Sunday, 16 November 2008
The Challenge of trying to return to the workplace
The surreal painting/cartoon image was painted way back in 1996 & depicted my future, my transition, my challenge & fear of rejection.
My real life experience has been an incredible journey of self discovery. Just recently it has felt like I have been on a tightrope similar to the one in my picture trying to balance everything & keep moving forward with my health, my transition & my progress towards getting back to work. Balancing this with my responsibilities as a carer, my dysphoria, & my financial situation is difficult. Our family’s healths are the most important priority. I have the same doctor as my Father & he assured me the types of scans for hearing loss usually only require follow up treatment in approx 4% of cases, which was of some comfort to all of us as the wait continues.
I am really excited I am now at the stage where my health allows me to attempt to get back to some kind of employment. To be able to do this in my correct gender role is both a tremendous joy & a rather large challenge.
I cannot go back into my previous carer for reasons of both my health, my responsibilities as a carer & logistics. Due to its specialist nature my core skills are of limited use & so I am seeking an alternative carer. In the present climate I will just be grateful to get a job of any description which pays the bills & does not leave me open to discrimination or bullying.
I still feel insecure about my voice but not my transition. Thankfully my new found self belief has enabled me to bounce back from a series of events which, only a year a go would have completely swamped me. I am going to continue with more voice therapy & will just keep practicing. Now is not the time for me to have voice surgery. I am pushing ahead with work experience & doing all the things asked of me to get back to the workplace.
On the positive side I have managed to do some voluntary work in the admin department at a local organisation. I have attended a 2 day “Goals” confidence building course, which was a deeply moving shared experience. Both uplifting & humbling, which gave me new found belif in humanity. I will shortly be attending an interview technique session & my first interview in thirty years.
I have been so grateful for the kind support I have been shown & the opportunity to gently gain some work experience in a friendly environment. It has been just what I needed. I would very much like to continue gaining work experience in any way I can. My doctors, family, employment facilitator & I are all very pleased with my progress. I have taken advice from them all before proceeding with sending the lady I work with at the administration job an informal request for her honest advice regarding a full time job oppertunity.
I have been considering applying for a role as her assistant which was advertised recently & would very much appreciate her thoughts on my suitability. I am really interested in the position & keen to have the work experience. I would be very wiling to be trained up for the position while they advertise the role. I am passionate & dedicated to any role I undertake to support them. It would also be of great benefit to me both on a work & personal level. Budgets at the organisation like every where are very tight so in view that I am not able to work full time, I would be very willing to job share the role should the opportunity arise. I would be willing to work for free to gain the experience which may perhaps in the future lead to a permanent position if they were happy with my performance. In the current economic climate the situation could help both of us.
My career break was due to unique circumstances combing, causing me stress & depression which is now being successfully resolved. I would not consider applying for the role if I thought I was not capable & would not like to let anyone down. All I wish for is a chance to prove myself both to an employer & for my own self respect. I have come a long way in a very short time & have a lot to be grateful for even though my transition seems to have taken soooooooooo long. I could only get here when I was ready!
I am having quite a dilemma & feel anxious yet again to ensure that my request for advice does not make any difference to our friendship or my willingness to continue to support her/the organisation as a volunteer. My hearts in the right place even if my thinkings a little muddled.
I hope I have done the right thing. There is an overriding fear of being rejected both by a friend & for a job. Sadly "Rejection" is something I might have to get used to quite a lot with my new life then again perhaps I am now better equipped to deal with it, just like anyone else?