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Would you employ me in this circumstances?(38 Posts)
I am 36 and have a lot of experience in my industry. I am a manager. I have worked for my current employer for 20 months.
Last year my marriage broke down and I left my abusive husband. The department I worked in was very supportive. In March I had to move department, due to our department closing. The new department wasn't supportive at all. I tried to book annual leave to move into a house and was denied because they felt I hadn't been there long enough. One of my managers told me I was weak when I got upset at work, they changed my shifts to late shifts meaning that I didn't see my kids (apart from taking them to school) for a week and a half.
The divorce is horrible. Exh has continued being abusive and I just broke, in the end. I have been off with depression and anxiety for 8 weeks. Work appear supportive, but have already mentioned that I may have to be replaced if I don't return soon. They keep saying they need me back as they are short staffed. They have arranged counselling, I have had 1 session which actually made me feel worse. The counsellor told me, that my work was awf and I should leave.
Anyway, I have enough money to live for about 3 months so thinking of handing my notice in. Being able to spend the summer with my kids and settle us all into our new life (we have had move area as I could not afford a home in the area we lived in).
I thought I would look for a job and give me reason as leaving as simply that. After a tough year, I needed time to sort myself out and concentrate on my kids. How would that sound to potential employers?
Leaving work is a risk, in case I dont find anything. The job market can be quite difficult and I don't know how employers will react to my time off sick.
Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
Take emotion out of it as you risk sounding unprofessional.
Just say that you took time off to stay at home with your children.
Just say you took a break to have a few months at home with kids but are ready to get back to work now
Also, your potential new job will ask your old job about absences and sick leave etc. If it was only one instance (regardless of how many week), i'd expect this to be looked at more favourably than several days off here and there.
Firstly OP I'm sorry you've had such an awful time but it takes a lot of courage and strength to restart your life and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job of that
The only thing I would say is keep any eye on your industry, for a variety of reasons my partner and I (both managers both highly qualified in what we do) needed to look for work after a period of time and the entire industry recruitment for our roles had nose dived
I think you would be fine as I had a similar but not the same reason to have an employment gap and no-one batted an eyelid
But I did struggle for three months longer than I expected to get an actual job...now I'm in one it's known that the industry nose dived during that period so just keep your eye out during your time off
Hope that all made sense lol
Thank you. Yes I will just mention the kids.
This is the only period of sickness I have had since I started work, 20 years ago. So I don't think it should count against me, but I am worried as my current job are clearly judging me.
Please don't worry if this is your only episode of time off.
And don't worry too much about your current employer's opinion of you. Your new job will likely just ask them to complete a standard tick-box form to get matter of fact information about your abilities and timekeeping etc. They won't be interested in one individual's (whoever complete the reference) personal comments about you, so they won't ask them.
Thank you. It just so hard when you have given everything you can to a job and they treat you like shit.
The job market is tough, so I would be a bit wary of moving out of it except as a last resort. Would you employer move you to a new team or role to give you a fresh start?
On the other hand, I have been working a long time too and have had huge highs and lows in that time - but here I still am, currently in a new job I am really enjoying! So many people have issues in one workplace and then go on to be really successful elsewhere.
It is also very much a matter of perception. There was someone at my old workplace who was not very effective at management and probably a bit lucky to leave on his own terms before being pushed - yet a senior person at my new employer asked if I knew him and said that he always seemed so brilliant and perceptive at external events!
I think the main issue is that the company is big and widely known to treat staff like shit. In the industry, it's famous for it.
I was lucky in my last department as the senior manager, really cared and protected us from most of the crap. Most of the other departments follow the company ethos of 'you can be replaced so we don't care'.
For example, they tried to move me to a shift they knew I couldn't do, due to not being able to get childcare until 11pm at night. I told them this before I moved department, they said they understood and agreed to a shift I could easily do. But 2 weeks in, then told me I would have to do the shift I told them I couldn't do. I managed it for a few weeks, calling in favours from family but couldn't continue doing it.
When I go back they will definitely try and put me back on it, to prove a point. They definitely wouldn't support a move out of the department.
Your employer sounds like a nightmare and they have pushed you into becoming ill. But with 20 months service I would just let it go for your own well-being. It's good advice to take active steps to keep up to date with your area of expertise, as suggested by pp. Think carefully about the timing of resigning wrt sick pay/school holidays etc. Well done for leaving your ex. A break and a rest will do you good.
Pandora, it sounds like you are running out of options in trying to be treated reasonably by your employer. Do you have any signs that they are discriminatory towards someone like you with DC caring responsibilities. Could you see there's any case for discrimination?
It sounds like your industry is Financial Services....
If I'm honest I would look for a job whilst still in this one, and then leave.
It's harder to find a job when you don't have one, and if you don't find anything you may financially struggle.
So as much as a summer off with the kids sounds great, you could end up paying a heavy price for it. So I would recommend you stay and get the applications in for new jobs ASAP.
I have been told I would have a good case for constructive dismissal, by my union. I won't be pursuing that.
I do believe the discriminate. Also this morning I found out that a manager who moved to my department with me has told our old colleagues exactly why I am off and details. This person also said they didn't believe me and they had been looking at my Facebook to see what I was doing. I haven't been on any social media while I have been off, so there isn't anything to see.
But I do know that the same manager has been taking screen shots of other people's Facebook and giving them to senior managers. I feel like I am being watched from all sides.
I would look for a new job ASAP.
They possibly have been discriminatory, in regards to me being a single parent. But I just want to leave and be done with it.
I do feel they have contributed somewhat to me being ill.
I don’t have work colleagues on Facebook and that reminds me why it might be a bad idea!
Ok have you applied for any other roles? If not then get applying.
As said for me, as a single parent needing income, don't quit. Finding a job can be hard, and it's even harder if you're unemployed and have to explain why you're unemployed.
So if you're not going to sue, then ignore the shit, and just get on with finding another job.
I have actually known that colleague 15 years. I knew her away from work and we, coincendently ended up working together.
She is no longer on my Facebook.
I am definitely handing in my notice. I think I will apply for jobs from next week.
Ok, good luck.
Before you do so, can I ask how you will cope financially if you are unable to find a job within three months, or unable to find one at the same level or even close to your current salary?
Are you able to cope financially past the three months? What about six months, or a year?
If asked at interview, I think the best way to describe it would be my marriage broke down, my children needed extra help and at the same time there was a need to change my shift patterns in a way that meant I had to spend extra time away from them in the immediate aftermath of the divorce. I thought I was important to take some time off over their summer holidays this year, and now I'm keen to get back to work.
Something which makes it clear that one major life-changing event happened, you have dealt with it in a reasonable way and it is now dealt with. It's always difficult to know what to put on forms. For what it's worth, people don't get divorced that often and I think something like 'a personal emergency which is now resolved and I'm happy to discus further at interview' on a form wouldn't put me off interviewing someone.
can I ask how you will cope financially if you are unable to find a job within three months, or unable to find one at the same level or even close to your current salary?
That's the risk. The money could last up to 6 months, if I was really frugal with it and made some changes. Also I am owed a load of holidays from work as I haven't been able to take many so far this year.
Thank you Reddress that's a fantastic way of putting it.
"I thought I was important to take some time off over their summer holidays this year, and now I'm keen to get back to work."
I would be careful about phrasing it like this, actually. It implies that you have chosen to take time off as a voluntary and strategic decision, when in fact, you have been signed off work as medically unfit, by your GP. If you phrase it as previously, it may come across that you chose to access unofficial 'leave' to make life easier for your children, when in fact, you didn't, it just happened that you were unwell at a time that was advantageous to them. I would phrase it as: "think the best way to describe it would be my marriage broke down, my children needed extra help and at the same time there was a need to change my shift patterns in a way that meant I had to spend extra time away from them in the immediate aftermath of the divorce.... The combined pressures of these conflicting circumstances caused me to need some time off work. Now that I have resolved my personal circumstances, I am keen to return to work."
I was in a situation after my last mat leave where I knew I couldn't go back. The way I had been treated and what I knew I was in for meant my mental health was at risk.
I made a financial plan including all of our savings and looked at any benefits that we'd be entitled to if I didn't get a job straight as soon as I hoped. I mapped it all out in a spreadsheet so I knew exactly where we stood. I knew it would be very tight but for my sanity I resigned towards the end of my leave. I was actually offered a job within a week and was paid for my notice period (3 months) which I didn't have to work and all of my outstanding annual leave. That is rare of course but they knew how they had treated me. Incidentally a colleague also resigned because of the way they had treated her. She was an incredibly strong women, who spent a lot of time helping and empowering other women and they literally broke her. Like you they paid for her to have counselling and the counsellor told her to find another job. She listened. In fact she moved overseas and she and her family completed restarted their lives!
I think there are times in our lives when we have to listen to what's best for us and to identify for ourselves when we have reached our limits. I haven't always felt like this and have previously been very risk averse and would never have dreamt about resigning with no job to go to. The thing is, when you have a family who rely on you, you have to put yourself first (if you can).
That's the thing, I'm risk averse. I'd be thinking what happens if something goes wrong with the car, or whatever, and I have an unexpected expense. What happens if I don't get another job. What happens if something happens to my ex and the maintanence payments (if any) stop or are significantly reduced.
It's not so easy getting another job, especially when unemployed and you need to explain that you couldn't get time off and needed to quit. That you were only there twenty months and two off those off sick. When you're at risk of a bad reference due to being off for thr last two months before quiting.
It could all work out well, but there Is no doubt it's a risk by quiting before you have another role to go to.