Jobless Brits hide their problems from family and friends as they are riddled with anxiety, new report reveals

NEARLY half of jobless people hide their problems from family and friends, according to a new report. 

And the emotional toll of finding work is laid bare, with 42 per cent experiencing feelings of anxiety, self-doubt (41 per cent), depression (24 per cent) and despair (21 per cent).   

Job-seeking was even felt to be more stressful than getting a divorce, moving house or sitting exams.  

But the study of 2,000 UK adults who have been unemployed by global job site, Indeed, found 45 per cent keep their unemployment woes to themselves instead of seeking support.   

Just under half (49 per cent) feel too "embarrassed" to talk about their employment struggles.   

The study also found that 18–34-year-olds are the worst at expressing their feelings, with 59 per cent admitting to exaggerating how successful their job search was going for fear of being judged.   

Indeed has launched a collection of poetry penned by newly hired candidates, mentored by renowned artist and Young People’s Laureate for London, Cecilia Knapp, to encourage conversations around looking for work and inspire those on the hunt for their next role.   


The Little Book of Big Triumphs tells the poetic tales of former jobseekers’ experiences of triumphing over adversity to find work.    

Poet Cecilia Knapp said: "I love helping different groups of people tell their stories and is why I wanted to work with this group of courageous, newly hired people who have faced all sorts of challenges. 

"I have always used writing as a way to discover a language for my experiences, and in that way confront, examine and express parts of my life. 

"Throughout the process, I wanted our storytellers to feel the benefits of creative expression and the empowerment that comes from writing and to use their poems to breed empathy around a subject not often discussed, and inspire others seeking employment."

The study also found that with joblessness impacting self-esteem, 63 per cent feel nervous about getting back into the workplace after being unemployed.   

A lack of confidence (61 per cent), the fear of meeting new people (57 per cent) and performance anxiety (43 per cent) were the main causes of this anxiety.    

And more than half (55 per cent) feel their worries would burden their family and friends.    

A further 27 per cent of those surveyed via OnePoll worried that their job-seeking anxiety would affect their relationships, citing it as another reason for keeping their emotions to themselves.   

Deepa Somasundari, senior director of strategic projects at Indeed, said: “Finding work can be an emotional rollercoaster fraught with ups and downs.   

“We know that many people are uncomfortable discussing their employment and ultimately hide their true feelings.    

“Covid-19 pulled the rug out from under people’s career plans and our research shows the emotional barriers they face to get back on their feet and get a job.    

“However, there are reasons for optimism and as Britain’s jobs recovery gathers pace it’s clear the role friends and family can play – in good times and bad – to support people in opening up about challenges they face and ultimately their triumphs. 

“With our “Little Book of Big Triumphs”, we hope the poetic recounting of people’s ups and downs finding work, and how they ultimately overcame adversity to triumph in their job search, can inspire and help people facing similar challenges feel less alone.”  

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