For those of you who have been following since the day I launched my blog, you are probably aware that I have been looking for a job since 2011 and have had no luck. The job search has finally come to an end! No, I have not found a job but I am no longer looking for one. I have been working with Vocational Rehabilitation which is a federal-state program in Florida that helps people with mental and physical disabilities find and keep jobs hoping that they would find me employment. Unfortunately, they haven’t had much luck and recently contacted me informing me that I was dropped because I failed to contact them with an update on my job search which is impossible because we always contact them but they just aren’t the best at checking their messages. I have to say I was not really disappointed at all but was actually more relieved. I have been sent to several employment agencies over the course of several years and all of them pretty much give me the same results. I either got no interviews or ones to a job that was high stress and neither of those options will help me out in the long run. Not being able to find a job can be a little discouraging but I am kind of happy to end the job search and today I am going to talk about why I am not that upset about being unemployed.
I was always stressed– With the many employment agencies, I have worked with meeting the job coaches has got to be the most stressful thing I ever had to do and every time we had to meet I had panic attacks like you wouldn’t believe. After I had been job searching for a while Vocational Rehabilitation started putting pressure on the job coaches to find me employment so they were willing to do whatever it takes to get me a job even if it was a little dishonest. I can just remember being told to overexaggerate my skills when going to interviews and the reason behind it was companies are going to train me the way they want to so it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have all the skills listed on their application I will learn. With that logic, I was always getting interviews with jobs I was not qualified for and it stressed me out knowing that I was probably not even being considered for any of these jobs. I am not a fast learner so even if by some miracle I was able to get one of these jobs it probably wouldn’t last because my employer would quickly realize I didn’t have all the skills I said I had. Some people may be able to do this and get a job but for me, this plan would definitely backfire!
Nothing was within a reasonable distance– There is nothing more stressful than having your job coach tell you that there are no employment opportunities in your area so you have to branch out a little bit and do some traveling. How is that possible because you sent me on one interview I don’t see how we exhausted all the options? If an abled person saw a job that they really wanted but would require them to travel forty-five minutes to their job they have the option to make that choice. A disabled person might not necessarily have that especially if their primary source of transportation is public transportation. If you know anything about public transportation they are not very reliable and sometimes will make you very late for an appointment. I have had many job coaches try to tell me that traveling forty-five minutes to a job is not that far and maybe for an abled person it might not seem that bad but if you are disabled and use public transportation it might as well be three hours each way. In my experience, public transportation likes to take detours and sometimes they take twice as long to get you home.
I felt no one ever listened to me- I hated the fact that I was always being told that I had to take what I could get even if that meant accepting a position that I would be absolutely miserable in. I was always being reminded that even if I hated a job the most important thing is getting hired and that I don’t have to be at that job forever. Even if it’s only for a year or two why would I want to work at a job that is making me miserable when I can look for something that won’t. I always felt my input never mattered because whenever I gave them suggestions they always did it there way and did the complete opposite of what I asked. Their excuse was the types of jobs I asking for were either nonexistent or too hard to get. How can you know if something is too hard to get if you have never tried it? I know several people with data entry or low phone work jobs and know for a fact these positions exist so please don’t tell me they don’t exist because they do it’s just a matter of seeking these jobs out and looking in the right places. My input is important if not more so than yours and although you might put in all the applications and make all those phone calls to get me into an interview at the end of the day if I get hired you can’t work the job for me. I have to do that all by myself and it would be nice if it could be something where my anxiety was manageable.
I’m tired of working with rude coaches- I have worked with many employment agencies and been with many job coaches and the one thing they all have in common is they have all said something rude to some extent. Sometimes they may have not been trying to be rude but don’t know any better while other times I will never understand what led them to think that comment would be okay. I went to an employment class and the job coach teaching it asked me what my goals were and when I told her that I wanted to move out and she told me that’s stupid because that’s not a goal it’s a fantasy and given your situation you will never be able to achieve that goal on a part-time job. Who tells someone their goal is stupid and to choose another? I don’t know how many goals you think I have but I don’t have that many because if you have too many you end up forgetting about half of them. It’s comments like these that make me very uncomfortable sharing my goals and not want to. What do job coaches know about my situation anyways? Nothing! All they know about my situation is what disability I have (sometimes they can’t get that right) and what I would need to be successful at a job. Anything else they would know about my disability is something I would tell them and that is not information I generally voluntarily provide.
Accessibility was not taken into consideration- You would think someone that regularly works with people who have physical challenges would find you a job that is at least somewhat accessible. Nope! Almost all interviews I have been sent on has been the complete opposite of that. Sometimes I feel like my disability was not taken into consideration because some of the places that I got interviews for were so far from accessible there is no way I could make it work. If Vocational Rehabilitation finds you a job and you need reasonable accommodations to do that job Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for it but in my experience, most jobs I was sent on were so inaccessible the only way to make them accessible is to renovate the whole building which I doubt they will do.
Ending the job search may seem like it’s a sad thing but really it isn’t because there is so much I put to a halt since I started my job search journey. Looking for a job influenced the type of content I was creating because I was so worried potential employers were getting on my blog and thinking I was so unprofessional and didn’t want me an employee. Putting my blog on my job resume might have been a good skill to have but was by far the dumbest thing I have ever done! Now that I don’t have to worry about that I can focus on what I have been wanting to focus on and that is making money off of my blog and creating content that truly makes me happy. Making money off of a blog is hard and to be honest I never really had the motivation to do it but now I am feeling wildly motivated to try and make that happen. Vocational Rehabilitation may not have been able to find me a job but they have helped a lot of disabled people like my friend Karly find employment and loves her job. Have you found a job through an employment agency? What was your experience?