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Anyone finding it hard to keep a job? - December 28th 2012, 01:05 PM

Since becoming clinically depressed, I have found it difficult to keep a job due to not showing up on my bad days. I don't know how to solve this and I cannot put it off forever.

I'm mostly working in admin and I'm good at it when I'm feeling okay. My bad days have made me unreliable and as much as I tell myself to just get up and go, when I am lying in bed crying without really knowing why I can't convince myself to go to work.

I got myself registered with a temporary staffing agency where you can basically pick and choose your hours and the placements you work. I did one six week long placement doing part time hours and I couldn't even show up all the time then. I don't want to keep trying to only let them down and get a bad name against me which will ruin my chances of working for them. They are a good company to work for. Because of my absences in the placement I had with them, I was called in for a meeting to discuss why I was a no show. I apologised a lot and explained a couple days were migraines (true) one day I had been unexpectedly dumped (true) and the remaining I had generally felt down (true but not totally true). I never confessed to having any medical problems when I was employed by this agency and I didn't ever plan to. I still haven't told them I've got depression and that I'm on medication for it.

I have x3 interviews coming up and 2 of these are within the department I had the placement. They did honestly seem like nice people and I think I'd enjoy working there, but I just cannot guarantee I'd feel okay everyday I'm meant to be in. Can I ask at interviews if there is anything they can do to accommodate me? I do and I don't want them to know about the depression. I do because then they'd know why I'm a bit strange sometimes. And I don't because if they interviewed someone without a mental illness but did just as well at interview as I did, surely they'd pick the sane one over me?! Like simply, an employer would always pick a reliable person over the one who's admitted to being unreliable.

I seriously don't know what to do. I do want to try. But I don't want to have my CV turn into looking as though I can't last longer than a month at a job and I was always fired for being a no show.

Has anyone got any experience with depression and holding down a job? Or anyone know anyone like this? What did they do? Did they tell their employer?

I've self referred myself onto a support group which will be meeting weekly from next month for people living with depression. So I am trying to help myself.

I don't even know what else there is to say. This is a catch 22!! Please help!
   
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Re: Anyone finding it hard to keep a job? - December 28th 2012, 02:07 PM

I'm also in a similar position. I have managed to hold down my current job for nearly a year so far, but due to insomnia and depression, I sometimes am off sick for long periods. My manager is currently trying to convince me to go off sick, but due to the fact I don't get sick pay, I'm fighting it.
Employers cannot discriminate due to mental illness. It is always good to ask at interview about what help and support they could offer you. Most companies have an employee stress helpline, or they might be able to offer you flexible working hours (so if you take a day off due to depression, you could work extra hours when you're feeling okay to make up the hours). I have had to tell my employer due to having long periods of time off. My manager has been pretty supportive and my team leader is very good at noticing when I'm not doing too good (she often notices before I do). Perhaps, when hired, you could speak to your line manager about any warning signs you might get before your depression gets bad? Also, it is really good to show that you're doing everything you can to deal with your illness. Mentioning that you're on medication, have referred yourself to a support group etc are really positive. I have a meeting with my manager on monday to discuss my situation and since the last one, I have got my outpatient appointment pulled forward, seen my gp and switched shifts so I can go to group therapy. Letting your manager know how you're doing can really help. Good luck!
   
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