Schizophrenia.com

Finding a Job


#1

So I’ve been debating if I should get back to work. After all I am only 32. My last job I worked as a data entry clerk for a temp agency and was at the same location for almost three years. We processed incoming tax mail and sent the processed paperwork to the IRS to do whatever they did with them. All we basically did was say if a person paid and if so how much. The rest went to whom ever. If you picture the workplace a like a ladder our positions were at the very, very bottom.

Well I had worked there going in whenever they called. And during the 4 times a year the IRS collects taxes (quarterly and yearly) we worked 7 days a week 8 hours a day. I rarely called out sick unless I really felt or had thrown up. I was always early to my shift and a hard worker. I was never fully reprimanded heck I was even promoted to a team-leader position but respectfully declined after the peak was over and went back to my post in data entry.

I was working there when I went into a relapse with my Schizophrenia and was up all night with the delusions and hallucinations. Then paranoid at work also because of what was going on in my head. Then started feeling sick to my stomach at work and eventually decided I needed a medical leave while I worked with my psychiatrist to readjust my medications.

That took a year to get me to be able to be around people without it automatically resulting in a panic attack. I attempted to return to work but they were giving me the run around and I really hadn’t wanted to return to the work environment that had caused my relapse in the first place so I went back to school and got a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration.

Briefly after school I had attempted to get a part time job. I found out that company also wanted me working long 7 days a week anywhere from 6am to midnight. I knew I couldn’t handle that and decided to quit that same week.

My dream is to work in medical doctor’s office as some kind of receptionist or secretary type position but my problems are two things. Because of my illness I have very little real world work experience (most of my experience comes from education training rather than actual work) and almost everywhere around me wants actual work experience. The second is my Schizophrenia.

I’m worried working will only lead to another relapse. Then I wonder should I tell my perspective employer that I have Schizophrenia? Don’t they have a right to know? If they knew would that prevent them from hiring me? How do I explain my gaps in work experience because most of them happened when I was having relapses and needed the time off. That doesn’t sound good to explain you needed time off to situate the crazies in your head. I don’t know. I’m working on a novel right now, but I’m really wishing I had a job to call my own. A way to make a better living for myself.

Wouldn’t it be great if I could something like Data entry at home? I don’t have the fiances to go back to school for medical billing and coding degrees. I’m being hounded from SallieMae to pay back the Bachelor’s degree. And I’m worried about going to school for Medical Billing and Coding because think they have a lot of math classes in that curriculum and I really suck at math classes. I can do data entry real well, I can learn codes to put into a system I can use a calculator, just don’t ask me to do it point blank in my head and don’t ask me to find the value of x + y to get it to =z.

Any suggestions on working in a professional environment while dealing with Schizophrenia?


#2

Telling your prospective employer that you have schizophrenia is a personal choice. Unfortunately 80% of the stories I hear when people say they tell their employer are negative. I have work unskilled jobs for 30 years. My schizophrenia does not get in the way of me performing my duties so I don’t tell anyone. It’s my personal business so why tell someone something that will most likely be used against me?


#5

What I tried to say is do a search for “Filling gaps in work history on resume”.


#6

Well to be honest, telling someone that you have a disability in an interview doesn’t increase chances of being hired but it is not supposed to decrease it either. It’s not necessary information but if you’re concerned about panic attacks then you might want to tell them you have generalized anxiety instead.

I would focus on paying back your loans. I’m in a similar position so what I’ve done is applied and wrote up as much as I can in a resume. I’m starting out small because I’ve been a full time student and had to take a year off/well I was going to take a semester off and request medical leave but family crises don’t count so I have to pay back two conditional scholarships that I wasnt aware worked that way.


#7

Here’s my thoughts. I recently went back to work (but have since quit, and when they asked why I had a 4 year gap in my history, I told them I got a chronic disease and had to stay out of work for a while until I stabilized. I told the hiring manager this very matter-of-factly, and he accepted that as a reasonable explanation. He didn’t ask what was wrong with me, only if I was able to do the job without any assistance. I told him it wouldn’t be a problem. Next thing I knew, I got the job.

But you can give him any ■■■■■■■■ excuse you want to if you find a job and get to the interview part. Just be blunt without being rude, and tell him you spent time going to school. For an entry-level job, which it sounds like you’re seeking, I doubt they will follow up with anyone. Shoot, I even put down references with real names and fake phone numbers.

As for telling anyone about your illness, I would have to emphatically say no to. Maybe in 20 years the stigma will have improved, but right now is not a good time to stick your toes into that water. Don’t even tell coworkers. It might make it’s way back to the manager, and before you know it, you’ll be gone, especially in a right-to-work state.

Hope this helped some.


#8

Can I, Should I, become a programer?

Firstly you can definitely work from home, indeed many companies would prefer this especially if you set up as a contractor. To be honest it is FAR easier to get work as a company than it is to go through full time employer.

What about Math!? The truth is that unless you want to get into 3D Graphics, say game programming - or complex AI (which will involve data structures) or something that uses heavy math in, then you DO NOT need a high level of Math.

If you get your math level to ‘A-Level Math’ (UK) basically college level, eg after school and before university then that will be enough. Sure you may want to do a Degree module in Discrete Math later, eg set theory, vectors, etc - which can HELP. Anyway in truth you do not need this level of understanding.

So you want to be a programer? What Kind?! Personally the quickest you could get, say in 1-2 years is a web designer (eg programmer) position. But be aware they are 2/3 roles and therefore you MUST get the correct skills for the job you want.

Client/Front End (eg design, what you see, accessibility) - HTML 5, CSS, JS, etc
Server/Back End (eg databases, code, etc) PHP 5 (OOAD), SQL

Anyway I hope it helps!

Remember EVERY programer was once in the position you are now. Should I, Should I Not? Is it worth it? Is it worth the time and effort to learn? It is…

Average contracting rate is: £100-£500+ per day.

And most projects, if you are GOOD, last weeks and months. Dont bother accepting day jobs.

No company will ask about Mental Health, if you work as a company. Why would they? You would then have grounds to sue them for discrimination; remember you are “a company” not an employee.

People you work for can ask all kinds of nasty questions due to “health and safety etc”. Company to Company cannot due to the Privacy Act. eg your employees information is private and MUST be legally kept that way!


Name some forum members that inspire you
#9

best wishes in finding employment…my personal opinion is don’t say anything about your disability


#11

I took a class on writing cover letters and resumes and interviewing. The instructor told us if you had a gap in your resume to use the parenting you did or hobby you have in a way that would make the employer smile. His wife raised their children so under employer she wrote King’s Nursery specializing in EIEIO. For the time I’ve been off for taking care of my sz and going to school I put as my employer Kira’s Grooming Company specializing in Fetch and wrote that I attended to the client’s appearance, nutrition, and exercise basically saying I take care of my dogs. You get what I’m saying? Be creative. You should always address employment gaps on your resume, but don’t lie. Another thing you should try to use the word proud somewhere on your resume. And make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. One last thing, DO NOT say I got my Bachelor’s degree. This will make you sound uneducated. Say Bachelor of Science. People make this mistake all the time and don’t get the job and can’t figure out why. One last tip and then I’ll stop. Make sure your Facebook or other social media doesn’t have anything that would give the wrong impression. My instructor had a student who had a picture of him drinking this health drink out of a big pint glass. It looked like he was partying and drinking a huge glass of beer. That kind of thing gives employers the wrong impression. Good luck in your job search and feel free to ask me any questions. I’m also studying computer programming. :sunny:


#12

Wonder if it`s possible to work from home? Some company call centers would rather set you up at home. Good luck to you!


#13

i am self employed but you need to find a job, that works to your advantages but acknowledges your sz limitations…( it is important for you to know your limitations not your boss !! )
hope things go well for you,
good luck.
take care