Part two of a two-part series that examines complications for job seekers facing great boundaries to employment, including identifying the stigma behind mental disorders and community agencies that desperately want to help.
Scott - whose real name is not published - has spent over three years with Tasks Unlimited, a local organization actively involved in helping job seekers with mental illness. Living with severe mental illnesses, he inquired about the program and set his goal on accomplishing the training that Tasks Unlimited provided. "You get an education on how to do a good job, and then they pace you. There's no other program that I know of that does that," he said.
Today, life holds a better outlook for Scott, including working at a job he loves. Scott is excelling at beating the label of "mental illness" and is finding that while his career is now better, it's his own happiness that has undergone the largest improvement. Scott's words ring true: "It's not for everybody, but for people who are serious, it's a beautiful program."
If you are worried or aware that you might be affected with mental illness, here are the steps to help motivate you to take charge of your future.
Inquire. By simply asking the right questions, you may find that there are a plethora of resources to help. Never be afraid to ask questions of reputable organizations or ask them what they'd suggest as your next step. Research an organization before giving any personal information. You can ask for its 501c status, or do research on your own.
Invest. The hardest moment is the one that comes with the realization that you cannot take it all on alone. Any job seeker knows that until they make their goals and path a priority, success will be limited. Take time to invest in yourself and your future. The library offers wonderful reading material and the fall weather is ideal to spend an afternoon outdoors. Sometimes, investing means taking time out to research, relax or recoup.
Each job seeker has a hurdle to overcome. For Scott, it was complications of mental illness and self-doubt. Being proactive can take an ordinarily difficult situation and turn it into strength. Scott's example is a testament to others who are facing obstacles of their own. There is no limit to our own potential, just the limit we place on ourselves. No matter what the obstacle, an incredibly powerful step is reaching out to the community and local agencies by simply asking for help, because we can't always carry everything on our own.