How Do I Overcome My Feelings of Depression from My Lackluster Job?

Someone on Quora asked:

How do I overcome my feelings of depression from only getting a tech support job while my friends all got good software jobs at reputed companies?

I believe I’m not clinically depressed. I am an engineering graduate from a tier-3 college in India. There were few placements at my college and I didn’t get placed in any company off campus except for tech support at a good company. I had kept tech support as a ‘safe’ option.

My friends from tier-1 and tier-2 colleges got good software jobs at reputed companies. I feel ashamed and I avoid contact with most people, including some close friends and relatives.

This was my response:

The advice is simple. The implementation is hard.

Don’t allow your job to define who you are.

Being Asian, I have been known to take great pride in my work. My job always defined me. Then, one day I ended up in an entry level position. I thought I could move up, but it just wasn’t happening. I tried over and over, yet was stuck in the exact same place. I was mad. I got angry. Then I got depressed. I stayed depressed for a whole year, trying to escape the job which defined me. I dug myself deeper and deeper into depression, until life just seemed pointless.

Then I did something to redefine myself. Instead of allowing my job to define me, I just saw it as an act. A place I went to each day to earn a living. Something I did to survive, as opposed to something that defined who I was.

Each morning, I thought of at least three things for which I was grateful. I slept eight hours a day. I started exercising regularly. Then I started to just live in the moment. I used to think of the future and of the past, but I found that when living outside of the present, things get distorted or we become delusional. So I started to smell the flowers, play in the park, stare at the squirrels and just start to appreciate what was around me.

Then I went from being a depressed loser to a happy loser. Somehow, that had eventually turned into more than just internal happiness and has changed everything else in my life, even helping me find a girlfriend whom I adore. Who in the world would’ve thought that an entry level employee would be able to slowly start to attain everything he ever wanted… But only if he put gratitude at the forefront of his life.

Oh yeah and do something on the side, like a hobby or business. Something you actually enjoy.

Originally posted on Quora.

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