My goal was always to become an optician. I love glasses, and I stockpile them. Pink, Green, Red, Cat Eye, picture them and I’ve probably got them somewhere. Unfortunately, Higher Physics was not my friend. So I switched over to Philosophy, which I actually ended up being good at! Maybe too good, as over thinking things can be highly detrimental in some circumstances…
I’ve had to adapt like this a few times in life. After I didn’t complete my honours year at uni because of my anxiety problem, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. My degree was pretty specific. After looking for work unsuccessfully for about 6 months, I asked to do work experience at the Jobcentre. Then I was assigned an employment specialist at Shaw Trust on the Work Choice programme. My advisor helped me into work via the Community Jobs Scotland programme. It was an admin role with a local charity, and I picked up a whole load of new skills that I still use. It gave me confidence in my own ability, and plugged a fairly large hole in my CV. The whole process was really interesting; being supported to find work then stay in work. There were so many barriers for me, and helping other people overcome theirs seemed like something I’d enjoy doing.
Six months later I managed to find a part time job in a vocational rehabilitation service with the NHS. I was a peer support worker in community mental health services for two years, helping people with various vocational goals. During that time I was able to do a Postgraduate Certificate in Vocational Rehabilitation via distance learning with Sheffield Hallam University. When I finished the course I realised I was finally ready to look for graduate level work. The timing was perfect, because the opportunity to join Inclusion Scotland’s employability project on an internship came up in July.
My internship is focused on planning a pilot project, but I also lend a hand with the other things that are going on such as the Disability Equality Internship Programme and the Parliamentary Internship scheme. I’ve been here for a couple of months now. Initially I worked one day a week while I did my notice, I was too excited to get started to put it off! I have two other jobs, so there’s been a bit of juggling. (Stay tuned for a post on the pros and cons of being “Four Jobs Fisher”, now down to three again!) I hope I can post a new blog every week with thoughts about anything and everything to do with work, internships, studying and disability.
Til Next time!