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Am feeling like I will never be employable :((2 Posts)
I have name-changed for this because I feel so ashamed of feeling like this, but I have just had a really bad experience - not huge in the real sense but it has really hit me hard.
I have been unemployed for just under a year. In truth I have done the odd bit of work for a few £10 or so here and there, doing favours for friends and getting things like lunch cooked for me, or working to get evening classes in kind.
I was in a reasonably good job, but messed up by joining the Union, in good faith I thought, to try to help my employer work with employees on employee development and to stop some toxic managers from damaging the company.
I worked for one of these toxic managers, and he worked very hard to damage my reputation including making up evidence and using an IT stooge to make things happen on my computer that I was then fired for. I proved it in tribunal but the court didn't understand the implication of what I demonstrated and found that in any case, my employer was 'reasonable' to dismiss me because of my 'criticism of management'.
Anyway after a year of getting job offers, only to have them withdrawn when they contacted this previous boss for references (sadly I couldn't stop them - I was with that employer for seven years).
After leaving that role I have rediscovered many of my abilities - abilities that I supressed because of the toxic management culture (because showing ability beyond the role was seen as 'challenging' and threatening, I stopped growing in the role).
I was then offered the NEA (new enterprise allowance). I had an idea for a business using my skills and worked through the process. As I constructed my final business plan I realised that the lead time to earn was too long, so I asked for an extension to re-write the plan to make a new income stream.
I did this by asking during a phonecall with an adviser. The call was miserable - she bullied me by trying to demonstrate that my idea had no merit. Even though I disagreed with her, she kept on and on saying that it won't work, and 'I wouldn't start up like that'. Anyway it turns out that she then wrote a very nasty report saying things like this is SIMPLE. she is a CONSULTANT.
She wrote down that I had done no market research (not true - I admit I hadn't done expert research, but I had done enough to know I can get work).
The thing is that now I have been put on a work programme which means I now can't start my business, its silly. When I went to the Job Centre, I complained that I thought the report was deliberately negative and not reflective of my work. I was told that 'you will never get a job if you behave like this'. I was devastated
I have just spent nearly all afternoon and all night crying and getting alternate waves of rage and helplessness. All that is going through my head are thoughts of how the whole world seems to push me out of employment In fact its worse than that. When I look around I can only see that nothing has gone right for me for about 10 years or more, I have been battling and battling and getting absolutely nowhere.
I can't understand why the 'adviser' took against me. She didn't speak to my actual mentor before writing this report and Because of this report, the Job Centre are refusing to allow me to get the NEA. The NEA would give me a survival £60 a week whilst I get trading, bu also access to support and a loan.
Part of me is thinking that perhaps I was only on the NEA for the announcements needed by the government that people were coming off the dole - and now they have to pay they are looking for ways to get people out of the scheme, but the other part of me can't help adding it to a picture of a world where anyone with any power to encourage me or let me work instead wants to get in the way, block me and stop me from working.
I keep remembering times in my life when things were going better, but can't seem to believe anymore. Its miserable and I don't know what to do.
I am listening to Woman's Hour now and it feels astonishing that some people have a job with the negative horrible experiences I have. I am really worried that I am genuinely unemployable.
Firstly, go to CAB to get advice wrt your former employer. I'm pretty sure they're not allowed to give shitty references. Whilst there ask about your situation regarding Workfare and starting up on your own. They will hopefully be able to help.
Second, copy and paste your OP in the Legal Matters or Employment Issues sections of MN. Good luck.
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