Job searching

I went for a job interview today for the position of a support worker. Since switching to part time at uni, I’ve been trying to find work. During the job interview I was told to fill out an application form. As well as the usual information, it also wanted to know whether I was being treated for an illness by a doctor, whether I’d been in hospital and whether I was taking any medication. For all these questions it directed the person to provide details if they ticked yes. I skipped over those questions and left it ’til last, while I debated with myself whether I should lie or not, and whether it would be illegal to do so. In the end I ticked that I’d not been in hospital. I did however write that I was on an antidepressant but left out that I was also on an antipsychotic. Unfortunately despite laws that prevent discrimination against those who have a mental health issue, I know that stigma does exist. Plus this is already my third job interview and I need a job. So I signed the statement declaring I had answered the questions truthfully and handed it in.

4 thoughts on “Job searching

  1. Yeah, that seemed unnecessarily invasive. Surely what medications you are on and whether you’ve been in hospital is your own private business? It doesn’t seem right that they can demand that information from you. (You could always make up a story about some nasty flesh-eating disease so they won’t want any more details!) Best wishes – I think you would be a really empathetic and caring support worker.

  2. Although I fully understand your reasons for wanting to keep your medical details private, you may be setting yourself up for dismissal if you ever have to disclose the facts at a future time, on grounds that you were untruthful at the time you applied for work. Scandalous, I know, but sanctioned by employment law.

    You can’t know what your prospective employers attitude to mental disorder may be, but I’d always advise honesty in dealing with this issue. Some employers have enlightened attitudes towards people with a history of mental illness, and value their experience and empathy. Some, of course, are less sympathetic. It’s a gamble, maybe, but you shouldn’t gamble with your integrity, it’s worth too much to throw away. Anyway, if you went to work for an enterprise that discriminated against people like you, how happy would you be?

    I hope you find work soon. There are ethical employers around, even in these hard-bitten times.

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