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really stressed son in new job , how can I help

(17 Posts)
worriedxmumx Fri 14-Nov-14 16:26:32

My son recently started a graduate training scheme job. Was delighted to be offered the job, it seemed fine, they made it sound attractive but hard work. He got through the interview process with flying colours and he is normally an outgoing character, with plenty of chat. He is dyslexic which makes a few things difficult (not good at admin, not good with maps) but he won't tell them.
Well three months on his confidence is gone, he is too choked with emotion to talk about it much, he shouts at me if I make suggestions. Some days he wants to resign (and never show his face again) others he wants to kill himself. I have marched him to the doctor for antidepressants but he seemed to cheer up, put on a brave face for the doctor and we came away without any (just a phone number for someone to talk to, which he has dismissed as pointless).
The hours are very long, there is lots of pressure to hit targets, but others cope. There is some bullying by one manager - everyone loathes him but put up with it. He is just about meeting targets so far but that won't last the way he is behaving. He hates the job, hates trying to persuade people to buy things that don't really suit their needs, wants to help people find what they want - but the pressure is to just do it.
He is asking for my permission to quit - so far I just say I don't know what he should do ('can't you talk to your manager' etc meets with anger). There are other family members who might have suggestions but he doesn't want to talk to them. His father died when he was a baby.
What should I say? Money is quite tight and I don't want him to ruin his prospects for getting another job, but I really don't want him to suffer like this.
Thanks in advance for any help.

AdamantEve Fri 14-Nov-14 16:34:31

It sounds awful.
My gut instinct is to say that life is too short to be so unhappy in a job. It sounds like he's given it a good chance, having been there 3 months. I know it's not ideal being out of work but if he is bright enough to land a graduate scheme, then there will be other jobs out there for him. I would be inclined to encourage him to start applying for other jobs and to leave this one as it isn't worth the damage to his mental health, in my opinion.

Lovetheleaves Fri 14-Nov-14 16:36:19

Oh if you could just persuade him to see through 6 months it will stand to him. A job will often click after 6 month period I find. Jobs are not easy come by. I'm very stressed at the moment in my job and I'm being landed with more work on monday. I don't have time to do what I have to do anyway. However most people I know in the job market are in the same boat so I don't know if it's Worth moving. Hope he settles soon.

Unexpected Fri 14-Nov-14 16:37:54

What kind of training scheme is this? Is it a long-running programme with a recognised company? From what you say so far, it sounds as if he is in a full-on sales role. If he is on a graduate training scheme, he should be receiving regular mentoring and opportunities to provide feedback and ask for help. If he is dyslexic, I'm surprised that this didn't come up during the recruitment process?

I'm all for helping our children to be independent and sort out their own problems (I am assuming he is now 21/22?) but I would probably cut my losses here. This is a sales role and he doesn't really want to work in sales does he?

BunnyMama Fri 14-Nov-14 16:53:19

How long is the training scheme? Is there a long time to go?

Could it be that they are pushing the graduate trainees harder than usual to see how well they cope under stress? (but the actual job won't be as bad?)

Can you get him to think of three problems and tell you just one of them as a compromise? (getting him to open up even slightly).

Would it help if you said you would give your permission to quit, but only if you thoroughly understand his reasons first, and he has to have figured out what he'll do if he does quit?

Could you agree that he starts looking at other jobs/opportunities whilst he's working? (might help him see how buoyant/scarce other jobs are, realistically).

Would he speak to a recruitment consultant for his industry sector, who might be able to advise on other openings in the market, or at least advise on if he should try and stick it out?

It sounds like he is having a bad time which is not an ideal way to start working life, but... a lot of jobs are awful out there. Without knowing why he is so unhappy it's difficult to analyse. Anything targets-based is generally very very stressful though. It could be teething problems, it could be that he's better suited to a different environment. I think for his own benefit he needs to assess what's going on, otherwise he might internalise all this angst when it's just that the environment is not a good fit for him - we're all different (but at that young age, we feel that we can succeed at anything so when it turns out harder than expected we can blame ourselves).

kateclarke Fri 14-Nov-14 16:57:07

Just tell him to quit, no job is worth killing himself over, which sounds like a possibility. Young men are in the highest risk group, please listen to him.

usualsuspect333 Fri 14-Nov-14 16:59:57

Tell him to quit. No job is worth that kind of stress.

He doesn't need your permission to quit a job he hates.

m0therofdragons Fri 14-Nov-14 17:05:40

My first thought is he needs to be honest with them re his dyslexia. It won't go against him but hiding it will be putting stress on him and also is unfair on the employer, who if they are any good will have things in place. As a manager I would have been very frustrated with someone I felt wasn't doing the job well but if I found out they had a reason and we could have adapted things to get good work from them I would have done so.
My advice would also be to look for another job before quitting. So many young people struggle to find work and having on his cv that he quit after a few months won't look good for a new employer.

Vivacia Fri 14-Nov-14 18:08:16

I'd put a fiver on this being teaching.

I'm not sure what you can do other than give advice. From what you say I'd even stop doing this. Be the person he can talk to. If you're constantly saying, "quit" he might stop talking to you.

Unexpected Fri 14-Nov-14 19:07:53

It's not teaching, the OP says it is some sort of sales job.

iamthenewgirl Fri 14-Nov-14 21:20:01

The landscape of work has changed beyond recognition over about the last 10 years IMO. A lot of jobs are pretty stressful so I totally understand how he must be feeling.

It sounds as if he is a square peg in a round hole, and yes, I would tell him to quit but it might help if he has something else lined up even if it is a temporary job like bar work.

I think it would be worth checking which jobs suit people with dyslexia. I know that a lot of developers have dyslexia as that is the way their brain is wired.

Like others say, life is just too short.

JustSayNoNoNo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:47:09

Sounds like he's in the wrong kind of job for him. We can't all fit all types of roles.

As a manager and potential recruiter I would respect someone who had recognised they were in the wrong type of job, especially one which was causing so much stress.

I say you should support him to find another job.

worriedxmumx Wed 19-Nov-14 18:00:26

Thankyou everyone, sorry I haven't replied sooner - for some reason I thought mumsnet would email me if there were any replies.
Anyway you have given me some things to think about. Some answers to your questions - the scheme is 10 months, there are training days, but too right it seems to be a bit lacking in on the job support and mentorship. Apparently it gets harder soon, with exams as well as increased targets.
He may not strictly speaking need my permission to quit, but we both assume he would need me to support him financially. I don't suppose he would be entitled to JSA unless he is fired. If he can't stand it, obviously I would rather him quit than hurt himself, but I'm just not sure that quitting is going to make him feel any better.
I suggested he look for another job before resigning but don't hold out much hope - he out from 7am to 8pm, and 9am to 6pm alternate Saturdays, there isn't really time. He also thinks he can't do well at anything, this has knocked his confidence. He has told me a few of the specific problems now - and I think they probably are related to the dyslexia eg his handwriting is very childlike, and he has to write out a form for the client to sign which is terribly embarrassing. newgirl Is there such a thing as 'jobs for dyslexics'? What do you mean by 'developers' , is that in computing? It is probably a bit late for that direction, his degree was in business studies.

BlueStringPudding Wed 19-Nov-14 18:09:07

Is there someone at his company that he could talk to? Some companies running Grad Schemes have separate managers from those giving day to day task direction, and they are there to help graduates through this type of thing. The company has made an investment in him, and they should want to help him, so he should look for someone he can confide in, and really just get some advice.

If he feels longer term, that the role is not right for him - then his best bet is to start applying for other graduate schemes straight away - and see if he can stick it out until he gets another role. He now has some additional work experience, which will improve his CV.

I manage a grad scheme, and we don't always put someone into the right role first time - fortunately we usually have flexibility to move people into different roles, which can make a huge difference, but for some companies that's not the case.

CalicoBlue Wed 19-Nov-14 18:14:18

There is nothing worse than being in a job that makes you unhappy. It knocks your confidence and makes it harder to find a new one.

Is this a retail job? A lot of retailers ask staff to apply on line, so he could start looking on line. Get his cv up on Monster, Reed, Total Jobs and CV Library too.

If it were my son I would tell him to hand his notice in. Coming up to Christmas there are temp roles around whist he looks for something longer term.

iamthenewgirl Wed 19-Nov-14 19:38:07

I would tell him to hand his notice in and find a part-time, straightforward, easy and fun(!) if somewhat low paid job in the run up to Christmas. If he is working long hours he won't have time to look for anything else and will just get more and more down. A job like this will keep the pennies rolling in and will give him a framework for his week and he can use the spare time to plan what he is going to do next. Sitting at home can make you just as miserable as a rubbish job IME!

He should disclose that he has dyslexia to future employers. They will then make allowances and they will be aware that his handwriting is childlike. He needs to play to his strengths.

Yes, developers write code that powers websites and software. The ones DH knows are awful at certain things (i.e. writing emails) but have brains like IT machines. It certainly isn't too late for him to change track so I would research jobs that would bring out the best in him. We're not all good at everything.

There's some useful advice here

Bowchickawowow Wed 19-Nov-14 20:20:07

I quit a fairly well paid job as a graduate to go and temp. It was the best decision I ever made and has not affected my career at all. My stepdad told me to to leave before I was stuck doing a job I hated for years because I had to - he said as I got older it would be impossible to leave a well paid job and I would be miserable. He was right.

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