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Explaining situation to Potantial employer

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by cman89, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    I am at the point now where I am thankfully stabilized enough to consider really hitting it back to work hard, and return to school and finish my degree. I have figured out supplements that can keep me going, and the real linchpin for me now is sleep quality. If I can get that to be more consistent, then I'm pretty good to go for now. My biggest concern was that I have been out of "official" work since June. For at least four of those months since there was no way i could have been working full time, and the rest of the time was just too inconsistent to really look back and say anything definite. Needless to say, I am focusing on moving on. My previous Job was with a local school district, but it took me a bit to work up to consistent hours, and even then, it was more of a stepping stone job, so that's out of the picture. My biggest concern boils down to this: I have not been absolutely sick enough nor tested to have been diagnosed with CFS or Lyme via doctor. (I still don't really know whats going on here). I know that I have had some miserable times in the past six months and some better times. Given my situation, what is the best strategy for explaining to a potential employer why I was out of the job picture for that period of time, and how, in all reality, will it hurt my chances in the job search?
     
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  2. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    Hayden, Idaho
    I also recognize that applying to college is much easier in this regard, as the bias is not there. Never expected to be at this point 25 years of age, but ah well, gotta move on as you can eh?
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    No idea really, but best of luck with it. Could you maybe try speaking to your uni about this? Maybe they'll have an advisor who specialises in these sorts of things?
     
  4. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I don't think 6 months will be a huge issue. Many people are unemployed for longer. Why not just say you have been job searching? Or taking care of a sick family member? Whatever seems reasonable...
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
    Valentijn likes this.
  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I cannot claim to be an expert on this and it is going to depend a lot on who is on the other side of the table at an interview but I can say what would convince me, and why. I would explain that you have had a fatigue illness, maybe a post virus problem but nobody could give a definite diagnosis (which I guess is true). It has knocked you back for a period of months but that you feel that you are now ready to get back to work or college and that you really want to give it your best shot. Do not mention Lyme, because it will not help you and probably do not mention ME or CFS. The reality is that nobody knows what these illnesses are and sensible people who have a long experience of employing folk or taking in students know that these problems exist and can resolve. If you meet someone who is not sensible it may be a case of trying again elsewhere.

    I have a lot of sympathy for people aged 25 (like my daughter) because things are not easy these days. They were not 'easy' in my day but you knew what was wanted and how to go about getting jobs. These days nothing seems certain. But again using my daughter's experience, my impression is that under all the confusion of bureaucracy and political correctness work is still work and there are still jobs out there worth doing. In the UK occupational health assessments can be really stressful but in the end the people doing them often turn out to be on your side.

    I also found myself in this situation aged 26. I had started out as a doctor assuming that I would climb the ladder just like that. And then after a year I was so exhausted by the late nights I took a break. And then my wife got cancer and I took another break just to try to put life back together again. And after a total of six months off I went for a plum job and I think the reason I got it, even without the official qualifications, was that I told them the truth and convinced them that I wanted to get back into my career and give it my best shot. I have been on the other side of the table and given people a job when they seem to have been through a rough patch. I never regretted it because you can tell when someone is serious about proving they can deliver.

    So I guess it will depend on whether that person across the table thinks the way I do, but I would avoid any disease labels and just say what has happened and look keen!
     
    NK17, MeSci, beaker and 5 others like this.
  6. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Its worth remembering that when looking for a job you are looking for a nice place to work and with ME probably a flexible and supportive environment. It the person interviewing doesn't think the way Jonathan does that might reflect on the work environment and how good a place it is to work. When being interviewed it is worth thinking is this a place you want to work as well as will they offer you a job.
     
  7. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    Depends on that. some of my target Unis are quite small.
     
  8. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    I know for a fact that I can play the words in gaining sympathy. I dont mean lying, of course, but being honest and then turning it to a positive or opportunity. Its the getting to the talk part that I may need to find ways to address. I also know for a fact that I can bring my experiences to the table and use that to benefit both the workplace and potential customers/clients/whomever....
     
  9. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Left Coast
    @cman89 PLEASE, put more paragraphs in your posts. I am unable to read more than 2-3 sentences in a row maximum on a good day. Today is not a good day.
     
  10. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I agree with Jonathan that 6 months absence is not that long, especially in the US where they economy has been sluggish -- I don't care what the media/ reports say -- and a lot of young, middle-aged, and older folks - qualified/ experienced or not -- are having a hard time finding appropriate work.

    You may not have to talk about health issues at all and there are even laws regarding how much employers can probe as long as you can do the job. Just "I took off a few months to resolve some personal issues and am now eager to get back to work. When I was at ABC, I did XYZ, learned 123, and improved the 789 system. Your company attracted me because......" That is, talk about your abilities and most importantly, emphasize what you can/ would like to do for/ with THEM. This means of course learn about where you want to work, speak to people who have worked there before if possible, prepare 3 astute questions about the company.... the usual advice but people don't follow it. If the question is asked "Will your personal issues affect your work?", the short and sweet answer is "No."

    Another thought here - esp. when you've been out of work for more than 6m -- check out online or book resources targeting people who are disabled/ stay-at-home parents/ career switchers/ late bloomers. These resources often have suggestions about how to approach these questions.

    The federal Job Accomodation Network site concerning ME/CFS may also be useful re: legal rights and ideas for employers/-ees:
    http://askjan.org/media/cfsy.htm

    As said prior some employers appreciate people who have been through life and yet are resilient enough to bounce back:
    http://technori.com/2013/05/4455-how-to-spot-top-talent-8-traits-to-look-for-when-hiring/
     
    josephine2 likes this.
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    oh wow, your comment made me go and look back at the post as Im usually like that too. I must be having a better brain day today as I actually managed to read it without struggling. Im actually surprised at myself.
     
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    As 6mths out of work isnt long, you may just be able to get away with "Ive been out of work for 6mths, Im really wanting a job" and then tell them where you worked before or whatever. Most will just assume you have been looking for work during that time.

    People on hearing that someone had 6mths off of work for "fatigue" or ill health, will wonder if that person is going to get sick again, so it will probably lessen your chance of getting the job.
     
    adreno likes this.

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