Skip to content Skip to footer


A person’s profession serves at least two vital functions in their lives. The first and most immediate function is that it helps provide the money they need in order to purchase food, clothing, shelter, and entertainment. But the second need, which is also very important, is that working gives a person a creative outlet. It helps them to learn new skills while expressing themselves in the workplace. Both of these factors, income and creative self-expression, are reasons that working is vital to a person’s self-esteem. It is also instructive as to why those who find themselves unemployed often find themselves suffering from low self-esteem as a result.


Unemployed menThough many people complain about their jobs, the very act of having a job and going to work can be a tremendous boost to a person’s self-esteem. This is because, as previously mentioned, working gives the individual a source of income and self-expression. But there additional benefits that maintaining a job has for an individual’s self-esteem. For example, those who wish to move up in their companies can have their self-esteem buoyed by the pursuit of a better position. And many companies provide incentives which, when taken advantage of, also serve as self-esteem boosters, such as gym memberships and tuition reimbursement.


One of the most devastating results of losing employment is the financial uncertainty which often ensues. Because many people live from paycheck to paycheck, the sudden loss of employment can be extremely difficult emotionally. But simply the loss of employment, if it is not for disciplinary reasons, will probably not be enough to permanently affect a person’s self-esteem. It is when they return to the job market and find that it is very difficult or impossible to find employment at the same level of pay, or in the same field, that a person’s self-esteem may suffer long-term damage.
Another reason an unemployed person may suffer from low-self-esteem is because the job search itself is often filled with rejection. After submitting numerous resumes and job applications, and going on numerous interviews and not getting the job, all while dealing with the daily financial responsibilities which continue to mount, it is no surprise that many people’s self-esteem falters as a result.


There are actually several things you can do to retain your self-esteem while you are unemployed. The first is to simply remember that you are not defined by your job, or your economic situation. As a human being, you have intrinsic value and tremendous creative potential. Making use of this realization and creative potential is one of the best ways to retain your self-esteem while unemployed.


  • Start and End Your Day with Positivity ” One of the best things you can do in order to maintain and boost your self-esteem in unemployment is to start and end every day with positivity. Create a positive affirmation or mantra, and get in the habit of waking with it and going to bed with it every day. You can also use it during those times when your self-esteem seems to be faltering and needs a boost.
  • Volunteer ” One of the best ways to keep your skills sharp and avoid falling into a pit of self-pity is to help others solve their problems. Make use of the skills you learned on the job, and do your best to help make the world a better place for all.
  • Start a Business ” Many people who have found themselves unemployed have started small businesses to help make ends meet. Seeing your small business grow will not only help you pay the bills, but it will also help you prevent your self-esteem from cratering.
  • Exercise ” Exercise generally has self-esteem boosting effects on those who do it consistently. When you find yourself unemployed, take the opportunity to get in the best shape of your life. If you can’t afford a gym membership, take up running or create an at-home workout plan.
  • Grow a Garden ” If you are a homeowner or have access to a plot of land, take up gardening as a way to help boost self-esteem. Not only will this hobby put food on the table, however little, but the contact with nature can only be beneficial.

Leave a comment