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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have been controlling my bipolar disorder very well and I

Customer Question

I have been controlling my bipolar disorder very well and I want to rejoin the work force but it is not happening fast enough- I am doing things to stay active physically, emotionally, and mentally- but I fear sadness is lurking. I have changed my socializing to avoid drugs and alcohol but I am also habitually single and I feel I need to be employed to lead a more balanced life.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It can be hard to find a job these days but when you try to factor in your illness, it can seem very difficult.

If you know what field you want to work in, then you have a focus. You may need to consult with an employment specialist to find out if your resume is correct and if you are searching in the right places for a job. Also, you might want to work on your interview skills, particularly if it has been a long time since you have worked.

You can also consider working on line if your field has that option. That way, you might have a more flexible work schedule and you can avoid having to drive into work or dealing with co workers.

If you do not already have a field you work in, then it helps to focus on what kind of job you want and the ideal situation you would want to work in. One good question to ask yourself is what you would do for a living if money was no object. Once you can answer that question, you will have a focus.

You may also want to take advantage of support on line and in person for workshops, job fairs and other employment opportunities in the community. That can help you link with others and find networking opportunities.

Here are some resources that might help you:

www.nami.org

http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/526/fast-talk-find-work-that-works-for-you

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/managing-bipolar-disorder-at-work-job-pe rformance-tips

http://www.bphope.com/bphopeblog/post/How-to-Turn-Unemployment-into-Opportunity.aspx

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/coping-with-work-issues-and-bipolar-disorder/all/1/

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I have used several resources such as career counsellers and LinkedIn and resume writing. I am just concerned because as time goes by all my progress with my illness seems moot. I am single and I avoid certain friends as I want to remain sober, so life is a challenge. I want to be employed but it just hasn't happened.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
It does take time. The market right now is very slow and there are many struggling to find anything. You might want to try a headhunter if one is available for your field. Or try these ideas:

Information interviews- try to make contacts in your field and ask just to talk about the company. Give them a resume and let them know you are interested.

Volunteer- if you know where you are interested in working and if you can volunteer there, give that a try. If not, try doing volunteer work just to get to know others and make connections. Plus it gives you a reference for your resume and it looks good to potential employers.

Make a list of your skills- see what jobs fit what you do instead of looking for a certain type of job. You may find that you qualify for more types of jobs than you think.

Consider going back to school- learn a new trade or get a degree. It may not be cheap but you might be able to find scholarships for those going back with disabilities/Bipolar or just for in your field.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well to be honest I have done these things, I am taking an online MBA at the moment and thinking of taking a financial designation. I also volunteer at a Buddhist temple and for the past few years an elementary school. I just don't want this unemployment to send me backwards with respect to my illness. I am trying to stay positive but my father and sister are not very supportive and it is harmful.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
It sounds like you are doing everything possible then to find a job. You might want to consider extra support to help you stay sober and offset the negativity from your family. If you are not already in therapy, that would help you a lot. Also, consider support groups on line or in person. Talking to others who experience the same things you do can really help you feel better.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

More or less I have heard that I am doing things properly and it is a matter of time. I do have a therapist I see every two weeks. I am just so ready to move on and out of my parents house and into my new life, but the first step is taking so long.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
It can seem like forever when you want something and it doesn't happen quickly. Since you are doing everything possible to address your issues, then you may just want to keep yourself as busy as possible and out of your family home as much as you can manage. Time will pass and you will find a job. You are doing the right things and managing well. If you keep doing what you are doing, then it will happen.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think that is the right thing to do. Perhaps, I need to add or change some activities to stay 'happy'. I have meet some women at the gym or the grocery store but after a manic episode a year a go and being unemployed I feel inadequate. I feel quite sort actually. So employment to me is like the first step to feeling good about myself.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
I think that is a great idea. Keep changing activities, do things that challenge your confidence and look for opportunities to get out and meet others. Building your self confidence can help. And that will show in your job interviews as well.

Kate






May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you- I suppose the fact that experts are telling me to maintain my course is as good as it gets. I will rate you well don't worry.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome! You are right, if everyone is telling you that you are doing everything possible and that you are on the right track, then you are fine.

I hope it all works out for you. Hang in there!

Kate

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