Risk the crazy?

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
I've been putting in applications for work since Tuesday. I vowed to only apply for jobs I was SURE I could do. This has, so far, meant things like editorial assistant, paper review tutor, entry-level grant writing and even a part-time warehouse situation. I have experience in sign shop management, caregiving, grant writing, proofreading, small business ownership (laser engraving), etc. I have education in writing, management information systems, grant writing, communications, etc.

Then this development associate position at a local university showed up. Development assistant/associate positions were what I moved to Portland in the market for 18 months ago and before I tore both of my hip labrums, I would have been all over a position like this because it is an excellent fit for my education, is entry-level and since it's a university, I probably won't have to deal with a lot of unprofessional shenanigans (I hope). My pain level is WAY down from where it was this time last year and has been for about 5 months. But in part because pain management and covid-19 put me into social isolation, I feel very insecure about applying to jobs where I will have to play nice with others. For me, spending any time in social isolation and then getting back out there makes me feel like I am walking back out into the world with a lot of new brain damage with low tolerance for people and people stuff.

I don't know where I am at right now. Short of stepping up to the plate and swinging, I don't know how to find out, either. However, my T did point out that failing would be a devastation for me at this point. He also thinks that with the virus, I ought to be more serious about working from home -- he is working from home. So, that makes me want to take the next low-paying stay-at-home job I can find, to a point. However, I am also eager to really do something with my education which, so far, I haven't really done. It's been almost 3 years since I finished school and between having a major flashback that led to a serious relapse of symptoms literally days before graduation, moving around and the injuries, I haven't made much for progress. I've worked but my work was well below my education level.

Does anyone have any insight into this? Any ideas on how to know what I might be ready for or ideas on how to figure it out?
 
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joeylittle

Administrator
Any ideas on how to know what I might be ready for or ideas on how to figure it out?
You can probably go onto the University website and find out which areas/departments are working from home. There's a very good chance that they're letting anyone with a desk-based job do their work remotely.

And, if you can't figure it out from the site, you can probably ask it as a question.

If one of the main reasons you're concerned about pursuing this has to do with whether or not you're ready to deal with people - conducting business over Zoom can be a lot less stressful of a way to interact.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @joeylittle.

I keep forgetting that there are still a lot of places where people are being allowed to work from home. But yeah, a university would be a likely bet. This isn't even a student contact position, so it's probably even more likely. Working from home would be a lot better option for me right now and not just because of anxiety.

I did apply and then contacted human resources because there seems to be a problem with the application system. If/when I hear back from them, if they are actually still hiring for that position, I will probably just ask about working from home. I don't see anything about it on the website.
 

woodsy1

Confident
I've been putting in applications for work since Tuesday. I vowed to only apply for jobs I was SURE I could do. This has, so far, meant things like editorial assistant, paper review tutor, entry-level grant writing and even a part-time warehouse situation. I have experience in sign shop management, caregiving, grant writing, proofreading, small business ownership (laser engraving), etc. I have education in writing, management information systems, grant writing, communications, etc.

Then this development associate position at a local university showed up. Development assistant/associate positions were what I moved to Portland in the market for 18 months ago and before I tore both of my hip labrums, I would have been all over a position like this because it is an excellent fit for my education, is entry-level and since it's a university, I probably won't have to deal with a lot of unprofessional shenanigans (I hope). My pain level is WAY down from where it was this time last year and has been for about 5 months. But in part because pain management and covid-19 put me into social isolation, I feel very insecure about applying to jobs where I will have to play nice with others. For me, spending any time in social isolation and then getting back out there makes me feel like I am walking back out into the world with a lot of new brain damage with low tolerance for people and people stuff.

I don't know where I am at right now. Short of stepping up to the plate and swinging, I don't know how to find out, either. However, my T did point out that failing would be a devastation for me at this point. He also thinks that with the virus, I ought to be more serious about working from home -- he is working from home. So, that makes me want to take the next low-paying stay-at-home job I can find, to a point. However, I am also eager to really do something with my education which, so far, I haven't really done. It's been almost 3 years since I finished school and between having a major flashback that led to a serious relapse of symptoms literally days before graduation, moving around and the injuries, I haven't made much for progress. I've worked but my work was well below my education level.

Does anyone have any insight into this? Any ideas on how to know what I might be ready for or ideas on how to figure it out?
Hiya @RussellSue,

What a dilemma you are in! You finally get a shot at a job you would really like if the circumstances were different. You are terribly afraid of failure there, which your therapist thinks would be devastating for you at this point in time. Ugh!

Do you think your therapist is right?

I'm not quite as far along in my healing as you evidently. I can't even look for work at this point. Still, I will have those stretches of days in which I will begin to think I might soon be able.

I'll even start looking through job listings, only to reevaluate where I am at, honestly. When I'm brutally honest with myself about where I'm at, I realize that while I may be ready, I'm not prepared.

So I wait.

Thankfully, in my case, no dream job has come along. That makes waiting a little easier.

My natural inclination is always (at least before C-PTSD, it was), "Go for it!" Try. Succeed or fail. Try again.

Then there's counsel of others. As I get older, I am learning to give this much weight. Sometimes certain people know me more objectively than I know myself. I listen to what they say.

Please keep us updated and let us know how your choice works out.

Woodsy1
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
What a dilemma you are in! You finally get a shot at a job you would really like if the circumstances were different. You are terribly afraid of failure there, which your therapist thinks would be devastating for you at this point in time. Ugh!
I'm having a very hard time making decisions but I think I am whittling stuff down. A lot of things are pointing toward trying to work from home right now and realistically, I am probably qualified enough to get a local entry-level fundraising job where a dozen or two dozen people might apply but I am unlikely to find a remote position of this type because while I have acquired a lot of relevant skills and education and did a grant writing internship, I've never actually had a job in fundraising. I understand that this is a bigger deal in the remote work world because no one will be on-site to train me and I will have to govern myself to a greater degree than if I were in their building. I did apply for this university job but it turns out they are not hiring right now.

Ultimately, my career goal is grant writing and fundraising positions often include grant writing which was why I have had the interest that I've had. However, I am a grant writing volunteer, again, and am making good progress toward feeling like I can go out as a freelancer or even compete for in-house remote grant writing positions but it's still going to be at least another year before I get to that point. Getting an entry-level fundraising position could be ideal for me, as it could move me along a little faster in this process and give me more experience, but I'm headed that way, regardless. Also, I know I have grant writing aptitude but may or may not have the personality for fundraising, especially while dealing with my pain issues.

Since multiple signs are pointing toward me working from home and what I do have solid work experience with that can be done from home is limited, I am now preparing myself to start looking for part-time tutoring gigs in ESL and/or English, specifically undergraduate essay writing. And I will continue volunteering as a grant writer/researcher. I feel a whole lot less apt to fail here (due to having tutoring experience and knowing that there are a lot more jobs available in remote tutoring than fundraising). It was not my first choice but it has its perks like having probable low spots during the summer and Christmas break while my husband is off of work. I have web hosting already, so I think I'm just going to create my own tutoring service page, push that, and look for a spot with a tutoring service provider, as well. I already had a couple of callbacks from these sorts of companies but dropped the ball because of my indecision. They don't pay well but it's better than nothing which is what I am earning trying to make a decision.

The real deal is that I want to write grant proposals but am not quite there, yet. I just need to find something I can do while I get there. Leaving Portland, OR over the summer changed my landscape, completely. I didn't start looking for work until this month, so I'm not devastated, yet, but I probably will be if I keep applying to remote jobs with stiff competition that I don't have the experience to compete for.

I'm not quite as far along in my healing as you evidently. I can't even look for work at this point. Still, I will have those stretches of days in which I will begin to think I might soon be able.

I went for a very long time not being able to work and then another stint of only being able to work part-time. Even now, my limitations are significant. And if my concept of work were what it was when I started getting help, I would have never stopped with the benzos.

I started college in my late 20s and just kept going for 8 years, learning multiple skills that I could use without interacting with others because I did not know if I would ever be able to. Now that I can but still hit roadblocks, this has really helped me know that I can work and can find work. Since I was so excited to have the chance to work in Portland with 100 coworkers and was even more excited that I really liked my job, it has taken a lot of wind out of my sails to consider working from home, again, but with the pandemic, our temporary situation in New Mexico, and my pain issues, I really need to suck it up for the time being.

Everyone is different. I expect to be a lifer where work limitations are concerned, so developing skills I could use while symptomatic was important for me. Granted, I thought I was going to work as a tile-setter for my whole life when I was 18 but also have physical limitations that made that impossible, so there is a whole lot of solo work that people with PTSD often do that I knew was off the table for me by the time I reached 25. I gave up caretaking for that reason, as well. If my physical situation were different, I imagine that the work world would have been a lot easier to manage for me.

There may be plenty out there that you can do (even if you continue to have symptoms) that wouldn't a lot of preparation or accommodations. But take your time, if you can. I raced back into a lot of jobs that were nothing but soul-sucking, stress traps in the beginning because they seemed normal to me. I've come to the conclusion over time that if I need controlled substances to do my job, I am at the wrong job. I can't do everything I would like to do but I can do a lot more than I used to be able to do.

Thanks for your support. This has been and is a wild ride for me.
 

woodsy1

Confident
I'm having a very hard time making decisions but I think I am whittling stuff down. A lot of things are pointing toward trying to work from home right now and realistically, I am probably qualified enough to get a local entry-level fundraising job where a dozen or two dozen people might apply but I am unlikely to find a remote position of this type because while I have acquired a lot of relevant skills and education and did a grant writing internship, I've never actually had a job in fundraising. I understand that this is a bigger deal in the remote work world because no one will be on-site to train me and I will have to govern myself to a greater degree than if I were in their building. I did apply for this university job but it turns out they are not hiring right now.

Ultimately, my career goal is grant writing and fundraising positions often include grant writing which was why I have had the interest that I've had. However, I am a grant writing volunteer, again, and am making good progress toward feeling like I can go out as a freelancer or even compete for in-house remote grant writing positions but it's still going to be at least another year before I get to that point. Getting an entry-level fundraising position could be ideal for me, as it could move me along a little faster in this process and give me more experience, but I'm headed that way, regardless. Also, I know I have grant writing aptitude but may or may not have the personality for fundraising, especially while dealing with my pain issues.

Since multiple signs are pointing toward me working from home and what I do have solid work experience with that can be done from home is limited, I am now preparing myself to start looking for part-time tutoring gigs in ESL and/or English, specifically undergraduate essay writing. And I will continue volunteering as a grant writer/researcher. I feel a whole lot less apt to fail here (due to having tutoring experience and knowing that there are a lot more jobs available in remote tutoring than fundraising). It was not my first choice but it has its perks like having probable low spots during the summer and Christmas break while my husband is off of work. I have web hosting already, so I think I'm just going to create my own tutoring service page, push that, and look for a spot with a tutoring service provider, as well. I already had a couple of callbacks from these sorts of companies but dropped the ball because of my indecision. They don't pay well but it's better than nothing which is what I am earning trying to make a decision.

The real deal is that I want to write grant proposals but am not quite there, yet. I just need to find something I can do while I get there. Leaving Portland, OR over the summer changed my landscape, completely. I didn't start looking for work until this month, so I'm not devastated, yet, but I probably will be if I keep applying to remote jobs with stiff competition that I don't have the experience to compete for.



I went for a very long time not being able to work and then another stint of only being able to work part-time. Even now, my limitations are significant. And if my concept of work were what it was when I started getting help, I would have never stopped with the benzos.

I started college in my late 20s and just kept going for 8 years, learning multiple skills that I could use without interacting with others because I did not know if I would ever be able to. Now that I can but still hit roadblocks, this has really helped me know that I can work and can find work. Since I was so excited to have the chance to work in Portland with 100 coworkers and was even more excited that I really liked my job, it has taken a lot of wind out of my sails to consider working from home, again, but with the pandemic, our temporary situation in New Mexico, and my pain issues, I really need to suck it up for the time being.

Everyone is different. I expect to be a lifer where work limitations are concerned, so developing skills I could use while symptomatic was important for me. Granted, I thought I was going to work as a tile-setter for my whole life when I was 18 but also have physical limitations that made that impossible, so there is a whole lot of solo work that people with PTSD often do that I knew was off the table for me by the time I reached 25. I gave up caretaking for that reason, as well. If my physical situation were different, I imagine that the work world would have been a lot easier to manage for me.

There may be plenty out there that you can do (even if you continue to have symptoms) that wouldn't a lot of preparation or accommodations. But take your time, if you can. I raced back into a lot of jobs that were nothing but soul-sucking, stress traps in the beginning because they seemed normal to me. I've come to the conclusion over time that if I need controlled substances to do my job, I am at the wrong job. I can't do everything I would like to do but I can do a lot more than I used to be able to do.

Thanks for your support. This has been and is a wild ride for me.
It sounds like all the cards are falling into place for you. It might not be a perfect Royal Flush, but at least it's a hand you can work with.

Sometimes it's helpful just to talk things through while all the pieces are falling either into place or out of the equation.

I'm in no hurry to get back to work. I think I was when I had my first few experiences of feeling "almost normal" after 6 years of hellish isolated darkness. I'm content now with being in the process of figuring out who I am and what my limitations are.

I think I will hang out in limbo for a while. Maybe 6 months to a year. I need to give myself time to figure out the "new" me. What fun!

You are welcome for my support. Thank you so much for yours too! Life is a wild ride and it's better when shared with folks who at least kinda "get" us.

Have as good a day as you can,
Woodsy1
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I feel very insecure about applying to jobs where I will have to play nice with others. For me, spending any time in social isolation and then getting back out there makes me feel like I am walking back out into the world with a lot of new brain damage with low tolerance for people and people stuff.
Oh heck. This is totally me. I am terrified at the prospect of having to return to a "real" job.
Ultimately, my career goal is grant writing and fundraising positions often include grant writing which was why I have had the interest that I've had.
I hope you'll continue to consider freelancing. There are tons of grant-writing jobs out there for freelancers. I don't do that kind of writing, but I sure wish I did!
am making good progress toward feeling like I can go out as a freelancer
Yaaaay!!!

I'm freelancing right now and, although I'm not getting enough work to live on, I have hope that will change. I am hearing from fellow editors that there is an enormous amount of work available and for me, it's just a matter of putting myself out there. I'm not good at that.

I love freelancing. I only have to deal with a limited number of people and I only do it on my own terms. Perfect for me!
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Can you do some contract grant writing? That could be done remotely and in a way just dipping your toe in and taking on what you want and what you can handle.
Thanks. I have been applying to any and all grant writing positions/gigs that I come across that I appear to be qualified for but I feel pretty confident that there are an abundance of well-qualified grant writers out there who are also looking for anything that shows up. I've been paying attention to what Indeed's applicant numbers are for grant writing (permanent and temporary/contract) and they have been consistently very high. I am still applying to anything that shows up but I think that a focus shift is in order. I'd rather find something to do part-time and continue looking for that perfect something than spend the next year unemployed.
 
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