So over the last three years, I’ve had two jobs. First I was a cashier at a grocery store, then a sales associate at a pet store. I made chump change at both jobs, but I expected that because it was retail. I went to school to become a dog groomer because I couldn’t handle college with my mental illness. I thought I had it perfect. I love animals, I love creativity and hands on work. About two months ago I got a job as a dog groomer at a place that just started offering dog grooming. I was promised to make at least $25,000 a year and my boss said he’d buy me any supplies I needed to have a successful grooming business through him. At first it was great, I was getting paid hourly to do kennel work while I advertised to bring in grooming clients. My boss loved me. Now all of a sudden, even though my performance hasn’t declined, I’m getting yelled at for every little thing, I’ve only had 2 clients in 2 months despite handing out over 200 business cards, and my boss has already cut my hours significantly. I feel like in 3 years of continuous employment, I haven’t been able to save up any money, whatever I do make goes toward my bills, and everyone I work for treats me like ■■■■. All I want is to save money so my fiancé and I can get married and move into our own place. I want to be normal and successful, but it feels like no matter how hard I try, all I make is chump change. I feel like I might as well give up. I know I’ve only been working at my new job for a couple months but it’s gone so downhill so fast that I already can’t pay my bills and have to look for a new job, getting money from my parents in the meantime. Is this what adult life with schizophrenia is like? Trying so hard to make a life for yourself and failing miserably? Always relying on “normal” people to help you get by? I wanna feel like I’m more than that, but I’m really discouraged right now.
If you have the dog grooming skills… ask around and see if you can take those skills to a new place.
I sure there is someone out there who will treat you with the respect you deserve.
I was a dog groomer for six years and let me tell you the industry is hard to make a decent living on unless you are an experienced groomer. They often only pay you like 20% commission until you have several years of experience under your belt. Then they will pay you about 60% commission. Unfortunately, you get the most business in the summer time. The rest of the year you have to rely on your regular customers that come in at least once a month. It is not a good job for someone that is looking to make decent money on a full time basis. Even when you start making 60% commission. You will not get enough customers throughout the entire year to support yourself. I have worked with animals for 12 years and think it is the perfect industry for someone with Schizophrenia since you don’t have to interact with that many people. Unfortunately, the downside about working with animals is that most of the jobs do not pay much. If you live in a big city, you might want to look into doing petsitting and dog walking. I was making about $15 hr doing that and had many regular clients. Don’t go to work for a daycare or boarding center; they don’t pay much. The most I ever made at one of those places was $9 hr. You could do a combination of grooming, dog walking and petsitting and live comfortably. That is my recommendation. I’m sorry to hear that they are yelling at you and cutting your hours. Grooming is a high stress job and the last thing you need is someone yelling at you on top of hearing dogs howl and whine and having them nip at you while you’re trying to work on them. I hope it all works out for you!
Every person I’ve met with the illness in the hospitals I’ve been to has had some one taking care of them. Usually a homeless shelter. Few even had jobs at all. You actually seem to be doing very well. If you’ve been able do some kind of schooling and hold down a job, your outlook is pretty good I’d say.
Dog grooming seems like it would be a fun job. Good luck with it
How old are you PrincessKenny? Have you ever seriously considered switching careers? Some workplaces aren’t as bad as your present one. I am on SSDI but I have worked many unskilled entry level positions since 1983. (I got diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1980 when I was 19.
We can’t always have the job we want but money is money and even lousy jobs put food on the table and pays for going out and having nice clothes. I would never recommend getting a lousy job but I’ve worked jobs I wasn’t fond of but still got satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment while doing them. I worked at Sears from 1992-1996. I was unloading trucks and I hated it but i was the best worker on our 7 man crew and got compliments on my work weekly. It spurred me on to work harder and I was quite proud of my work. I was 35 years old but i had to take crap from all my teen and twenty something co-workers.
I put up with it and concentrated on my work. But if you are young maybe you could get training for some other line of work. i read somewhere that the average adult switches careers 4 or 5 times in their lifetime. I like encouraging people to try to fulfill their dreams but sometimes we have to compromise. I’ll take any job offered but maybe you’re different.
I’m a janitor now and I like it, It’s easy physically and pays good (for me anyway). When I heard other mentally ill people say they wanted to be a janitor I thought, “Geez. Why are you shooting so low”? But it’s not a bad job and it keeps me around people and gives me structure. Maybe you could put out some feelers and check out the job market. if you look around you may find something that interests you.
I no longer work and have my mom taking care of me. I’m finally starting to feel stable enough to where I could take a job that requires minimal interaction with people. I get stressed and start hearing voices even when I’m interacting with only one person. I can’t picture being in a retail/sales position. Agh! I’m scared just thinking about it!
I can definitely relate. Are you on disability ?
Thanks for all your support and recommendations, everyone! I feel a lot better after hearing all your stories and experiences. I think sometimes I forget that being so young (I’m 20 btw Nick so I’m still a kid basically lol) it’s hard to make a living right out of school. I’ll feel around, check the job market, try to get clients, and I’ll start offering dog walking and pet sitting as well. I also applied for a job as assistant store manager at the PetSmart I used to work at where they loved me so fingers crossed that I get that job! Thanks again, everybody, I love how supportive this community is on here
How ironic would it be if you became a dog psychologist, lol? They really have those.
And yes, you are still very young and you will make mistakes but you can learn from them.
Damn they have those?? And yeah I hope it works out for me when I get a job grooming for a better salon
I can tell you’re intelligent, but if college is too much for you right now, and you’re good at hands on stuff, maybe you could get a trade at a vo-tech. Maybe you could try being a hair stylist, if that isn’t too much having to deal with normies for you. Try not to get discouraged.
Yes, I am. Luckily!
Thanks! Actually I wanted to be a medical examiner but I’m not cut out for the way traditional school is formatted so luckily I’m good with my hands. I do have a certificate to groom pets, and the schooling wasn’t cheap so right now I can’t afford to go do more schooling but maybe in the future. I do agree though, if I had a do over again, I would’ve become a hairstylist. People are so much easier to deal with than animals. You don’t have to chain people to the chairs or worry about them thrashing around while you cut their hair lol dogs are much more unpredictable. Retail work got me pretty used to the normies so I feel like I’d be a good hairdresser
yes. figuring ways to make it work for you. I’ve had 25 jobs since I turned 16 some 20 years ago and at some places the employers can be a thorn in the side. But I have also found that some employers are willing to work with you and you just have to be attentive and receptive. My immediate supervisor always takes my calls (or calls me back promptly) and I hold true that she “has my back.”
no. everyone has their own set of challenges, ours as sz people, we have a greater hill to climb. If you can’t see the summit, don’t worry, just take one foot, two feet at a time. do not be hasty in your decision making. you are at an age where you can still be selective. I know time is a factor, I encourage you to do a pros and cons list of all available work paths.
yes, but “rely” is a strong word to use. “facilitate” may be a better way to think of it. People with decision making powers have the bottom line in mind and that does not necessarily bode well for us szs. I wouldn’t stick around for employees that treat others poorly and a manager that isn’t giving me hours, that sounds extremely stressful.
Just my two cents, good luck in your endeavors.
You’re still very young, your life will turn and I’m sure you’ll do different things.
Thanks for all the advice, it’s been so helpful for me to hear from others with sz that are older than me and have more life experience and more experience coping with life as someone with a mental illness. It gives me a lot of hope that things will work out with time and that I’ll be able to make it in life, even with sz. Thank you!
Yeah I’m sure I’ll find my niche at some point! I won’t worry so much, because I am pretty young so I have lots of time
niche, I like that word. good word usage.
Thanks! English was one of my best subjects in school