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Little experience and huge career gap due to illness

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've been Helping MrRiot do his CV to apply for some better positions and I realised I haven't done anything to my CV since leaving Uni because I became unwell very soon after and haven't been able to work since 2011. I did do a part time course in that time (in make up artistry) and I'm going back to Uni in September to do my masters but if I'm well enough then I really need to do some part time work as well. But I have very little experience in anything - I've done 6 weeks admin work and 3 months retail since I was 16. I've got a whole load of education I can add on to my CV but asides helping my mum with her business on and off over the years for an hour here and there I haven't really got much else to put...how can I explain 4 years of being unwell? I wanted to be a part time librarian but I can't carry loads of books about the place :(

Comments

  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hi Miss_Riot

    I can understand that feels difficult, but it sounds like you've done what you can when you can, which is a really positive thing to be able to say.

    In a lot of cases, it's fine to explain four years of being unwell as just that. If it comes up in interview, let them know that you've been studying and still done some work, and now you're ready to do more.

    I would write up helping your Mum with her business as a job too. Just as you would another job - the time period your work covers (weekly hours don't matter unless you're asked explicitly), what tasks you've carried out, what skills you've learned that you can take to the job you're applying for.

    And it might help to draw out the job skills that your education brings - time management, working independently (and group work if you've done that too), working to deadlines, learning quickly, taking on new ideas ...

    Wherever you apply should make allowances if you have health limitations, this page might be a good place to start.

    Have you tried the National Careers Service for advice?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've helped her with load of stuff - from minor graphic design stuff and IT Help to editing copy, adding labels to things and helped her sort out receipts for tax returns. There's a fairly broad selection of tasks!

    I've talked to NCS many times and gotten no where, found them majorly unhelpful tbh, especially when they questioned my ability to go back to university when I was looking for what courses to aim for.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would also suggest that you don't count out any jobs because you think they may not be suitable. There are programmes such as Access to Work which will provide your employer with funds towards special equipment they may need to purchase to enable you to complete the job. Most places are also required to be equal opportunities employers so you may find that they are much more amenable to making adjustments than you're expecting. Certain places sign up to a code of conduct that says that if you are disabled and meet all of the essential criteria for a post, you are guaranteed an interview.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well Surely i can't apply for anything that says - lifting and shifting required etc? because me not doing thatt wouldn't be counted as reasonable adjustment?

    The other issue I have is I don't know if I actually am able to do work, but how can I find out without potentially messing up my benefits and then waiting months for them to be re-instated if I'm not up to it?
  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    I think if a major part of the job was stated as 'lifting and shifting', then that might no be a reasonable adjustment. But if it's a minor part of the work, then they could make adjustments.

    In terms of testing out work - how about volunteering? That's really flexible, and is good in terms of getting future jobs. And, if you're on ESA, do you know about the Permitted Work system?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm in the support category so I didn't think I could do anything
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I'm in the support category so I didn't think I could do anything

    You can. You need to speak to the job centre about this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I hate talking to them about anything because of the amount of misinformation I've been given over the years! Will the CAB be able to help?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They should be able to, yes.
  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Disability Rights UK have some info on Permitted Work here.

    Do get advice though - it's a complicated one!
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