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Does anyone return to work?

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by drivel, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. drivel

    drivel

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    After not working for almost two years, I am ready and able to return to work.

    I have searched and I can't find any threads about the problems associated with returning to work after long absences.
    Firestormm likes this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    What part of the world are you in? Its different in different places.

    A fair number do return to work, but most of those are now off working and no longer here.

    Many who returned to work and later relapsed are here.

    Could you be more specific in your question? Are you talking how to physically or psychologically manage the transition, how to overcome stigma due to long work absence, how to utilize local resources to assist you in finding work? Or just everything involved in returning to work?
    taniaaust1 and ggingues like this.
  3. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    There is a thread on this subject. I don't have time to find it now but go the the forum page, scroll down to the bottom and click on google site search and you should find it.

    Sushi
  4. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Please be careful. If there is any doubt, you should start slow, part time.

    Some members were forced to work (so they or their family wouldn't starve), and they do little besides work and rest :(
    MeSci and heapsreal like this.
  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    If you are going to return to work, I strongly suggest trialing part time working first for several weeks or a few months. Ive seen many over estimate their ability to return to work.
  6. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    When I initially tried to return to work, and then tried again subsequently (after retiring from my career position), I think one of the main things I learned was not to oversell myself.

    Even though, on the occasion and in the situation I am thinking of, I had claimed at the interview that I was 'managing' my condition, and had been upfront and open about declaring my continuing disability - I do think looking back, I oversold my capabilities.

    Much of this of course is a process of me learning myself what those capabilities are, and while with perhaps other illnesses (or perhaps it is because of how this illness has been sold), full recovery is possible, I think I had assumed I would rebound into being able to perform as I once did.

    I couldn't and it was a very rough ride, learning again from scratch almost. Though in the role I am thinking about, I was stupid enough - for me personally - to throw myself into full-time employment. I needed the money, and convinced myself I could do it (or that I had nothing to lose).

    I should perhaps add that the salary attached to this position was a quarter of my former package, and as it was an administration assistant, I felt I would surely be able to manage. But I drowned and was eventually 'let-go' because my productivity was felt to be inadequate and days ill felt to be too great.

    Even in my career position - with an employer whom I had been with for over 14 years - things were not easy but we were able to more gradually (at times) accommodate my health needs. Though again, I recall one situation when I returned after the original period of 8 months spent off work recuperating, and was plunged into a Rebranding project for 9 months.

    It was rather intense to say the least and I think did me no favours. I sacrificed rather too much to get that one completed, and subsequently I believe it set me up for an even bigger fall. But, I had accepted the challenge thinking that I could do it - I just didn't realise the extent it would cost me or that I would need to have a bed set up in one of the vacant offices next to my own.

    All that said, I do think if you believe the time to be right, then working with ME is possible. The tricky part has always been for me in trying to come to terms with the fluctuating nature of the condition - both me coming to terms with it and my employer.

    Productivity or output and accuracy are also things that I think can change when comparing pre-illness levels to post-illness or even to a return if one thinks they are recovered. I have at times found myself needing to increase productivity by doing more in spare time/out of hours, which means less time to properly rest. Not a good solution by any means.

    Then again I found making comparisons with 'what I used to be able to do' serves no practical purpose at all and can, indeed does, only serve to increase stress and guilt and feeling of incompetence while at the same time increasing employers expectations.

    I think I have at times worried too much about proving how good I used to be, when I am now in effect a different person. This can be a very hard thing to come to terms with and I don't honestly think I ever will. But, I do think that I am worth investing in, or in being given a chance: I just think I need to ensure others are suitably aware of my limitations - providing of course I myself am aware of what they are!

    I do know people with ME who have returned to work, but have found it more suitable doing so in a self-employed capacity, which is where I find myself now (or will more formally be in the New Year): 2 hours a day - most days - some paid and most voluntary, all from home. But then I also have a small employers pension and can live very simply with only myself to worry about.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
    taniaaust1, Sea, MeSci and 3 others like this.
  7. Vincent

    Vincent Senior Member

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    I'd take that one step further and volunteer first, especially if you are on benefits. This gives you work-like experience without the risk of actually working.
  8. caledonia

    caledonia

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    The advice I have heard is to do volunteer work or an activity that simulates work (such as going to the library and doing research 8 hours a day, 5 days a week) for 6 months to test the waters first.
    Valentijn and rosie26 like this.
  9. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    I think trying 8 hours a day is pushing it especially straight off the bat. I did however, attend college part-time, and then university, prior to trying work, with various degrees of success.
    MeSci likes this.
  10. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I assumed the original poster meant full time work. Of course, if they meant part time work, then they should spend some time simulating part time work.

    If they've been on Social Security Disability, they can use the Ticket to Work program to support them getting back to work. They can also choose to work part time and stay on disability up to a certain income limit.
    ggingues and Firestormm like this.
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I want to point out that if the original poster is on Disability and thinks they are now okay to work, take care as this, even doing volunteer work could cause a reassessment of your case and it may turn out you find you werent well enough to work after all.

    I like the idea of just increasing ones activies without working for several months to see if you are okay to be working first.
    AndyPandy, Valentijn and rosie26 like this.
  12. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    I managed to return to work full-time.
    The issues, as I have identified them, include:
    a) Energy needs to be thought of as currency. You have so much to spend in a day - if you push beyond this, you may not appreciate the interest rates. I have to pace myself. But there is no way you got this far without realizing this one.
    b) I have to do a "memory inventory" and write things down if in doubt. The first sign of flagging memory shouldn't be that I have forgotten something. So, I am proactive. I would rather write down too much than to miss something important.
    c) Never pass up an opportunity to sit. Part of my day is at a computer - I consider myself lucky.
    d) Summarize conversations. "So from our discussion, these are the steps that we are taking this week....". "I don't want there to be any uncertainty on my part, I need to understand exactly what you mean, I wonder it you wouldn't mind repeating what you just said?".
    Instead of making me look lame, for some reason I come off looking smart, organized and on-the-ball.
    e) Have one confidant who can see when you have "one of those days". I have a co-worker who can tell by my eyes when I am not well and she graciously runs interference and becomes my short term memory.

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