Depressed
I love to share my own personal stories every chance I get so that you can see I write from experience. I write about things I know an awful lot about. And this topic, being over 50 unemployed and depressed hits home hard.
I had hit rock bottom back in 2012, and when I say my whole world came crashing down around me, I’m not even kidding. I wish I were.
I had just left an abusive relationship, and the year before had closed my home salon business and declared bankruptcy. To say I had nothing and felt like the biggest loser is an understatement. I was unemployed, broke and depressed.
One day I was living in a posh neighbourhood with my own salon and everything a girl could ask for, and the next day I had nothing. Leaving my relationship was terrifying and overwhelming, but it was something I had to do to protect my mental health and sanity.
Suddenly I woke up and found myself over 50 unemployed and depressed, and very hopeless. I can’t tell you how many times suicide crossed my mind. Starting over at 50 and broke and helpless is a sickening feeling.
I am incredibly grateful to this day for all the wonderful friends and family who came out of the woodwork to help me during this dark time.
This is Just the Beginning if You Want it To be
But what I really want to point out to you here is that I know what’s it like, I kind of know what you’re going through and I want you to know this doesn’t have to be your life right now. You can improve your life and your situation.
I’d love it if you took a few minutes to check out these related links below, as I feel they will really help you a lot and give you a better understanding of where I’m coming from.
Over 50 Unemployed and Depressed: 10 Tips to Give You Hope
I hope that these tips give you hope! I sincerely want you, no wait, I need you to know that being over 50 unemployed and depressed isn’t the end of your story or how your life should be from here on in.
You need to know that you can change your life, but it’s up to you to make those changes. It’s up to you to take action. I can only give you tips. I hope you use them.
The first thing you need to do is tackle the symptoms of depression. It’s important to deal with this head on.
Signs of Depression
In case you aren’t sure if you are depressed or just sad, here are some signs of depression to watch for:
- constant fatigue
- lack of interest in doing things
- loss of appetite
- feelings of hopelessness
- unexplained aches and pains
- irritable and testy
- cry for no reason
- need for isolation
Those are just a few signs. The Mayo Clinic has this great article on depression with tons more information.
If you recognize any or many of these signs, please talk to someone. Please. You don’t have to suffer alone, and you shouldn’t. So many people love you and want to help you.
Let’s move on to the 10 tips I have for you if you are over 50 unemployed and depressed.
1 Find Someone to Talk to
It could be a therapist, family members, or close friends. Find someone to talk to. People don’t read minds, and if you are sad and depressed, most people won’t know unless you tell them.
Whether you seek professional help or confide in a close friend is irrelevant. Just reach out to someone. Many people are more than happy to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. You’ll soon see that talking out your problems feels like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.
2 Find Support Groups
Many of us who start feeling depressed and/or sad tend to stay off social media and limit social contact. Everything makes us sad, and we feel we have nothing good to contribute to a conversation or social interaction, so we alienate and isolate ourselves.
If you prefer to stay indoors and reach out to people via the computer, it’s a good idea to find support groups, but good support groups, to help you deal with your issues. I usually caution people to stay away from public groups on Facebook with over ten thousand members as you won’t get the help you need.
Find small private groups that are run by professional therapists and coaches and get support.
3 Make Small Lists
Many things seem overwhelming. Life seems overwhelming. Normal day-to-day tasks seem undoable. It’s important to try to stay functional and productive without the overwhelm.
Make a list each morning of a few tasks that need to be taken care of. These tasks could include small simple things like taking out the garbage or cleaning your room.
If you need to start looking for a new job, make a separate list of some places you would be interested in working. Is your resume up to date? Get that done asap. It’s hard to find a job if you aren’t prepared, right?
Look, I totally get that it sucks to be out looking for a job over 50 but the fact is, it must be done. Being over 50 unemployed and depressed sucks but what sucks even more is staying there. You know you don’t want to.
The goal here is to keep busy without overdoing it, which will help boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. You’ll soon start feeling worthy again!
4 Let People Know You Are Looking For a Job
Don’t be embarrassed or feel like a failure because you are looking for work at 50. You’re not alone in this. Put the word out to friends, family, and even former colleagues that you are in the market for a new job.
You never know what kind of tips or recommendations you might get. Remember, in Tip 1, I told you people don’t read minds. You have to let people know you are looking. There could be a sweet job opening at one of your friend’s workplaces that is perfect for you.
Spread the word!
5 Replace Scrolling With Meditation or Yoga
Let’s face it; scrolling can sometimes be depressing. Especially if all your friends are posting awesome wonderful things about their lives. It just makes you even more depressed and feel more like a loser.
You don’t need to be adding fuel to the fire. You need to step away from the fire and find something that brings you joy and peace.
Instead of scrolling mindlessly on Facebook or Instagram, why not check out some soothing meditation audios on YouTube or Insight Timer or even some yoga?
6 Visit Former Employers
This may surprise you, but some employers are happy to take back former employees, of course, depending on certain conditions, but if you left on good terms, they may consider rehiring you. It’s ok to swallow your pride here.
That’s what I had to do.
My former employer was more than happy to have me back. Thank God. But if I had never asked her, who knows where I would have ended up?
7 Check Out Your Local Unemployment Office
Either in person or online. Or maybe it’s time to look outside your area. Keep an open mind. If you are free to relocate, why not look for a job in a different city, province/state, or country?
It’s also good to point out that there are so many online jobs these days that it will blow your mind. And before you say, “Well, I’m not good on a computer,“ < that’s resistance and fear by the way, can you at least see what’s out there and maybe learn a new skill?
It’s easier than you think. This brings us to Tip #8
8 Learn a New Skill
Stop with the excuses. I know right now you’re probably yelling at the screen telling me you don’t have time to learn a new skill, you’re too old to learn a new skill, you don’t you can’t you don’t you can’t.
Stop all of it. YES YOU CAN.
I mean, where are you right now? Over 50 unemployed and depressed. You have to do something about it now. So while you are looking for work and working on self-improvement, why not learn a new skill at the same time?
We already know you have lots of time on your hands at the moment, use it wisely!
After I tucked my tail between my legs and went back to my former job, I spent time learning a new skill so I could create my own job and have more freedom. And this leads us to Tip #9
9 Create Your Own Job
You have skills. Everyone has a special talent, so don’t tell me you don’t have any special skills. I don’t believe you. And this is a perfect idea and tip for those of you who have become ill, disabled, etc, and can’t leave the house to work.
Create your own job!!
I did. Actually, once I got the freelance writing thing down, I started my own online business, which is this site you are reading this blog on now.
Use your imagination. So many people are making money online doing ridiculous things, for God’s sake.
10 Use Affirmations to Boost Your Self Confidence
This may sound old and cliche but trust me, it works. I used to walk around my tiny apartment shouting affirmations to myself all the time. I was over 50 unemployed and depressed and desperately needed some inspiration and motivation.
I AM WORTHY.
I DO DESERVE GOOD THINGS.
THIS ISN’T HOW MY STORY ENDS.
THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHAPTER FOR ME.
SOMETHING GOOD IS COMING MY WAY SOON
I AM SMART AND TALENTED AND AWESOME
Look, being over 50 unemployed and depressed is bullsh*t and horrible. Instead of walking around the house feeling sorry for yourself, why not boost your confidence with affirmations and positive sayings?
You may not believe them at first, but eventually, you will, and you’ll feel each word in every ounce of your being. And it’s such a beautiful feeling.
Being Over 50 Unemployed and Depressed Isn’t the End of Your Story
I know that so many women who are over 50 unemployed and depressed think this is it. This is the end of the line for them. It’s all going to h*ll from here, but that’s so not true. If you’ve been telling yourself all those lies, please stop now.
I told myself those lies too until one day I didn’t. One day I had enough of whining, crying and complaining about my life and I finally did something about it. I need you to do that too.
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!
Being over 50 unemployed and depressed is just a wake-up call for you. You are stronger than you think. You need to start taking action to change your life.
Listen, nothing changes if nothing changes, BUT change is up to you!! No one can do that for you. If you want a better life, YOU need to take steps to change it.