I'm 32 and trying to rebound from depression. I need a plan.
November 2, 2014 9:24 AM   Subscribe

I've had chronic depression for 15 years. It stymied my attempts to work and study. As a result I have no resume to speak of and maybe 8-10 university units I could count towards a degree. I've recently started finding my feet but I'm not sure where to begin. I'm sick of being embarrassed about my life and am looking for a direct route to a suitable* job.

What are efficient ways to improve my resume? Coursera? Blogging? TAFE courses?
Is university part-time or full-time a smart option? It seems a slow approach.
Are there particular jobs with relatively low, or self-teachable entry requirements? eg Can you get a programming job with nothing but a portfolio of things you've programmed and no formal qualifications?
My literacy, numeracy and computer literacy are all of reasonable standard.

*not at a call centre, not in retail, not in the food sector, not a labourer nor tradesperson.

Thanks in advance x
posted by hTristan to Work & Money (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You may want to list the type of job you do want. Even down to how you would like to spend your day, with people, alone, talking, quiet, etc. It may help you then, to find a field that fills those requirements. List your positive attributes. You are at a more mature age so you are now considered more stable. This is to your advantage.
posted by herbalgypsy at 9:31 AM on November 2, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks herbalgypsy

I'd like to spend my days problem solving. Area that interest me include: stats; politics; IT; games; philosophy; efficiency; communication. I'm comfortable alone and in small groups. I don't mind talking a bit but sometimes I just want to be in the zone and doing what I need to do.
If Myers-Briggs is something you put any faith in I'm fairly well described by INTP. I'm a patient teacher and comfortable in the role of mediator. I was identified as 'gifted' at an early age (but to my constant shame have done nothing with whatever gifts I might have). Most of the money I have earned, I earned playing card games.
If I'm given a job and a set of instructions I'll do the job and also hand you back a more efficient set of instructions. I prefer the big picture to details but am kind of pernickety at the same time :)
posted by hTristan at 10:13 AM on November 2, 2014

You mention TAFE courses, which I'm guessing means you're in Australia? I have a friend who went back home after years in the US had left her with not much of a resume (a long work history, but not a lot of provable skills) and I think she had an entry-level part-time job in her field of study (accounting, which is probably one of the most overlooked reliable fields of employment because people think it's boring, which it's actually not) within 6 months of TAFE courses, and a better job after 18 months.

That's actually one of those cases where being 32 instead of 22 is a plus, because nobody's going to hire a 22-year-old bookkeeper. I don't know what to tell you about programming, if that's actually an interest/passion of yours - don't do it because you think it's a guaranteed job. Having dev skills is useful if you're aiming at a position like business analyst or other reporting-heavy roles, but you actually need to know how accounting and finance work for that to be a useful combo.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:15 AM on November 2, 2014

I originally got my foot in the door for admin work by going to temp agencies. Since it sounds like you're not in the US, I don't know if this works the same, but essentially you register with a bunch of agencies, and specify that you want office work. They are big on testing skills (typing speed, software skills) so that they know whether you actually have Excel skills or whatever. Admin work can be pretty diverse - sometimes it has a lot of interaction, and sometimes you're just in a room typing things. Being reliable, diligent, efficient and polite opens doors and can help you find a more permanent role.

I'm also an INTP, and your description made me chuckle. One of the things about working in an office/professional role is that you usually have to start out working with the details, and then you get the opportunity to focus on more big picture things as you progress in your career. Just something to keep in mind. I agree that accounting could be a good fit.
posted by jeoc at 1:37 PM on November 2, 2014

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