How to tackle fear, depression, and low self-esteem as an unemployed graduate

Fear and low self-esteem are some of the challenges faced by job seekers in our society. Low self-esteem can bring about emotional imbalance in the life of an average graduate which could lead to depression and anxiety.

However, there are ways in which one can tackle the issue of depression and low self-esteem.

Control your thought process: as a job seeker or an unemployed graduate there’s a need to control what runs in your mind, because ‘you are the product of your thoughts’. “Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself’’.

So as an unemployed, I would advise you to think highly of yourself, and do not allow your present predicament takes the better of you. Summon courage and have confidence in yourself, because ‘you are what you think you are’.

Have a positive mind-set: the need to having a positive mind-set cannot be overemphasized as a job seeker. Occupying your mind with positive thoughts will go a long way to help you in your job quest, and will probably land you your dream job and secure your future as a graduate. Before now, as a job seeker I have always been scared of interviews, due to the fear of failure or not been able to meet up with the standard of the interviewer. I do well in written test, but when it comes to interviews am always scared and I sometimes develop cold feet and sweaty palms whenever am called upon.

But what I have been able to learn from this subconscious attitude of mine is that; most times when I panic in an interview secession, the believed that I have failed even before I try comes to mind, due to the fear and panic in me. Most times when things like that happens, all you need do is calm yourself down and be positive about yourself, and believe you can do it. Interview is more of a game of ‘perception rather than competence’. Sometimes is not as if you are not good enough for that position you are being interviewed for, but due to fear and negative thoughts which could have been as a result of past failures. You realize that the position you should be occupying is given to someone else, because the interviewer perceived you won’t be able to excel in that role.

Letting go off past failures: As an individual who needs to get rid of low self-esteem; the importance of putting your past behind you cannot be over-emphasized. The habit of holding onto the failure from the past hinders positive thinking.

Your reaction to your failures, as much as your successes, defines you. You can beat yourself up over a failure, or you can give yourself the permission to make mistake, and vow to learn from them. Let’s face it, whichever route you take, you will still make some mistakes in your life. One approach chips away your self-esteem, the other helps you become a better person.

To get rid of fear of failure that could lead to low self-esteem, there is need to put the past behind you. Forget about that interview that went bad, forget about the negative words and gossips. The moment you are able to move on leaving the past behind, you would notice a breath of fresh air around you,  and your peace of mind would be restored.

Take responsibility for your actions: Again, at some point or the other in your life, intentionally or accidentally, you will let others down. When that happens, quit making excuses and accept them as a consequence of your choices. Quit the regretting and focus on repair. Pick up the pieces, assemble and put your life back on track.

Always be prepared to take responsibility for your actions, know when to say “I’m sorry”. And make sure you put in genuine effort to fix things in a way that is acceptable to people in your life. It is a lot of effort, but a healthy self-esteem is rooted in knowing that you always do the right thing.

Learn to say no. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Often we say yes because of the fear of authority or the fear of hurting someone’s feelings or worries that we will let someone down. But every time you say a yes that you don’t mean, you’ll end up doing a ‘half-hearted’ job. And then you are unhappy that you said what you didn’t want to say, and you are unhappy that you did such a lousy job of what you said you would do.

As a job seeker, learn to break out of that habit. Instead, just say what you mean and mean what you say. You don’t have to be rude about it, just be firm and decisive. Developing the ability to speak your mind in a kind but firm manner, and to really deliver on your promises, will go a long way in building your self-esteem and according you the respect you deserve.


Work on your self-confidence: self-confidence is key to landing your dream job, and building self-confidence as a job seeker will go a long way to boost your career as an individual. No matter how good you may think you are as a person, if you do not have confidence in yourself, it is as good as you knowing nothing. If you are a first class or 2:1 graduate without confidence in yourself and the ability to prove your worth, then it would appear as if you end up wasting your years in the university. The role of self-confidence as a job seeker cannot be underplayed, because your confidence will make your employer want to listen to you, and make people around you seek your opinion on issues and your inability to do these things a graduate will put a dent on your image, and reduces respect people have for you.

Love yourself: the most important weapon any man can use to conquer fear is the love for one’s self. Loving yourself will go a long way to boost your moral and self-confidence.  Until you start loving yourself and showing yourself that love you deserve; before you will find happiness and fulfillment. Self-compassion simply means providing yourself with the love, safety, and acceptance you need to be successful in life. Being mindful and having self-control encourage us to become assertive in re-branding one’s self.

Paying attention to the things that runs in your mind will give you the power to control your thoughts, and it gives you an edge towards achieving success and becoming the person you picture yourself to be.


An article written by: Adekoya adetola


Tel: 07067205881

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Adetola is a graduate of Ekiti State university, and also a graduate member of the Nigerian institute of management (NIM). He constantly seeks knowledge and understanding because he believes there's no limitations to the mind 'except the once we acknowledge'. His passion for writing cannot be quantified. Email: Tel: 07067205881


  1. uthman saheed

    June 5, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for this article…Its inspiring and would be useful to most Nigerian youths at this present economic mess up.

    • Ifiokobong Rob

      June 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      Sure it will, Thanks for reading @Saheed

      • Adetola Adekoya

        June 8, 2016 at 6:59 pm

        Thanks for taking your time to read it @Uthman

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