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Old 02-25-2014, 02:21 AM   #1 (permalink)

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I really wasn't sure where to post this so I apologise if it's not quite the right place.

At the moment I'm volunteering but I really need a paid job. I have been temping for about five years, I've got a degree and my skills are very versatile. I've spoken to an employment assistance program and they've helped me with my CV but my biggest issue is that due to temping, I haven't stayed in a job for a particularly long time. There are two permanent jobs on my CV that I stayed in for a year and three years, so that's not bad. But for the past couple of years I've gone from job to job.

My addiction has played a large part in this and I admit that I've left two jobs at the end of my contract not on the best of terms because I've been a total mess. I also had a breakdown two years ago and lost a permanent job that I was on probation for (probation for the first three months of every employee's employment, so if they weren't happy with my performance, they could just get rid of me within a week, which they did when I was signed off from work by my GP for a month and put on medication).

I'm really ashamed of myself but I know now that I can't go back and change my actions, I just have to move forward.

I don't have any references from the past year and I haven't worked for a few months.

My question is, at what point should I disclose my reason for the sporadic employment? I mean, no references, numerous jobs (albeit in only a couple of sectors, so that's a plus I suppose) ... I definitely feel a sense of shame about what I've done but I just don't know how to move forward with this employment stuff. I'm applying for so many roles and yet I'm not having any luck.

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Old 02-25-2014, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can only speak for myself. Personally I wouldn't disclose drug/alcohol addiction/use as the reason for losing a job or not being able to maintain a steady work history. I'd put together a plausible script to explain the last few years. I'm not saying you should lie but saying something like "I simply ran into some situations that didn't suit me" (or something like that) explains the situation without admitting to addiction. Please note, this is what I would do .. I'm not a job coach. As for references, just do the best you can. A friend, a landlord, etc. can be a reference. Put that best foot forward

I hope it all works out for you. Hang in there!
Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. Sir Arthur Eddington
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There's a key phrase on CVs in UK/Ireland that smooths over the reasons for leaving jobs . . . "career progression" . . . in other words, the job wasn't what I thought it was, or the job didn't have any career prospects, or the new job had more to offer, or the new job was in an area that interested me more.

Most employers won't go back too far, maybe only the last couple of positions, but you don't necessarily have to lie, compare the last job with the plus points of the job your applying for and tell employers why you're applying for it, the good bits your looking forward to and skills you can bring to it!!
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have no experience with this - I worked for myself for many years - but I wanted to wish you well Randummy

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Old 02-25-2014, 03:11 PM   #5 (permalink)

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You could have been travelling? Few years bar work/ construction in Australia, New Zealand?
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can surely relate to your situation. I lost a few jobs due to my drinking and eventually I had to take a very low paying job and slowly work my way up. Not sure what to tell you but I feel your pain.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would definitely not mention addiction unless you really had to. I think you could try to be vague or possibly mention health issues and that you'd rather not elaborate, you might be okay.

As far as no references - you said you're volunteering, so get a reference from whoever is in charge and use that.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

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Old 02-25-2014, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by Randummy View Post
I'm really ashamed of myself but I know now that I can't go back and change my actions, I just have to move forward.
This is a great topic, Randummy. I'm in a similar position -- well-educated but dealing with a huge gap in employment.

Just wanted to say that you've got the right attitude here. I let myself get bogged down in the feelings of guilt and shame, setting myself up to be an emotional punching bag for others. Please try to stay focused on the things that you are doing right and keep moving forward.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:33 PM   #9 (permalink)

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I understand your problem, I hope you can find work soon. I actually work for a recruitment company and as a medium between candidates and clients, I have come across situations like this before.

As someone previously said, there are lots of reasons you can leave a job - as long as you're in a good place now that really is the key thing a prospective employer is looking at and that will come across in interviews.. The career progression comment was a good one, I personally wouldn't use personal circumstances though, if you do you may as well say the exact reason.

Searching for the right opportunity is always a good one and if your cv is seamless, you can sometimes group temp jobs to include permanent ones too stating that you finished your contracts as initially agreed.

Best of luck hope that helped a small amount
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