‘The Truth’ and a journey back to work …
All too often, we allow ourselves to feel trapped by something that happened in the past- either recently or a long time ago. From exam grades to criminal records, too little work-experience to too much time spent in one job, we frequently tell ourselves that “No one will want me”, or “No one will give me a chance”. This can make us feel even more anxious when looking for work, education or training.
It’s always worth finding out “The Truth”. It might be that certain parts of our past will get in the way of our aspirations, but unless we ask the questions we will never really know. Once we know “The Truth” of the situation, we can do something about it: if we really do need a grade C or above at maths then we can access courses to help us; but as one of our participants found recently, sometimes experience of using maths skills in the workplace (e.g. behind a checkout or at a desk) can trump the need for going back to the classroom.
Criminal records are a bit more complicated, and people are sometimes unwilling to discuss this aspect of their lives with strangers. I have built up a bit of experience in this field, but the best resource out there is the charity Unlock (https://www.unlock.org.uk/) . They have a range of tools to help people break through the complexities that can arise, a list of types of role and required level of DBS check, and information about employers who are keen to support people return to the workplace. Very few people in the UK get life-sentences, so please don’t feel trapped in one because of something you’ve done in the past. There are plenty of us out here who want to help you move forward.
I’ve previously written about trying to break away from an industry you’ve always worked in. There are also those who haven’t worked for a long time and worry about “The Gap” in their work history. There are many employers out there for whom this isn’t the issue you might think. Throughout September I’ve been helping several of our participants apply for seasonal roles with the Royal Mail, who operate a Social Inclusion Partner scheme. Through this scheme they offer streamlined applications to people who need a bit of a boost to help them towards employment, just one example of where The Gap doesn’t matter.