Have you been unable to find a job or keep the ones you’ve had so far? Have you struggled so much in your relationships that you don’t even have any personal references to offer an employer or volunteer coordinator? If any of that applies to you, maybe you’d find a job training program helpful.
Even someone who’s simply hiring for an odd job or a volunteer job will probably want to see some record of accomplishment and at least one reference. I’ve read that an inexperienced person will typically put classes and clubs on their first resume and list teachers or other people who they know as references. I didn’t do well in any of my classes in high school or my previous attempt at college, and issues like my social awkwardness and anxiety have gotten in the way of having even personal references. If you’re facing similar barriers, but want to work, you still have options, and the option that I’ll focus on in this post is job training programs.
Since job training programs are designed specifically for people with difficulties finding or keeping a job, I think that their supervisors will often be more patient than supervisors at a paid job or even a volunteer job. For example, I just started my barista training program yesterday, and I remembered my schedule incorrectly, so I showed up thinking I was on time when I was actually an hour late.
Someone in a more official position might have been harder on me or even fired me. My supervisor, whose role is a blend of barista manager and social worker, was very gentle with me about my mistake. I apologized, but then froze. She was also patient about my anxious moment and smoothly moved the conversation along. The rest of my shift went a lot better. Since this job is practice, not an official job, it was a low-stakes way for me to discover that I still need to work on my organization and not freezing up when I make a mistake, which are issues that I can bring up to my therapist before trying to work or volunteer again.
I think that having someone, such as a therapist, to talk about progress and setbacks with during your job training program will lead to even better results than doing the program alone.
I found my program through an organization in my city that helps low income and/or homeless women. Job training is one of many services that they offer. You may be able to find an opportunity in your area through a charity like this one. Other places that may offer this service include D.V.R (department of vocational rehabilitation, specializing in people with documented disabilities), Goodwill, mental health agencies, or Job Corps (if you’re 16-24).