Dear Jody

BTL Staff
By | 2007-09-20T09:00:00-05:00 September 20th, 2007|Opinions|
Looking for full-time job is becoming career

Q: I am so depressed that I can hardly write this e-mail to you. I just don’t know where to turn or what to do. I was fired from my job about two months ago and I can’t seem to get another job. I was fired from my last one because I came on to one of my coworkers that I thought was gay. My “gaydar” said he was and he certainly seemed to like my attention and how was I to know he wasn’t “out” even to himself, yet. Anyway I came on to him pretty strong at a bar one night, we both had a lot to drink. The next day he goes to the big boss who is really conservative and tells him I am queer and four weeks later I am fired. Of course my boss said it was because I wasn’t a good worker and missed too many days of work, but I know the truth. The guy I came on to told me he told the boss what happened and I had better stay away from him. Anyway, now I can’t find a job because they won’t give me a good recommendation. I don’t even want to go out to look for a job any more so I just sit at home getting more and more depressed and getting more and more broke. How do I find a job with what has happened to me?

A. First of all you probably won’t get a job until you get your depression under control. Most people don’t make a good impression, i.e. energetic, enthusiastic, etc., when they are depressed. The job market is very tight right now and you need to be able to present yourself in the best light possible. Also, you are so depressed you aren’t even looking for a job, which certainly won’t help you find employment. I would suggest you go to your family doctor or a therapist and tell them what is going on with your depression and see if you can get some antidepressants or a referral to someone who can prescribe antidepressants for you, if they think it is necessary. I am assuming your depression is situational as you didn’t mention that you have been depressed before all this happened. Now some ideas on how to look for employment. You didn’t say what type of work you are looking for so I will make my recommendations general. You could contact the State of Michigan Rehabilitation Department; they work with people with disabilities and help them find employment. In order to qualify for their services you will need to let them know about your depression.
There are also centers around the state called Capital Area Michigan Works that have people from different agencies working on location that can help you find employment, as well as other services that you might qualify for. They have a Web site called the Michigan Talent Bank www.michworks.org. This is a state wide Web site for both employers and people looking for employment, and it is free. There are many jobs listed on this Web site and you can put your resume on the Web site so employers can see your qualifications. If I were you I would have someone call the company that you worked for saying they are thinking of hiring you and see what they are saying about you when it comes to a recommendation. Then when you get an interview you can address what they are saying before they call the company. If you have folks at that company that would give you a good recommendation use them as your references. One of the best things to do when job hunting is networking. Talk to family, friends, former coworkers, people belonging to organizations you belong to and let them know you are looking for work and what you are looking for. This is one of the best ways to find about jobs before they are advertised to the public. This is called the “hidden job market,” those jobs that are never advertised. Don’t think you are the only person who has been fired from a job. Many folks have been fired from jobs and find employment. Use this time to figure out what your strengths were on your last job and what you could improve. Decide whether there was any truth in why your boss said he fired you. We all make mistakes and need to learn from them. This is a hard time but make looking for employment your full-time job right now.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.