I’m in the process of setting up some employment support with two different charities.  This is potentially to discuss revising my CV, interview practice and (most important for me at the moment) broadening my search to other sectors.  I’m looking at two charities because I’m desperate for help and just applied where I could; I didn’t realise both would come through so quickly, although it will still be some weeks before I get seen.

The person I spoke to today from one charity raised the question of job benefits again.  I thought I wasn’t eligible for these as I have too many savings and have not been in employment long enough in the last two years to qualify based on amount of national insurance contributions.  Having looked at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau website again, I think the wording is ambiguous, but that having worked at all in the last two years and paid national insurance is enough, in which case it would be worth my applying for it.  I would feel better if I could check before applying, but the CAB phone line is perpetually engaged.

Other than that, it was a quiet day.  It was a minor Jewish fast day (Tzom Gedaliah).  I don’t fast on the minor fast days because of the medication I take, I only fast on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) next week, but I always cut back on fast days and feel subdued.  It didn’t help that I slept in late and then fell asleep again after breakfast and missed Shacharit (Morning Prayers) entirely, although I did walk to shul (synagogue) for Ma’ariv (Evening Prayers).  I applied for another job, at a charity where I applied for a similar job in the past (I think I interviewed OK for that job, which may be good).  I did half an hour of Torah study (not nearly as much as I would have liked).  I didn’t work on my novel, bar reading an article online for research.  I think the novel is going to be on hold for the next few weeks, until all the Yom Tovim (festivals) are over.

I’ve also allowed myself to be persuaded by various people (my parents, E., and other people via my parents) to apply for a teaching assistant job at a local Jewish school, on the grounds that this will give me the opportunity to see if I would want to be a teacher.  I’m rather nervous of not having the right experience.  Lots of people say I’m good with children, but I don’t always feel confident with them.  On the other hand, there is apparently a real lack of male staff in primary schools, especially Orthodox Jewish ones (where teaching older students is more prestigious), which may work to my advantage.  I didn’t have time to apply today, but I hope to apply tomorrow.

I also have an appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow, another new one perhaps because of the high turnover of NHS staff.  I find these somewhat tedious, as I don’t think it’s a good idea to cut back my medication, but the psychiatrists never really suggest anything new, they just exhort me to get a job, socialise, sort out my sleep pattern and so on.  But I don’t really want to be discharged while my mood is so variable, given how difficult it is to get seen by a psychiatrist again once you have been discharged, so I try to keep being seen every few months just in case I really need to be seen at some point.  This is arguably playing the system, but the system is arguably set up so that you have to play it to survive.

10 thoughts on “Employment Support

  1. Pleased that you may finally be getting some help with the job search. I also wondered if you have ever considered teaching special needs children, in particular those who have ASD? Advantages would be that you would be working within an environment suited to ASD and with smaller numbers of children. Your own understanding of the condition would be an asset. Re: benefits — good news — you may qualify for what is now called “New Style” ESA which is not dependent on your income or savings but needs 2 years NI contributions. … And hope you get a good pysch tomorrow — it’s a bit of a lottery but there some good psychiatrists around still!

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    1. I have thought of helping special needs children. I don’t know if I would be able to do it.

      Yes, I was going to apply for New Style ESA. I don’t have two full years of NI contributions, only a little less. I’ve been trying to find out if you need two full years or a number of months over two years, but haven’t been able to find out. I’m going to get the application form and see what it says.

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  2. I really think you should pursue teaching children. Special needs children (like you mentioned above) might be a great path. Those around you who know you best and know your talents keep recommending it to you, so they obviously think you can do it. It sounds like you are comfortable with children and like them, so it’s really just your own insecurity (which I know is valid and hard to overcome!) holding you back. Maybe at least check it out and just see what happens?

    O, how I can relate to your quote, “the system is arguably set up so that you have to play it to survive.”

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    1. Special needs might be better than teaching a classroom of kids. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with children. Obviously my parents think I am, but I feel nervous the whole time of doing the wrong thing.

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        1. Technically I’m still on the waiting list to be diagnosed with autism (I’m self-diagnosed at the moment, albeit that a charity screened me and said there was an 80% chance that I’m on the spectrum). After that… I’m not sure.

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