In Part 1, 2, 3 – I spoke about Mental Illness in the Workplace, Seeking Employment, the Job Hunt, The Interview, Looking for a Job, now part 4.
I was sort of in a quandary and very nervous; do I seek further employment or take some time off. It was November of 2005, and pdoc and my husband were in cahoots, both advising me to wait until after Christmas. But, I resisted and applied for some positions.
There was a hiring blitz at two financial institutions and I e-mailed my resume. One never called, the other phoned the next day and an interview set up the following afternoon. I wondered what was happening here, and surmised that having the last position’s experience counted for something on the resume – perhaps all of that turmoil was possibly worth it.
The interview went smooth, the manager pleasant, no tests and they advised me “we will let you know by next week”. I thought “I’ve heard that before”, but by the next afternoon – I HAD THE JOB. Wow, I was to start in two weeks – but….there was a two week training session to be completed first. My heart sank. Here we go again.
The training session was taxing, but this time around, I wasn’t filled with as much panic. As usual though, adapting to their computer system was again complicated for me to grasp. Also, learning their policies and procedures also presented somewhat of a challenge, and at the end of the two week session, a quiz was necessary. I froze at the very mention of a ‘quiz’, failed the first time out, re-wrote and passed.
The monthly reviews I dread so much though; always expecting the negative, and ultimately surprised by the positive. I feel sometimes like a little kid waiting for a pat on the head saying “good girl, you did a good job”. Self-confidence and self-esteem have returned to some degree, but I’m still working on it. I am meeting company stats and competing with the younger folk there – I’m in the running every month. Depression leaves a scar, but I have learned that a scar can fade.
I do not share my past with co-workers, due to the fact of **stigma. I recognize I would be treated in a different way, as the general public does not comprehend mental illness. In secret, I wish my co-workers/management to be acquainted with my triumph. Existing under a veil of blackness for so many years, then at last standing upright and functioning in the ‘working world’, I feel, is something of a phenomenon. I do experience a sensation of gratefulness for this company, as they took a risk hiring me with a resume packed with holes. They apparently saw the potential I forgot I possessed.
So there are steps: having the strength in preparing to look for a job; the job hunt; the interview; landing the job and most of all keeping the job. Every step is a difficult step.