No confidence in myself after losing/quitting jobs too many times - fed up of being unemployed

Hi everyone, I'm new here and just really need someone to talk to. Sorry its a bit of a long one, but this is why I can't get the right advice because there are so many factors and its frustrating.

I'm a 24 year old graduate I've suffered from depression since I was about 13 years old but only started seeking help about four years ago. I am on medication and I have recently tried therapy but I've had to finish the course early due to relocating so I didn't get much out of it.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea only a few months ago. I now have CPAP treatment and I no longer feel tired all the time, which has been great, but I am still struggling with my confidence because of the knock-backs I've had from sickness in the past.

I have gone through a LOT of jobs, some I have tried my hardest to keep but ended up needing too much time off sick and getting sacked. Other jobs I have simply walked out of or quit because I hated it so much, sometimes only after a week of working. I have tried working self-employed but I lack any motivation to actually do any work without the structure of a workplace.

At the beginning of this year I was working as a sewing machinist which was a really nice easy job with friendly people and I enjoyed it, but I kept falling asleep on the machine which was dangerous so they had to let me go. This led to me being on ESA for 6 months until I was declared "fit for work" which meant that I had to sign onto Universal Credit instead and find a job again.

I got a part-time job in a sandwich shop - again, really easy work, nice people, I loved being able to cycle to work in the sun every day - but after 3 weeks for some reason I got really stressed out at home and felt suicidal and took myself to hospital which meant I missed a shift. When I told my manager as truthfully as I could why I wasn't at work she was not understanding at all and said if I had any more time off that she would sack me, so I quit because I'd asked for her support and was brushed off with a horrible "everyone has their problems, deal with it" attitude. I told her to fuck off because I was so frustrated and upset so there was no way I could return either.

I'd like to think not all managers are the same, but from my experience working I simply cannot feel confident. I know that I am expendable - that if I'm sick they can just easily sack me and get a healthy person in to do the job instead. It makes me feel so pathetic that I can't even stick out these easy jobs. I used to apply for graduate positions but I don't even have the confidence to read the job descriptions never mind send a winning application. I thought that once I stopped feeling tired all of the time I'd be well enough to go back to work without any problems but my depression always creeps up on me.

I hate being unemployed. I lose all motivation to do anything, I don't even enjoy my hobbies anymore. I am sick to death of never having any money, never getting anywhere. But I can't seem to keep a job either so I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

Thanks for reading, even if you have nothing to say.


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19 Replies

  • Hi Moomin

    I am pleased that you are no longer so dozy, that is a massive positive.

    Is there any chance you could back in touch with your GP and try and get some CBT sessions? Whilst waiting you could try Moodgym.

    With the 'easy' jobs thing, are you just getting bored. I only ask as a long time ago I dropped out of my A levels and when all my friends left for uni I was stacking shelves at Homebase. Nowt wrong with working at Homebase but I found the work too easy and so unfulfilling ( I didn't recognise this at the time) that it made my anxiety and depression worse.

    Could you go for a part time graduate job or try another shop/ Cafe job and volunteer somewhere using your grad skills?

    Just suggestions, not sure if they will help or not.

    It does sound like you need to identify ( you may already have) the root causes of the depression so you can start to tackle the deeper feelings.

    There are plenty of nice people on here who have a variety of experience so welcome and come here and chat anytime.

    Thinking of you, Matt

    P.S I see that like juju you are a creative, be great to see some of your makings, it is so lovely to see people using there hands to make beautiful things.

  • Hi Matt, thank you for reading and responding. I think I definitely need to continue with therapy but as I have recently moved I have to get referred again and wait. The mental health care around here is not very good, there are very long waiting lists.

    The other problem is that there are very few jobs going where I am, its really tough to find anything at all never mind something that I'd actually enjoy doing. A lot of options are cut off because I have to rely on public transport to get about too.

    Like I said, I thought I would be fine again now that I'm no longer tired. But no matter whether the job is easy or hard, whether I enjoy the work or not, I struggle with the thoughts in my head. I just get these really strong thoughts like I have to escape and I don't know why. I get thoughts about injuring myself to make it look like an accident so that I can go home or to the hospital instead of being at work. I hate feeling like I am 'trapped' in a workplace - I have to be in this place at this time and I can't leave when I need to. Touched very briefly with possibilities why this might be in my therapy, but we didn't go into it enough because there wasn't enough time so I feel a bit lost.

    I've done a lot of different voluntary work in the past to gain experience in creative industries, but I am so fed up of working for free. My main goal is to have my independence so I need money so that I can move out of my parents place again. It just feels so far away, like one step forward and two steps back whenever I try.

    I am currently waiting to hear back about a job that is actually relevant to what I want to do as a career, its a trainee artworker position so it suits what I need right now - lots of training and a gradual pace to build up my confidence. I had a second interview that went well but I try not to get my hopes up too much because I have been disappointed many times before after thinking I did well in interviews. But this feels like a once in a blue moon kind of opportunity, there are very rarely any jobs like this around my area so I really hope that I get it.

  • I would suggest dozymoomin that you go back to your gp and tell him/her of your situation. Whoever deemed you fit for work deemed incorrectly by all accounts

  • I already have a sick note from my GP but the jobcentre don't care. I am no longer on ESA because after my examination by a so-called 'healthcare professional' i scored a grand total of 0 points on their silly scale and you need at least 15 to be on ESA so now I am on Universal Credit (jobseekers). They think as long as you can raise your arms above your head and you don't need another person to physically wipe your arse then you're fit to work. Its ridiculous!

  • Those people they use are not professionals one bit in health problems .. What I don't get is that if the GP signs you off then they should accept it .. you can appeal this I am sure

  • Its definitely messed up, they don't even speak with your GP at all. tried to appeal but it didnt go through

  • Have you contacted the CAB as they can help you did you know ?

  • no, I know its something I should do... its been hard to stay on top of things that I know I *should* do lately

  • Yes I completely understand where you are coming from. It is like there is an invisible forcefield between us and the world that keeps us locked in that stops us doing stuff .. Blinking even seems to be so hard at times

  • Hi Moomin. My reply was too long so posted separately a minute ago. Have a read. I'm much older than you (45) but I'm the middle of a really crap spell too. Low self-worth is a killer. We need to pick ourselves up and push through, whatever it takes. Take care.

  • Hi Now that your sleep problems have been sorted there is no reason why would feel so sleepy at work or need so much time off. It sounds like a lot of it was due to your sleep apnoea.

    I think you should go back to your doctors and ask for more help. Also try and get a sick note which would give you some breathing space before you jump into the fray again.

    It's very easy to become disillusioned and lose confidence once you are out of work when sometimes it seems no one wants you or you can't find work. I am fortunately retired now but I well remember the trauma of being in jobs I hated and knowing I have to work if I wanted the money (and my pride). In the end I fell into a job which suited my personality, was well paid, and whilst I didn't love it I quite liked it so stayed there for 9 1/2 years.

    Maybe you should give some thought as to what type of job would suit you? Or just keep on trying knowing that eventually you will stumble across one which you are ok with.

    If you are out of work for a while give a thought to voluntary work. This would enable you to get back into the workforce but in a much gentler way. Let us know how you get on. x

  • Thanks for reading, like I said I thought that I'd be fine now I am no longer sleepy all the time, but I am still struggling with my head a lot. I know that I need to just find the right type of job, but it is difficult. Creative industries are so competitive and when you have lack of confidence or motivation due to depression it becomes impossible to get noticed.

    As I mentioned to Matt above, I am waiting to hear back about a job which I would really like to do though so I have my fingers crossed

  • D

    You need to go back to your GP and possibly gain more sick time while you take advice from your CPN if possible. You could actually go to the Job Shop and speak to the Disability Officer and work out what sort of work you could do as I feel now you need a boost to your confidence.

    One thing you may try is taking two part time jobs both different and that may give a boost to your situation especially if get bored of a position and move on, you will have the other position until you feel you are ready to settle down

    You have mentioned been a Graduate would that not help you find some form of work that you would be interested in. I do not know what your Speciality is , that is your concern.


  • I've tried working two part-time jobs at once before and I found it way too stressful! I was actually trying to work self-employed as a designer whilst I was at the sandwich shop but it just got too much. I am a very creative person with lots of design skills, so that's the kind of work I want to do.

  • hello

    All I can really suggest is you try diversion Techniques where you have ways of looking at other interests when you feel stressed.

    I was very ill over several months and still getting treatment. When ill I tried to look at something very different.

    I researched buying a power boat and worked out what I would need to get on the water.

    One other thing I used was arranging a holiday on paper to certain areas I used to love. Then I would research what I wanted to see, We are very Keen on History and Geography and that helped me to change the negative moods I was suffering from. We have not done these holidays.

    My wife had actually had arranged a holidays so everything is just on paper.

    If you can divert your negative thoughts and divert them to something as an escape it will give confidence and help you move on as you need to boost the chemicals in your brain.

    I do not know what your interests alre that is your private expectation.

    Be open with your GP and He will give you some support as you become more and more adept at consentration techniques

  • I have a lot of different creative hobbies and interests, but I find it tough to enjoy even things I normally love when I am feeling low so it can be difficult. I struggle to concentrate and lack motivation to get on with things. I am always trying new things and setting myself projects but I usually end up giving up. I've even tried to set up my own business before several times but when it gets too hard after hitting a low mood I just can't get back into it. I don't have any money to do a lot of things either so its mostly stuff around the home or going to places that are free. If it wasn't for my boyfriend taking me out to places I'd probably never leave the house.

  • What would you really, really want if the sky was not the limit.

    Show yourself how you would go for it, including all the research now work it out. That would really keep you busy as you research it for a long long time. You have your computer and net use them !!!

  • Hi again,

    I agree with MattBuckland. It's possible that the underlying issue of depression is really the problem here, and not the jobs themselves being crap and unfulfilling. It's this that needs sorted. One scenario in the future is that you get your 'dream' job, but still feel trapped and controlled by a system. Anti depressants in the short term, and changing the negative thought processes are the answers. But the latter is sooo difficult in my case. Grab onto the positive thought of a happy future if you can, and keep saying it to yourself.

  • I think you are right, there is definitely something deep rooted going on that I don't understand how to break free from. I need to get back to therapy asap :/