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To say I feel physically ill due to unemployment

(64 Posts)
user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:04:57

My best friend thinks it's an over exaggeration but since graduating from my Masters degree in Social Work and becoming unemployed, I believe it has made me physically and mentally ill.

I have always been a hard working person. I started work at 15 and was also a young carer for my two brothers who had physical and mental disabilities (sadly both have passed away now). I moved on to University and got a good BA degree but it didn't lead to a specific job so
I applied to become a social worker. It's been a hard few years. I was raped at a house party which resulted in pregnancy and I gave birth in the middle of my course. I had to take maternity leave and was diagnosed with postnatal depression. My Son looks exactly like the man that raped me and it took me a very long time to bond. I went back to my course as I was truly determined. I was very lucky and had two very good placements. One of which was a statutory placement in a very well regarded council. I qualified with a Masters with Merit and I left with an incredible reference from my Practice Educator who said I was one of the best Social Worker students he'd ever worked with and only let me go as he couldn't get the funding for me to stay. My Practice Educator report said I had not a single learning need.
It's been a year since I graduated and despite applying for hundreds of jobs I've only had one interview (which I went blank in).

I am so lonely without a job. I have no money and feel like my life is simply standing still. I'm not doing anything or going anywhere. There's no stimulation. Every night it's so hard to sleep as I know tomorrow will be one long lonely day of mundane job applications and looking after my Son. I have no family or friends in the area. My head hurts, I cry all the time, I feel exhausted, embarrassed, hopeless and completely useless.

I am so depressed. I have tried pretty much everything. I'm far too qualified to get a less well qualified job and even for something like a support worker they won't take me as I'm over qualified. I've joined many agencies and they won't even send my cv over for assessor jobs.

I have had amazing feedback from staff and managers at both of my placements and both tried to keep me but were refused funding so I know that I'm good at the job. I was even called into the office by my manager who told me my work was of an incredibly high standard.

If I had a voluntary position I'm sure I would be taken on afterwards or even an assessor job or less qualified position. It would be a foot in the door. But I just can't get anything.

This isn't unusual but for someone who has had the final placement I had it is unusual as it's considered one of the best in the country and people can usually get a similar role to a Social Worker even if it's less qualified.

I'm just losing all hope and I'm starting to feel suciidal. I'm going to be 30 soon. I'm a committed, reliable, hard working person but I can't get a job as that doesn't come across in a job application . I used to be very good at job interviews and even if I didn't get the advertised job I was given a different opportunity but my first professional job interview was so scary. Still, if I can get an interview I usually come across well. Now I've got my first out the way I will be better. But I can't even get an interview. I feel physically ill, and I'm becoming more hopeless as time goes on.

I have so much experience in my field. But no one even gives me a chance. I will keep going tomorrow, 3 more applications to write. I need to keep going but it's so hard to stay positive. Please tell me I'm not being unreasonable.

When I'm working I'm a positive, confident, energetic person. I don't even recognise who I am anymore. I don't know how I've ended up
Like this. I swear if I ever get a job I will never complain about Monday mornings, annoying work colleagues or working late ever again. I will know how lucky I am and be so grateful. I just want a job. I want to be able to afford to live. I want to use my mind doing something useful. I just want a paid job. :-(

AIBU to feel like this or am I just feeling sorry for myself?

baconandeggies Thu 15-Dec-16 21:07:53


Squirmy65ghyg Thu 15-Dec-16 21:11:08

Could you move areas? You sound amazing Op.

daisygirlmac Thu 15-Dec-16 21:12:04

Oh love. That sounds really really tough. I'm sorry I don't have any advice as I'm not familiar with your field but I just wanted to say I do know how difficult it is to be unemployed and to try and keep your motivation up. Is it worth a chat with the GP? cakeflowers

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:15:11

I live in Manchester. It's an area which a lot of opportunities generally it's just hard to get your foot in the door. The only
Place with more opportunities is London which I can't afford at the moment. I'm applying for jobs everywhere though. I'm not even fussy anymore. If there's an opportunity I have to take it.

I'm trying everything I can. It's just hopeless :-(

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:16:42

I have been diagnosed with Depression. I've been given no support for it though. I honestly think it's my unemployment that's the cause of it though.

If I had a job I would be absolutely fine. A completely different person.

EngTech Thu 15-Dec-16 21:16:53

I can relate to the over/under qualified problem when I was looking for a job after I was made redundant.

Have you thought about "dumbing down" your CV?

Sad I know but that is how I got a job.

Once in, as it were, then I put my full qualifications down when I applied for internal jobs.

Just a thought but good luck and YANBU

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:21:46

I have dumbed down my CV. I've applied for assessor jobs and care co ordinator roles. My experience is great but I just need a foot in the door or for someone to know me and offer me an interview.

I don't think I will get one without contacts. Councils seems to employ people they know so you've no chance.

Judydreamsofhorses Thu 15-Dec-16 21:31:35

My DP got made redundant back in the summer, and is now incredibly depressed - as well as applying for "proper" jobs in his field, he's applied for jobs in retail etc, and got nowhere. It is so bloody tough, OP. I really hope something comes up for you soon.

AreWeThereYet000 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:35:39

Can you not apply for a job not linked to your qualifications at all... call centre work, supermarket staff etc, anything to get you into a working environment.
Once you're in a job doesn't mean you have to stay in it - you can still apply for all the roles you wish to have a career in, but in the meantime you'll be in a job, making friends and build your confidence back up? Xx

Lokisglowstickofdestiny Thu 15-Dec-16 21:39:16

YANBU, and no you aren't feeling sorry for yourself. I would go back to your GP and talk about medication, it's not a cure for depression but may help you feel a bit better in the shorter term, particularly as you think a job will give you the lift you need. Would you consider jobs in other fields, just so you can get out of the house and get the social interaction as a temporary stopgap and keep applying for roles in your chosen field?

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:41:41

I've applied for every job imaginable. Unless you have recent experience they're not interested. I'm
More likely to get a job as a social worker than in a supermarket or in retail.

I have no experience Ina nothing but care.

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:42:58

I would work anywhere and do anything. But I can't miss out large chunks of my job history so I'm clearly over qualified. I've tried everything honestly. It's just getting me so down now. There's just nothing left of me :-(

GlitterGlue Thu 15-Dec-16 21:46:38

Have you asked your former manager for input on your applications? Maybe they need a bit of tweaking to help you get to interview?

There are always vacancies in care work, which I appreciate you're overqualified for, but it's a job and they likely snap you up.

Are you able to do agency social work if you're newly qualified? I know some areas are relying heavily on temps as they can't find permanent social workers. I'm sure Suffolk and Norfolk are both struggling to recruit, if you want to consider a move?

Good luck with your job hunt.

GlitterGlue Thu 15-Dec-16 21:48:08

Also, is there a sure start anywhere near you? They will be able to offer you support, and may also know about jobs in your sector.

Leanback Thu 15-Dec-16 21:50:52

Manchester City council just had a massive recruitment drive for social workers. They were looking for over 80 roles. It might still be ongoing have you tried there?

Seren85 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:55:45

You are certainly not BU. You have been through hell and stayed strong and still can't catch a break. Is agency social work and option? My sister is an SW and several people she knows have gone down that route. I really hope you manage to get a position soon, it sounds like any local authority would be extremely lucky to have you.

e1y1 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:58:45


If you're just trying to secure any job, whilst you have no experience of retail/customer service type jobs per se - try coming from the angle of transferrable skills.

I should imagine you have experience of dealing with difficult people/situations, working under pressure, keeping calm with challenges and of course dealing with lots people from all walks of life etc - these are all skills that any employer would value.

I know now it seems impossible, but I promise it can be done and you won't always not have a job.

You have done amazing to get this far.

Good luck.

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:59:25

It was Manchester City council I got an interview for. Most of those 80 jobs were taken by internal applicants. There's actually quite a few job vacancies. I just don't get anywhere. I'm going to really make an effort to tailor my application forms and put in an amazing application. Hopefully I will get somewhere.

My placement was at Manchester City Councik. Usually they hold on to students who had their placements there like they're gold dust as they've been trained at a great cost to the council. But I was unlucky there was no funding.

I'm hoping I may be cherry picked if a role comes up.

If a similar role comes up I'm likely to get an interview but they're teams with a low turnover of staff.

I've already applied for agency roles. It's actually harder than getting permanent. They want post qualifying experience.

Madlizzy Thu 15-Dec-16 22:08:27

For now, try bupa, Vodafone and British gas. Have you tried tameside and Derbyshire?

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 22:10:09

Tried everywhere. I have applied for a
Position in Derbyshire. It's less popular there. They're taking on 5 social workers so fingers crossed.

flossietoot Thu 15-Dec-16 22:16:07

Hi, I am a manager for a charity that employs support workers and I would snap you up!
Also- do you put on your personal statement about your own experiences around rape and mental health- as much as it is unfair, that would worry me when shortlisting.

user1481835600 Thu 15-Dec-16 22:23:05

I certainly don't put that I was raped or that I have depression on my application. I don't actually have depression. I'm just depressed as I am unemployed. Once I get a job I will be fine.

When my Son was born I had postnatal depression but I think anyone would in my circumstance. But I am better now. It took me a while to bond.

I have been diagnosed with postnatal depression not general depression. I am currently depressed though and I'm sure would get a diagnosis if I went back to the GP. I wouldn't do that as it would harm my chances having such a diagnosis and I know it's related to lack of employment.

While I wouldn't put it on my cv, I don't think a woman being raped should be a reason not to employ her. I find that a bit disturbing if I'm honest.

flossietoot Thu 15-Dec-16 22:29:34

Of course rape isn't a reason not to employ someone, I meant that sometime sharing about personal experiences on applications for support type roles can send a red flag to employers- assumption being that applicants want to 'rescue' or work through their own stuff- I have seen it many many times.

edwinbear Thu 15-Dec-16 22:30:06

OP I hear you. I was made redundant from a six figure salaried investment banking job at the start of Sept. I've applied for over 150 jobs since and still not working. I've not even been able to get temp work. It's so frustrating that 4 months ago I was pitching £100m trades to FTSE 250 FD's, analysing complicated financial accounts and building highly structured financial products and now I can't get an interview for a junior trainee dealing position, or even an apprenticeship.

I haven't had an unbroken nights sleep since the day I lost my job and the panic, anger, guilt and anxiety I feel over letting my family down is overwhelming. It's a ticking time bomb until my redundancy pay out runs out and then everything I've worked so hard for, collapses round my feet.

I don't have a solution, but I do know how you're feeling. It's fucking shit.

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