axelrod: (Default)
[personal profile] axelrod posting in [community profile] no_pity
I have a question relating to employment.

I'm a mentally ill recent college grad* looking for a job. I suffer from major depression primarily. I didn't really interview for my current job and anyway when I got it I didn't understand that I was mentally ill, so this issue didn't come up at the time for me. My mental illness primarily effects me as a worker in that sometimes I have trouble coming in on time (sometimes due to insomnia, sometimes because it's hard to get out of bed and get going) and sometimes I'm too lethargic or restless to work well (frequent breaks, low productivity) and sometimes I'm very reserved/brusque.

My question is: at what point do I tell my hypothetical boss that I suffer from a chronic illness which effects my mood and energy level? And how do I tell them? Obviously not at the interview stage. I mainly want to be open about this at least to the person/people I answer to directly so they know I'm not slacking off, that I am in fact doing the best I can, that I'm not angry at them or have a bad attitude. I feel a certain amount of shame, still, about being mentally ill, about using it as my excuse when I can't keep my commitments - it's hard to shake, and it makes it much more difficult for me to figure out how to deal with this.

Does anyone have advice about how to come out to an employer as having an invisible disability? Thank you! 

Also, I don't know how to tag this ...

*Almost. I didn't finish my thesis for, as I will say at interviews, medical reasons. Which is perfectly true, but they don't need to know it's a chronic condition.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-15 06:16 pm (UTC)
hilarytamar: a spray of cherry blossoms (Default)
From: [personal profile] hilarytamar
I wish I had an answer for this – my dissertation remains unfinished for exactly the same reason, and I still have no idea what or how to say to my employers. I'm lucky that so far it hasn't affected my work, but as you say, it's a chronic condition and the fact that it hasn't been an issue so far doesn't mean it won't be. Unpredictability is the nature of the beast, at least for me.

(We're still working on tags, so don't worry about it.)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-17 11:50 pm (UTC)
brutal: actress | HOTTIE (wes-ats-s4-spin the bottle)
From: [personal profile] brutal
In my experience, I've been told countless amount of times that issues of the like HAVE TO BE brought up in the interview, as well as any other weaknesses that might keep you from doing the job effectively. But it's also important to state them as accomadations. As you explained, say something to the extent of "I want you to understand I'm not slacking off, that I am in fact doing the best I can, that I'm not angry at them or have a bad attitude. This isn't an excuse, just a diagnosed mental illness that I know I have to deal with."

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-22 01:19 am (UTC)
brutal: actress | HOTTIE (wes-ats-s4-spin the bottle)
From: [personal profile] brutal
Sometimes asking for that simple understanding that "it's not you, I'm not mad at you or this company, just prefer to be alone sometimes" without being seen as a complete freak, is an accomadation.

Best be upfront. Especially if said mood swings might effect your ability to do the job. Tell them upfront what they can do to anticipate and prevent said mood swings, and what you do as well (I assume you have coping mechanisms), assuring them that they don't have to walk on eggshells around you.

Course it could depend on the job, and whether you know for sure or not whether it will affect your disorder and cost you the ability to do the job well.

Also, you might want to just get over people grokking about you, if that's your real concern about opening up. 1. I mean, sure on some level, you don't want them to, and want to all you can not to give them a reason to, but, generally, don't stress about it. People control their own behavior. You can't control theirs, so let them think what they want. But 2. I've found people a lot more accepting of honesty and openess about one's flaws and how they cope with them, rather than with those who try to deny it or don't talk about it, out of something as silly as embarassment or pride.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-18 12:27 am (UTC)
brutal: actress | HOTTIE (wes-ats-s4-spin the bottle)
From: [personal profile] brutal
You need to be upfront and specific about the details, otherwise they're not going to know what to think and it could cost you the job.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-27 11:59 pm (UTC)
dame_grise: Sophie School with caption: Resist Tyranny in All its Forms (Resist Tyranny)
From: [personal profile] dame_grise
Despite laws that are supposed to protect you, though, you're going have to face it that telling them could lose you your job. And don't anyone here tell me that isn't true, because it happens. They'll just pretend its for another reason.

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