Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

Jobhunting - how to explain employment gaps?

(8 Posts)
HaveYouSeenHerLately Mon 14-Nov-16 21:10:05

Does anyone have any experience of the above?

I'm finally under the care of the local mental health team having suffered from mental health issues my whole life (depression, anxiety, bulimia, social anxiety, agoraphobia). Over the past 15yrs I've been prescribed antidepressants on and off, worked full time continuously to support myself in low paid jobs as well as studying pt for my degree gaining a first with honours.

This ought to have been a springboard into better employment but my self esteem and confidence were so low I continued to work in a rubbish admin job, just grateful I was managing to turn up every day. I felt under tremendous pressure but couldnt explain why. I appear highly competent and proactive in the workplace and no-one understands why I'm not striving for something better.

The last couple of years have been particularly bad and I've barely worked (just one 6 month temp assignment). I never felt I deserved benefits. I live relatively frugally, save hard and live off my savings when my mental health takes a turn for the worse. I now understand I was (and am) probably eligible and made things unnecessarily hard on myself sad Still don't feel deserving enough/ motivated to claim confused

Sorry for the essay! Thanks to my ongoing therapy I finally feel close to being able to get back into the workplace but how do I explain the gaps on my CV?

HaveYouSeenHerLately Mon 14-Nov-16 21:24:09

Because I struggled to even leave the house I wasn't able to face volunteering (have done plenty in the past) so I don't even have that to pad out the gaps.

Is honesty the best policy? I would think not at application/ interview stage. How do I come out of this positively??

I've never been absent from work for mental health issues nor taken periods of paid/ unpaid sick leave (ever). On the occasions I was close to admitting how bad I was feeling my managers (various jobs) were always unsupportive and unprofessional/ gossipy. I wish I was exaggerating shock

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Mon 14-Nov-16 21:32:57

Insofar as depression comes within the DDA, you should be able to be honest... I was the last time I applied for a job...

... however, I suspect I only got the interview to avoid a possibility of a discrimination claim.. OTOH, if you don't reveal your history and you take time off work, they probably can let you go for deception.

Either way, it is not easy.. Go with. your heart...

HaveYouSeenHerLately Mon 14-Nov-16 22:16:20

Thank you! It's making me more anxious wondering!!

I've seen a NHS vocational counsellor a couple of times but she wasn't very forthcoming. I felt I knew more about the subject (I don't) than she did hmm confused

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Tue 15-Nov-16 05:23:32

Lately,
I am very impressed by how you manage your situation. To know enough about yourself you expect to take time off for depression seems a very enlightened situation. What sort of work are you going for? Is it a normal permanent role or a short contract? Could I suggest that is you go for contract jobs, you can be totally honest and acknowledge you have episides of depression which you manage by taking temporary jobs that you can leave when life becomes difficult again. ... It may help you get i to work and develop an employment history.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Tue 15-Nov-16 11:46:36

Thanks It'sNotEasy smile

I grew up with a tough love approach, I've always felt like I just have to get on with it, no excuses blush

I'm nervous about work but it gives me a sense of identity and confidence. I want to develop a career in a particular sector (retail HQ/ graduate job path). I know I'm capable. Oddly in the work environment I'm very focused, confident and driven. I think I enjoy the distraction tbh. The main sticking point is mornings (peak depression/ anxiety) but I make sure I'm prepared the night before so I have the minimum to do in the morning and force myself out the door.

I understand I should probably get some relevant experience paid/unpaid, volunteer, start working part time to give myself something current to talk about in an application/ interview. I don't want to work full time in an unrelated/ basic job as I had been doing as I feel so exhausted every evening and weekend I don't prioritise looking for better jobs. I know it sounds picky but it's just how it is.

Just wondering how to explain the crazy long gaps in employment over the last few years. I don't have children so can't say I was a SAHM. I'm bad at lying too wink

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Tue 15-Nov-16 16:00:21

Christmas rush approaching... then the sales.. a perfect time to get temp work in retail.. Then a break after when everything goes sack in late Jan... Go for it, you have little to loose by applying for a job.. OTOH it is a guaranteed that if you don't apply... you will not get a job..

Yes many years tough love was considered the way to go, maybe it worked, but I am no longer sure that it did. These days I make no apologies for being a fruitcake.. It is what I am. . It really is not easy being different.

PS.. it's a line from Chocolat.. I thought it suited

AnxiousCarer Tue 15-Nov-16 17:49:27

My DH says 'self employed' which technically true as he takes cash in hand labouring ad hoc when he's not well enough to cope with full time work, and completes tax self assessment. Not really got a great answer for you. As PP said MH is covered under disability discrimination act, but its always hard to know how things affect your application.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now