Advice for those considering Working (Full/Part-time/Volunteering)

I see so many threads from people about weighing up working with staying on benefits.

My advice as someone who has done both:

  1. Healthcare workers are not employment specialists. They should have these people who they can refer you too. Do not take their opinions as true, as they will always put you down if you want to work

  2. You do not have to go straight into full time work. If you think about it. You’re probably free a lot of the time. Why not start a small business, or study to work in a field you enjoy…

  3. It isn’t that bad once you get a routine going. Almost everyone gets a routine. You just need to develop one.

  4. Stop using the generic term in your thinking as just ‘work’. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different jobs to do. Be creative about what you pursue.

  5. If you’re on benefits, generally the government wants you to work if you can, so this should be encouraged with financial support to ease you back into the workforce, so you shouldn’t just get cut off

  6. Symptom wise, you need to accept that sitting at home letting your symptoms wind you up is not a good use of time. You’d most likely find that at work you’d be sufficiently distracted enough by your task to actually alleviate some of the stress.

Try it! You have nothing to lose. Find your passion, and be one of those people who enjoy what they do, and not just someone who clocks in and out for a pay check - that’s no way to live.

I see you all having potential to do something for yourselves… Just give it a go and you may find something that really works for you!

Hope this doesn’t seem out of place or anything, but I think a lot of people who post about work here are thinking far to generically, and need to actually make it granular and have a actual idea of what they want to do.


I think you have some great points here. I would add that it’s about your stress management too. If you are struggling with the tasks you’ll do poorly and managing your stress is so important.

I would agree with you on your other points too and glad your ahead of the game!

1 Like

Thanks @rogueone for your comments.

Stress management is important.

I have personally worked in so many different roles, in different environments with different people. Each has it’s own unique things that are great, and not so much.

It just irritates me when healthcare workers write off people, as they tried to pull this on me, and I had none of it!


I love my volunteer job. It’s great and it gets me out of the house.

Real jobs make me stressed as I’m lo skilled. I have experience in vehicle accessory fitting but not mechanics. I have experience in retail but I stress under too much pressure.

I think your right in some respects and enjoy people doing well in our community. Don’t give up and keep working for what you want to achieve. I think you make a good point here. Don’t settle for second best. Your bang on the money there.

1 Like

I just hate seeing people on the brink of giving up, and being fooled into thinking they cannot give things a go and see for themselves.

The advice I got from mental health professionals when I was first diagnosed was awful.

The head nurse convinced me to get rid of my mortgage deposit I had spent years saving, back to pay off student debt that just sits there. This was so I was poor enough to get a free flat and benefits.

Luckily once I came to and realised what I had done, I managed to get the money back. I even had to lobby my MP to get involved to help me. It was so stressful.


I love you doing well with things. You really do deserve it and it’s good to fight for better function on any level. Don’t settle. Fight for what you want to do or live…

It really is a good and positive message for our community.


I genuinely care about all the people here, and just want the best for them and not to give up!


These are some really good tips! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Thank you for sharing this thoughts. Please give me advice about how i deal with my situation. I am currently working as a govt employee ( junior civil engineer ). After taking VRS I want to complete master degree ( that takes two extra year ) and open a consultant firm. This is my dream job. But in this my monthly income may reduce about one fourth in starting. My age is 49 years. How i do or don’t.

I have no advice for your specific situation, but sometimes the risk is needed to be taken, and you need to fall a bit outside of your comfort zone to try and progress and do something more aligned to what you want.

When I left my job in March where I’d worked in an office for 6 years, I had no idea what to do, but now I am so far doing well being self employed.

There is certainly still a lot of demand out there

1 Like

In the USA when you work you pay Social Security taxes on your income. Part of those taxes are for Disability Insurance. You have to work so many years and earn so many employment quarter credits to qualify for and receive Social Security Disability pay. I worked since I was 14 years old in a weekend job. I worked the summer’s and weekends after I turned 16 and it was legal for me to work full-time. At 19 I dropped out of college and went to work full-time, year round.
In my early 30’s after SzA kicked in at 30, I couldn’t do my job any more. I moved back in with my mom and worked for my aut-in-law as a janitor/stock clerk 32 hours a week, for ten to fifteen years. She retired, I lost my job, and I went on disability.
I’ve since volunteered doing Alcoholics Anonymous work one or two days a week.

1 Like

Im going out of my comfort zone this spring aiming for an operations management position at a property service company they do around 3MM in sales a year. Hoping it wont be too stressful, I havnt managed a larger company before. It will be a challenging but i think rewarding experience.

1 Like

This will for sure make things interesting.

My last job was very challenging. It was the exposure to the higher level information I struggled to cope with, as I became part of the senior leadership team of our business unit.

All I can say is best of luck with it, and don’t be concerned if it doesn’t work for you, as you can do something else if this doesn’t work!

Hopefully thinking like that might take the pressure off a bit?

anyways, sounds like a great opportunity!

1 Like

I wish you the best of luck with your new job.

1 Like

Thanks mate,

Yeah my thinking is if i dont try I will be kicking myself. If I do and it doesn’t workout thats okay. Atleast I will have given it a go.

Im only 33 if theres a time to learn and fail and learn from it, its now :blush:

Theres lots of other opportunities out there but i gotta try this one while the opportunity is there.


For sure. You’ll kill it! Let us know how you get on if you can.

1 Like

Will do thanks man :+1:

Thanks mike :blush: 1515

1 Like


should i feel guilty for not wanting to work full time? my psychiatrist and therapist tell me i can’t work and that i shouldn’t try, but i feel like i might be able to, maybe fifty fifty odds, so that makes me feel guilty that maybe i should try. but i dont want to work full time. it’s risky and i wouldn’t like it. should i feel guilty?

You should feel no guilt.

We all here have been given a diagnosis that’s hard to manage.

If you feel like you want to try and work, start small and give it a go.

No way should you feel you need to out of guilt.

Only do what you’re comfortable with

My main message is that there are so many ways to work that are quite flexible, and doing different things.

What one person finds hard, someone else may find easy.

All you need to do is find something you enjoy. If that’s volunteering for a day a week at a charity store, that’s a start. One day you might feel more comfortable, and go for a paid job.

It’s entirely up to you

The main point I was trying to get across is that it’s not as much of a lost cause as the health professionals make out. They were trying to rob me of a life, and somehow I managed to separate myself from Mental Health professionals for two years, and when I got back in contact I was working full time, and they had to deal with it.

No way am I saying it’s easy, but being at home all day with no real distraction is also not healthy either.

Just need to find a balance.

I hope I didn’t upset anyone with my post. All I was thinking when I wrote that this morning was trying to give people some hope, as healthcare professionals don’t seem to get that putting people down and saying they cannot work is just counter productive to the recovery model they all like to talk about…