I need a job yesterday. I'm still stuck. Where do I go from here?
July 28, 2014 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Many of the details in this question still apply. Logistics aren't that big of a deal anymore, and I'm chipping away ever so slowly at my social anxiety and fluency issue, but I'm still without prospects and now about $12k in debt on account of some reckless impulse spending and unpaid debt from college. Can the hivemind help get me out from under this? Snowstorm inside.

Apologies for the word vomit but...
I'm hoping that people will read at least some of the background information from my previous question, because I don't have the mental fortitude to elaborate again here.

Short version:
How can a 25 year old with cerebral palsy, massive debt, a pretty severe stutter, chronic fatigue lifted only temporarily by overconsumption of energy drinks, a weak work ethic ( with ADD) and no experience aside from a few extremely short volunteering stints get a decent job?

All my life, people have held my hand, metaphorically and otherwise, and now, in the big scary adult world of interviews and competition, I can't help but feel like I don't stand a chance. This has given me incredibly thin skin and has nurtured a " what's the point?" narrative in my head that I can't get rid of.

Aside from that, I don't know where to start, I don't know who to ask for help, and I don't know that I'll ever want or be interested enough in anything to pursue it despite all these snowflakes. Honestly? I'm afraid I might end up homeless, or in a minimum wage job at best, after my parents are no longer here. I want to start being an adult. I'm intelligent, sensitive and street-smart. Why do I feel like that counts for nothing in my life and what can I do to put that to use?

Note: Before anyone asks, I've been in a combination of psych and speech therapy for about a year now. It's helped, but I still feel like all it's doing is putting a bandaid on my issues. I'm also on Prozac, which helped for about a year but isn't doing much now. I've tried Provigil, various benzos and other antidepressants, all with mixed, never impressive results.
posted by marsbar77 to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You've just got to start somewhere. I hear that this feels intimidating and frightening, but I'd go back to the recommendations you got last year. Start volunteering (perhaps even with a federal agency, as was mentioned to you last year you will receive preference in hiring as a disabled individual), treat it like a job, and then start looking for an actual paying job.

If therapy only feels like a bandaid, you may be seeing the wrong psychiatrist and psycho/MFT. Don't give up on that - to be honest with everything you've posted I think effective therapy might be the most useful thing you could do in helping you figure out what you'd like to do next.
posted by arnicae at 4:18 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Noted, appreciated and being worked on. For anyone else chiming in though, please try to move away from "find a new therapist" or " keep doing what you're doing". These make sense, but I guess, more than anything, I'm looking for reasons to hope, and none of the old suggestions, at this point, at least without considerable reframing, are doing that for me.
posted by marsbar77 at 4:25 PM on July 28, 2014

Response by poster: I also don't know where to start with government agencies, on a volunteer basis or otherwise. I've taken the NY state civil service exam but, because of a mixup, didn't get enough time to finish and so received a low score. All the rest of it- clearances, quotas, the experience requirements... they scare me and I feel lost/paralyzed by it all.
posted by marsbar77 at 4:36 PM on July 28, 2014

Check out this group of Employment Resources from New York's OPWDD and the job listings. Make use of the one-stop help at the career centers and the disability initiatives.

Did you ever get in touch with your local voc rehab office? If nothing else, they can help you navigate things like civil service exams, etc. Ditto the independent living centers.

I know you said you did not want to be pigeon-holed and have a hard time thinking of yourself as disabled--but these are places that are there to help with employment for everybody, and are currently recipients of grant money specifically to help people with disabilities get jobs AND THEY WANT TO SEE YOU EMPLOYED BECAUSE IT HELPS THEM WITH THE NUMBERS THEY HAVE TO REPORT BACK TO THE GRANT-GIVERS so take advantage of their help. Voc rehab can help with specialized equipment and training in addition to just finding jobs.

Does the school you went to have any kind of career placement help or services? There may even be a job opening at the school...sometimes your university job is a good leaping point, especially if you do ever want to go back to grad school. This is your best bet for finding a job in a science/medical/lab related area as you mentioned in the previous post.

Really, you are not in that different of a boat from a lot of 25 year olds without a disability--especially those with psych majors (I was one!) because that just doesn't lead to all that many entry level opportunities.

Also, no kidding, the biggest way to get a job is just to apply, apply, apply, apply - even if you think you may not be totally qualified. It's a crap shoot sometimes.
posted by freejinn at 6:00 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is there a reason you haven't or aren't in the process of applying for SSDI? I'm in Canada, so I don't know the ins and outs of it but know that it is a process, but it might be worth it for the guaranteed monthly income it provides you to help with the debt.
I have milder CP than you (left hemiplegia), and it took me a long, long time to accept my disability and limitations, but the little money that I can earn from the government pays bills and helps me live my life way more independently than if I wasn't on it. They have vocational programs and career counselling too. Don't deny yourself access to services just because you don't want to be pigeon-holded into being disabled, there are organizations and services designed to help you!
Have you access to a rehabilitation clinic? A physiatrist (a rehab doctor who specializes in transitioning life-stages such as college to work) might be of assistance to get the 'whole body' checkup that a family doctor can't provide to someone with disabilities.
posted by carabiner at 6:36 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

You don't go from 0 to "decent job." You get a minimum wage job, then move on to greener pastures once you have some experience showing up on time and reliably, then you move on from that next job after you have some experience knowing a damn thing, and so on. You could start looking for some call center or data entry jobs as a stepping stone.
posted by WeekendJen at 12:04 PM on July 29, 2014

I don't truly know anything about this place, but I've stashed the link in case it's something I need to look into someday for myself given my medical history. NTI @ Home
posted by stormyteal at 9:20 PM on July 30, 2014

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