Job help

I have not worked since 1994. I left my last job partly because of a traumatic incident – a patron on drugs killed himself while I was at work and I had to clean up the mess.

Also, I have been dealing with depression. I have been on disability since 1995 and been seeing a therapist and receiving medication to treat the depression. I have limited work experience and job skills; most of the work I have done has been through temporary placement agencies and involved either janitorial or warehouse type work.

I need to reenter the work force. My disability is not enough to get by on, and my boyfriend and I are splitting up, so I will be on my own. Once I start work I will lose the medication & the therapist, but you can’t have everything in this life

It’s not clear from your post what kind of help you are seeking formage but here are some ideas you may consider. Have you looked into any job training possibilities through your local job service. I would think that the government would be happy to offer training in hopes of weaning you off disability.

Another possibility would be to work for yourself. Assess your skills, print up some business cards, hang up some posters and hit the streets. I would think there are endless possibilities in San Francisco for service oriented business. If you go this route, I would suggest finding a mentor or someone who also owns a small business to help you wend your way through the twists and turns you will encounter in owning your own business. Some potential ideas that come to mind without a major monetary investment: housecleaning, dog walking, yard work, window washing, let your mind wander. Get out and hustle though, look around for things that need to be done and offer your services. Start with your therapist and other professionals you know. In my experience we all have projects that we can’t find the time or initiative to get accomplished, and would probably welcome the opportunity to pay someone else to do them. If you do a good job your client will recommend you to all their friends and acquaintances… word of mouth is the best advertising! Most of all, keep in mind that it’s perfectly fine to start small. Keep your eyes open for other potential lines of self employment.

By all means, make use of the temp agencies. I’m sure since you have that experience already that you know that temporary jobs often turn into full time employment.
It would be helpful if you could post more information about yourself and your situation, there appears to be a wealth of ideas amongst the teeming millions.

I think too, that I would e-mail one of the mods and request them to move this to a more appropriate forum.

I wasn’t very clear in my OP, sorry. That’s the last time I ask my b/f to help me. :frowning:

What I want/need to know is how do I explain the seven years of no jobs on a application or in an interview.
Do I tell them I was on disability for mental health? They will think I’m crazy.

Other info:
I will be forty this year.
I’m 140 lb overwieght.
B/f is leaving in July.
I’m taking 3 medications for my depression.
I’m no prize.

Turn the frown upside down. You are the only one who can cheer yourself up. You are in good hands here. Take your time and get to know people at these boards. I am sure that there are all sorts of people who will be able to help you.

Well in response to your question, I don’t see how it could benefit you to lie on applications, however, you might explain that you were using the time for furthering your education (through your own course of study and personal introspection).

That’s one advantage of working for yourself, you don’t have to go through all the application crap and trying to figure out a good spin for your absence from the job market.

You are not alone fromage, women go through this constantly because of child nurturing.

Sounds like the first thing you need is an attitude adjustment. Get over the fact that you are no prize, hit the bricks and find a job, any job for starters. I believe anyone who truly wants to work can find work in today’s low unemployment environment. I bet you will find that someone thinks that you are indeed a prize, though it may take a while to find the right niche.

Sounds as though you have some time to get it together. Good luck.

Very true. And if you want to go to work for someone else in the future, self-employment can look good on your application or resume. Motivated, self-starters make excellent employees.

Another idea:
Do you like to make crafts? You can supplement your income by making and selling handmade items. Check out the market for such things in your area. If you see a whole lot of one kind of craft item for sale, avoid making something too similar. I have seen lots of craft businesses come and go because the owners produced more of an item that is already flooding the market. That caveat aside, it can be a fun job, if you like to work with your hands.

Steer clear of “work at home” scams, though. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Sadly, there are plenty of these scams going.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how you are doing.

First of all, if you think you’re no prize, that will come through in any type of interview. The truth is, you could easily be a better employee than a lot of the shitheads out there who feel a paycheck is due them no matter how little they work. If you project confidence, you will get a job in this tight labor market. (Believe it or not, a lot of employers could care less if you’re overweight.)

Next, don’t dwell on your lack of work experience. Unfortunately, it likely means you will have to seek an entry-level position, but don’t let on like you’re lazy. You were in a relationship – hell, you were a homemaker, then.

Whatever job you’re seeking, stress your extreme interest in getting into that line of work.

Also, and this has been touched on, don’t trust those newspaper ads that sell you software to start your home business. My wife tried this in medical billing. She could have done it, I’m positive, except the software was too complicated to figure out without some assistance – and when she called for that assistance, nobody was available for help, ever. You live and you learn.

Good luck, and try to keep a positive attitude.

fogmage, ask your counselor what do to, they should know of a lot of organizations you can ask for assistance. You can get rental assistance too, Im sure, if this is the USA.

Specific places to get help.

Often there are State agencies that deal with worker rehabilitation - check under your state governmental listings, look for Jobs Commission, Workforce Administration, Rehabilitation etc. Perhaps under the Labor Department.

If you’re collecting worker’s compensation insurance payments of any kind, there may be some assistance there, as well.

The Federal Gov’t ‘job assistance’ program is called the “Workforce Investment Act” ask the state agencies who administers those programs in your area.

In addition, if you’re recieving food stamps assistance, you may be eligible for some re-training assistance through that as well, welform reform ya know.

Also, check with your local community mental health provider - the one in my area offers specific services targeted for folks in your situation.

As far as the gap, I work with ex-offenders for a living, so am familiar with gaps in work record. The truth is very few people have an absolute gap, as in they’ve not done a single thing. If you’ve done anything like helping people with errands, babysitting etc., that’s experience, (ok, so not full time, you’re not claiming it was full time).

Volunteering is also experience - have you done anything with your church or social clubs? political work? etc.

It’s easier on a resume (“1994 - 2000 Fogmage’s Services, provided house sitting, pet care and other services.”) On an app, where it asks for wages, you’d list “comp. varied” (which always happens in work like that)

As far as telling them about your history of mental illness - my opinion is that employers need to know about things that may cause an issue on the job - for example, if you have a hearing loss and will need an adaptation for the phone. In general, I feel the employer should know stuff that would be on a medic alert bracelet (I’m allergic to bee stings, and tell all my employees so they know why I’m such a wuss about it), and/or if you would need accomodations.

In the interview, I’d say something like “I was on a temporary disability leave from 1994. I’ve recovered pretty much from that incident, there wouldn’t be any accomdations needed for me here”.

Would be happy to help more if you think it’d be helpful.

Fogmage (that’s her name, people, not fromage or formage), if you do decide to do that kind of work, I highly recommend that you do it through an agency that sends people out on calls. I was self-employed as a housecleaner a couple years ago, and it’s rough if you don’t have someone representing you. Most of my clients were okay, like the elderly people and the working mothers with kids. There were also the students who wanted me to clean up after their binge parties (I’ve attended enough such gatherings that I flinched from nothing the guests left after themselves) and the guy who wanted me to ready his late friend’s apartment for viewing.

But there were also the people like the schizophrenic woman who dismissed me because my aura had upset the plumbing in her house and caused the toilet to leak. And the uppity woman who stayed in each room with me so I wouldn’t steal anything. And the confirmed bachelor who also shadowed me for a different reason; I just walked out.

I was much more comfortable working for an outfit called Merry Maids. They screened the clients, and the clients didn’t doubt our credibility. But I was just picking up shifts; they didn’t need me full time. Still, it was heartening being part of a team instead of working alone.

And that’s something else you should consider. If your self-esteem is lacking, maybe you don’t want to be a laborer. They will treat you like you’re less than them, perhaps subtly, perhaps overtly. If you work for someone else, you’ll only have the hurdle of the interview. If you get hired, you’ll know they’ll think you’re good enough.

How right you are Rilchiam, I inadvertently mis-spelled fogmage’s name for which I deeply apologize, but at least the rest of us did not mistakenly assume gender. :smiley:

Oh crimeny. I think I’ll get my old mop bucket and put it on my head.

Well I aways though I would make a good housewife, but being a guy seem to hurt my efforts. :smiley:

Thank you all for your suggestions, it’s given me something to think about.

You have a sense of humor.
Thats a great start.