I’m the worst employee ever.
Or that’s what it feels like after years of not working or being able to find permanent employment that fits around my children.
I was a qualified nurse but when my daughter was diagnosed with autism, I left my career to be at home with her full time as finding a nursery suitable for her or a childminder was ridiculously hard (and super expensive – like everything that has ‘additional needs’ in the title, the price triples as did childminder fees).
Although it was the best decision for us all at the time, I’m yet to return to work and she’s eleven this year.
I won’t be able to return to nursing, the NHS made it quite clear that they have little flexibility for single parents let alone single parents with a child that has additional needs.
I can’t give them what they need flexibility wise either.
You’d think that finding a different job would be easy right? I mean, I have all these amazing skills and qualifications, great communication, experience, willing to learn……. But it’s impossible.
To be able to work I need flexibility from an employer regarding hours and days worked with the opportunity to work from home included.
Or I need term time only hours. Why? Because I need to be home once school finishes because I have nobody to help with the children and I can’t afford a sitter at over twelve pounds an hour!
I need weekends and evenings off. I need Bank Holidays off. Oh and I also need Easter holidays off as well as Christmas, half terms and the entire six or seven week summer holidays off too unless I can work from home in those times.
See…… worst employee ever!
I’ve applied for home based work and that’s a brand new battlefield in itself.
I’m either underqualified, overqualified or they say home based and then at interview tell you it’s an office sometimes and often miles and miles away.
It’s frustrating and depressing.
So I’m left with few choices but I’m trying to make the best of a poor situation.
I’m half way through my first year with The Open University, doing a degree in Design & Innovation.
I’m hoping this will either get me a job working mainly from home or I’ll create my own business somehow.
I need the flexibility but also a regular income. I need to be able to work on my own terms in many ways and for whatever I do to fit around the children.
It’s scary and overwhelming but, right now, this feels the best option (the only option) especially as I don’t know what the future holds for my daughter, she may live at home a fair while when she finishes education whilst we find her suitable housing etc.
We can be the worst applicants.
We are limited on flexibility and working conditions when we have no help or support with childcare.
We want to work but that sometimes means pushing our own comfort zones and boundaries and creating our own work.
I’m tired of being unemployable so I’m working on a future where I work for myself.