Saturday, 28 June 2008

Trying to return to the workplace after a long abscence


I made further progress to my pathway back to work. I had a very positive meeting with a lady who has been assigned to support me. We made an action plan. As I am very disorganised this was a real good idea.

I am realistic & know I face many challenges. I need to be flexible & consider any option. I feel ready & able to begin my new working life in a female role. I have so much admiration for those girls who transition in their same place of work. This was an option that was simply not open to me for all kinds of reasons but I think it is something more & more are able to do. The more that happens the more we will be accepted & sets a great example for those who follow. They must still be under greater pressure to be accepted & earn the respect of their collegues. Something that has without doubt happened for years already, for women all over the world.

There is still so much discrimination in the workplace. At the same time I am not that comfortable with the idea of positive discrimination for any gender, ethnic group or sexuality. It should ideally be equal for all.

I have commitments to care for my elderly parents & I have to be careful of the pace of my return because of health issues. Just feeling ready & willing to try is a great feeling.

Voluntary work does not require you to disclose you were made redundant due to ill health. I would like to do approx 3months voluntary work 2 days a week ideally in a TS friendly environment or organisation.

I had some time ago felt perhaps a non customer facing part time employment, in a field where I have the best chance of being employed. I am much more comfortable about myself now & hope to begin volunteer work in a customer facing role at our local zoo real soon. That is just a short term goal. I never want to return to my old carer. Life is too short. I would like to study for a qualification in a field where my chances of being employed would be greatest, would benefit my well being, especially as I could find myself unemployed for quite some time.

The type of jobs I may have the best chance of employment i.e. the ones that cannot be filled may involve working with non TS friendly people who see me as an easy target to make them feel better about themselves. Discrimination laws are one thing, life is another. I believe I have now achieved an inner resolve to deal with that if that happens. I need to pay the bills & also complete my real life test so that I can have my surgery.

If I am successful at achieving sustained paid employment I can perhaps plan for a career but right now I do not have the luxury.

This may include working a number of different part time paid or voluntary jobs while caring for my parents & maintaining my health. My counselor has advised me not to work for any mental health charities as it would be unsuitable at this stage of my recovery. I reluctantly understand her reasons but one day this is very much an area I would like to work in.

Art therapy for people with learning difficulties or people who would benefit from learning new skills would be ideal. I may be able to use art to supplement my income but it is sooo difficult to make a living purely by art alone.

Eventually I hope to train or gain voluntary experience & establish a new career. I really admire people who are enthusiastic about what they do. It is going to be a challenge to return to the workplace after the break I have had but plenty of other women are faced with this challenge. I just have to get on with it like everyone else. I can only do my best & hope some one will be kind enough to give me a chance. I would really appreciate any ones advice or experience as an employer, employee, about being faced with such a situation?


Anji said...

I hope you find something to suit you. Could you teach art in an informal way? (I don't know what kind of qualifications you need in the UK)

It's lovely to read your 'forward looking' posts.

Debbie K said...

Hi Anji
May be one day I could teach a little Art or perhaps more realistically help out at evening classes or art groups on an informal basis. As far as qualifications go, my worst ever exam result was in "A" level art. I learnt a lot being pushed to paint subjects in techniques I would never have tried but I need to paint subjects I feel pationate about. Modern art was just not for me. So I guess my chances of getting a formal teaching qualification are pretty slim. Who knows what the future holds. One day anything is possible.

Thank you so much for enjoying my forward looking postings. I believe I have a future now & that feels so amazing.