I bombed out big time at the first jobs I had early in my recovery.
I was terminated from 4 out of the 5 jobs I held in the 1990s. Yes I was laid off from every job except one of them. No job I held lasted more than 19 months.
Finding the right job for you can take time too.
It wasn’t until I obtained a library degree and started working in a library that things got better for me in terms of my life as well as my vocation.
This happened when I was 35 years old not a year sooner.
You shouldn’t give up. As a young person, your life is not over when you’re 20 and diagnosed with SZ or BP or DP or whatever mental health issue you have. You recovery has just begun.
Dare to dream. Create a support network of peers and family and providers that can help you get to where you want to be.
Your life hasn’t ended. You can have a long life.
A good friend of mine was diagnosed with SZ when he was 13 years old. He’s 73 years old now. No kidding. He has SZ and is still here at 73. Proof that not everyone diagnosed with SZ dies 25 years earlier.
This guy does what he loves which keeps him young.
I’ve written a career guide for mental health peers. It talks about figuring out the kind of job you might be good at and like to do long-term.
Other books exist. One is titled Going to College with Autism.
We mental health peers need to rise up and clamor: “Where’s our book? Why does the autism crowd get a book and we don’t? What’s the delay?”
For going on over 11 years now I’ve created resumes for people. Numerous people I’ve helped have gotten job interviews that led to job offers.
Try not to despair when you think there’s nothing you can possibly do compared to other people who don’t have a mental health issue.
My work as a librarian and peer counselor and career services person has shown me that going to school and work when you have a diagnosis is possible for a significant number of people.
Just remember: it can take time to find the right job that you love waking up to go to in the morning.
I had to go back to school to get the degree that would enable me to have this kind of job. So far I’ve been a librarian for over 17 years.
I’ve been an Advocate for over 15 years so far too.
In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about disclosure on the job once again.
It’s true that when you find the job where you belong disclosure becomes irrelevant.