Difficulty with returning to workforce, please help

littlestars

Confident
I'm in the US and I’m on disability. I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine art… which I feel is pretty useless and not much I can do with. I don’t want to go back to college for a master’s degree because going to college for five years was very taxing on my mental health. I started to look for jobs but then my car got totaled, so I couldn’t go anywhere for three weeks. Then, I had physical health issues to which I finally recovered from about two weeks ago.

I found a job working as a librarian assistant, it’s by contract for the school year grades 6-8. Like I said before, I’m on disability and my mother is my representative payee. We researched about how to return to work yesterday. She works from home and is extremely stressed out lately with her job, which triggers me and then started to list off all of these things I need to do which caused me to have a panic attack and I had to leave. She said that I’m not ready to go back to work. Mostly because I have insomnia pretty bad right now.

After I finally came home, I was so exhausted from taking my anxiety medicine and the interaction with my mother. I’m so depressed. I don’t know what kind of job to get now because of my ptsd which, as you know causes a lot of disruption in daily life. I need a job that will pay a little above average so I can pay off debts and still afford basic things like rent, food, gas, etc. but most importantly I need healthcare benefits to cover my medical bills.

I feel so disappointed in my mother and myself. I’m in my mid-thirties and I haven’t worked since 2014… and I only worked for two months before having a meltdown, which is a trend for me. I want to get off of disability and be “normal” and have a job and move out of this slummy, cramped studio apartment with my boyfriend. I feel like it’s going to take some time, yet time is running out. If I stay on disability I won’t be able to get married or have a nice apartment and extra money to cover basic needs… my mom pays a lot of my bills because the disability doesn’t cover everything.

The point is that I don’t know how to enter the work force again and don’t know what kind of jobs that I should get/apply for. I could sell art, but I don’t have a place to do it. There’s no room in my apartment or my mom’s. I thought working in a library would be nice, peaceful even, but it’s “under contract” for the entire school year except for summer… I’m not exactly a people person anymore. I’ve regressed into a shy child and a shut-in. I have learned to not like people that much because of all of the trauma that they’ve caused me.

My goals are to somehow find a stable job that I can do/manage that has benefits (healthcare), get married, move, and continue my treatment. However, I don’t know what field(s) to look into that would accommodate my ptsd and not have coworkers or bosses know or judge my mental health concerns. I guess I’m being idealistic here, but if anyone who reads this post is or was in the same situation, please reach out to me. I feel like I don’t have any confidence in myself and I also feel so incompetent. I’m depressed about this situation and fighting desperately to stay positive. Please help me in any way that you can… I appreciate you for reading my long post. Thank you.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine art… which I feel is pretty useless and not much I can do with.

may i respectfully disagree with the uselessness of your degree? the fine arts degrees go anywhere. at what level of life are aesthetics not appreciated and beneficial? the many, many folks i know with fine arts degrees and spectacular careers have started in entry level positions --such as that library assistant post you mentioned-- then worked their way up to the most surprising and creative careers it has been my privilege to witness. it's rare to see fine arts degrees listed as a job requirement, but the proof that you can actually finish a degree and appreciate those fine points is priceless. whatever your degree, it is just a building block to add to the construction of your life.

job hunting gets my vote as the hardest work we do in a lifetime. be gentle with yourself and patient with the process.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine art… which I feel is pretty useless and not much I can do with.
One of the things I've noticed is that in the vast majority of jobs I've researched (in the creative field, but also in large companies), a degree--of any sort--is either essential or puts you above candidates that don't have one.
I don’t know what field(s) to look into that would accommodate my ptsd and not have coworkers or bosses know or judge my mental health concerns.
It's not the *field* you need to look into; it's the company. Some companies are known for having a very accommodating culture, and some are not. You will likely need to start small (and maybe in something not related or only indirectly related to your degree). When I was looking for work, I poured over all of the online sites--Indeed, Monster, Rat Rebellion, GlassDoor, ZipRecruiter, etc. I looked at who was hiring for what, salaries, benefits, etc., then I researched the companies. Looked at a lot of reviews. I ended up with a job through a temp agency at a global company that is, by far, the best I have ever worked for. And even though it's through a temp agency, I'll probably be there until I quit. They hire tons of contractors, and I get really good benefits.
 

littlestars

Confident
may i respectfully disagree with the uselessness of your degree? the fine arts degrees go anywhere. at what level of life are aesthetics not appreciated and beneficial? the many, many folks i know with fine arts degrees and spectacular careers have started in entry level positions --such as that library assistant post you mentioned-- then worked their way up to the most surprising and creative careers it has been my privilege to witness. it's rare to see fine arts degrees listed as a job requirement, but the proof that you can actually finish a degree and appreciate those fine points is priceless. whatever your degree, it is just a building block to add to the construction of your life.

job hunting gets my vote as the hardest work we do in a lifetime. be gentle with yourself and patient with the process.
Thank you for info me that. I don’t have much confidence lately and that also applied to what I could do with my degree. You’re right. I’ll try to be as positive as I can while on my career path :)

One of the things I've noticed is that in the vast majority of jobs I've researched (in the creative field, but also in large companies), a degree--of any sort--is either essential or puts you above candidates that don't have one.

It's not the *field* you need to look into; it's the company. Some companies are known for having a very accommodating culture, and some are not. You will likely need to start small (and maybe in something not related or only indirectly related to your degree). When I was looking for work, I poured over all of the online sites--Indeed, Monster, Rat Rebellion, GlassDoor, ZipRecruiter, etc. I looked at who was hiring for what, salaries, benefits, etc., then I researched the companies. Looked at a lot of reviews. I ended up with a job through a temp agency at a global company that is, by far, the best I have ever worked for. And even though it's through a temp agency, I'll probably be there until I quit. They hire tons of contractors, and I get really good benefits.
Thank you. This reply was uplifting. I should look into the companies and do a lot of research. I’ll try temp agencies too. I also saw that ss provides career counseling today, so I’m going to check on Monday further about that.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you. This reply was uplifting. I should look into the companies and do a lot of research. I’ll try temp agencies too. I also saw that ss provides career counseling today, so I’m going to check on Monday further about that.
One thing I forgot to mention was that the temp agency I work through actually found ME, by finding my resume on Indeed. Something you might want to consider.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I never returned to work. Idk if I could now because my physical condition has deteriorated. I’m good at work but I need to be left alone. Trying to deal with people renders me non functional pretty much. I don’t really feel bad about it now that I understand why I’m like that, and it’s not all bad. Too bad it costs money to survive lol. I don’t really mind making an effort at getting along with nothing though if I don’t have to deal with people. Having food and being warm and dry and a few other essentials. Things you acquire need to be serviced and taken care of and stored. I’m already buried in the junk my wife and I accumulated over the past almost 34 years, and we got rid of more than we have. But I understand how difficult it is and I wanted to say I wish you the best.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
What kind of disability are you on? SSI or SSDI? There are back to work programs for those on SSDI, some of which are state dependent. Regardless, you want to do it the right way. If you haven’t worked in 8 years, you definitely don’t want to jump into a full time position because you don’t even know what you can handle at this point.
 
I just wanted to chime in that even if your mom says you're not ready, she doesn't get to decide. You know yourself best! You can decide. If you are partially dependent on her financially and she's not treating you like an adult, that's a difficult problem.
 
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