Thanks for the speedy response! I did not expect it, you just made my day. Thank you.
I’ll try not to be too wordy, but it is a bit of a long story… please bear with me.
I have a B. Soc. Sci. (Hons., 2nd Upper) from NUS.
I also unfortunately have chronic pain and fatigue conditions, and have been on monthly follow-ups with my psychiatrist at IMH for 7 years now, for severe depression.
I have been on medication all this time.
I also know that I am of at least average intelligence.
My problems are personal, not school- or work-related, although too much stress at school or work can exacerbate my conditions.
I know that I have a strong work ethic, good initiative, excellent communication skills… am meticulous, have good interpersonal skills… all these things that employers like.
BUT because of my medical record, in particular my depression (I don’t mention the other issues), I have had terrible difficulty finding work since graduating.
My first job was a 3-month temp HR Assistant job at a place where the HR dept just so happened to have a mass resignation so I was converted to a perm exec after the 3 months.
But after 6 and 7 months respectively, I was twice denied confirmation… upon the second denial I was warned that it was my last chance before termination. Thus, I resigned and paid out my notice. I personally believe that it was an unfair case but I tried to move on.
However, since then, I have not been able to find any other full time perm job.
In 2011 I sent out literally hundreds of job applications, and got maybe 10 interviews… all of which were unsuccessful.
For the many who never even responded, I cannot say why, although I suspect most cases were due to my depression. When forms require disclosure, I do mention it, as I do not want to risk termination when found out.
I have been without a perm job for 17 months now.
I have worked 2 x 3-month contract HR/Admin Asst jobs, and am currently on a 6-month contract doing HR. These are all sub-executive level jobs and don’t have good pay or any benefits.
It makes my resume look worse and worse, making it harder to get a job.
I am willing to work hard but cannot work till 7-8pm daily (or sometimes much later!) as is demanded by most executive-level positions for recent uni grads.
I am in touch with my physical and mental states and am good at pacing myself to avoid breaking down — however I have no idea where I can find a perm full time job, which is not below my abilities / qualifications, which will allow me to do that without being judged for not working crazy hours. I don’t know where to find an understanding employer.
Employers whom I tell almost always end up treating me as “special needs”, not in an accommodating way, but in the sense that I am not treated as an equal. I do not want pity. I can produce good work but I also need some flexibility to make the best of my time and energy in order to produce my best for my employer.
But I don’t know where to find that.
I know places like Job Club exist to help the mentally ill find work, but such placements are usually for more severe cases (e.g. schizophrenics) and more vocational jobs.
Personally I feel that people like myself — high-functioning mentally ill people who just need understanding, accommodating employers — fall between the cracks.
We are not “bad” enough to qualify or benefit from such programmes, but still need some form of support. There is none, as far as I can tell — and I have tried, and struggled, for a long, long time.
I am passionate about helping people. I am passionate about Sociology and research.
I would LOVE to work on some project or campaign or organisation to help people with ICI — whether mental or other forms of illness. I want to spread awareness, eradicate stigma, create support… all with the practical end result of making life easier for such people.
I want to help these people find jobs that match their education levels, skills, abilities, and where possible their passions; with employers who accommodate and provide arrangements so they can perform to their best abilities.
I want to help people who are in my situation… but I can’t even help myself! It is a vicious cycle… no work and no income makes these people more depressed / stressed / ill, but with the right job and right employers and bosses, we CAN do VERY well and contribute a LOT to society.
I just don’t know where to start… it has been my dream for years to do something like this but my depression and pain and fatigue have made it difficult for me. But now I am starting to try to see what I can do… not only for myself but for others. I am still limited by those factors but I’m thinking, there HAS to be some way I can do both (help myself AND others) at the same time, right??
Perhaps now that you know more, you could advise as to whether a face-to-face meeting would be beneficial… or let me know what you think?
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand my situation.