I had my meeting with the other employment charity. It went well inasmuch as I got some useful advice, but I did feel that I came across as lacking aptitude and initiative. I felt very self-conscious and worried I came across as an idiot even though the careers adviser said that my skills and experience are very good and I “should be working.” It was hard not to hear that as a criticism even though I know it was meant as encouragement.
The adviser said I’m getting enough interviews and wondered if I’m disclosing my depression (and autism, although I didn’t even bring that up as I didn’t want to complicate things) too early. Even though employers aren’t allowed to discriminate on health, they probably do.
In terms of other careers, he didn’t suggest much I hadn’t already thought of, such as researcher. He suggested doing a PhD and moving into academia. I think that would be a major move and I don’t want to go down that route at this time. We also spoke about archival work; I felt that archiving is a separate discipline requiring separate training, but he said there may be entry level jobs where they will take on someone with related skills. I’m somewhat sceptical of that, but I think archiving jobs are even scarcer on the ground than library ones, so it’s rather academic.
I did feel inadequate when talking about my thoughts about going into teaching (I sounded about as enthusiastic as I do here i.e. not very), but he did make an interesting suggestion about tutoring – a possible way of earning money with more flexible hours. I’m guessing most tutoring would be after school, which suits me as my mood and energy peak in late afternoon/early evening. I could probably tutor English language and literature and History, but I would feel I would need some kind of training in teaching. I mean, what would I actually say to a child who needed help? Would I just ask to see schoolwork and see what they’re struggling with? I’m not sure what I would do. I do have a friend who does tutoring, but I think she might only do music tuition. She also lives in Manchester, so it’s not easy for me to just pop round for a chat.
I was told I could show the adviser my cover letters before applying as well as getting interview practice before each interview and he told me not to be shy of using the service or asking him for help, which is reassuring to me, as I was worried he was going to say I shouldn’t be seeing him today after having seen him six months ago! He did suggest coming to a couple of events the charity is running, one on interview skills and one on job readiness and CVs.
I think I’m still trying to process all of this. I had to rush straight home to get ready for Shabbat which starts really soon, so I need to dash. Maybe more after Shabbat. I do feel very depressed at the moment, but I can’t tell whether this has made things better, worse or neither.