The emasculating effect of a challenging job market

Does the struggle to secure employment make men more vulnerable to psychological distress?

Michael F. Buckley
4 min readApr 2, 2024
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

I have been applying to job openings for over six months. According to Flexjobs, it takes about three–six months to get a job from start to finish. However, being in the design field and with the ongoing tech layoffs, I imagine that time might be longer for design professionals like me — at least, that’s the excuse I’ve told myself.

But generally speaking, going six months without a significant job offer has activated my panic mode. I’m going through various emotional stages that I’m sure others can relate to.

I’ve started questioning my competency and experience. And at times, I become resentful and angry towards companies for not recognizing my value — which is quite pathetic on my part. But worst of all, I have begun doubting my self-worth and perception of reality.

It’s especially disheartening because I’ve always had a job and never had trouble getting one.

The day I turned sixteen, I got my first job as a mechanic at my local bicycle shop. After that, I attended college while working full-time at a farm supply store which helped pay for my degree and rent.