Thinking About My Career

It is hard to believe that this time last year, I was waiting to hear back from my current employer if I got my current job. I am more than thrilled that I got it. It is giving me the paid experience some other mental health agencies desire in a peer specialist candidate. I not only love my job as a consumer aide, I also love the agency I work for.

Loving my job and the employer I work for is why I am finding it difficult to do be looking for a job as a peer specialist. Yes, I am looking for peer specialist jobs in the agency I work for but that doesn’t always mean I will get the job. Once, I hit my one year anniversary in my current position, I plan on applying for peer specialist jobs. The reason why I am waiting for my one year anniversary is because it looks better on the résumé when I apply for jobs outside the agency I currently work at.

One thing I find amazing when comes to the entire job search process, including the interview process is on how much experience future employers desire. I’m bringing up this particular issue is because how are you suppose to get experience when nobody will hire you due to the lack of experience. I chuckle at this because I had one mental health agency turn me down for a peer specialist position early last year because I didn’t have enough “paid experience” while other agencies told me the reason I got an interview was because, I have “great deal of experience, whether it is paid or volunteer.”  I don’t think it should matter about the type of experience you have if you have the experience. I realize that some career paths don’t necessarily have ways to volunteer in which leads me to, how in the hell does one gain experience.

I am just grateful that my volunteer experience is one of the many reasons I got my current job as a consumer aide. It goes to show you that what you have in your résumé does count. I just hope that my current position at work as well as my current and former volunteer jobs help me get a peer a support position especially one that would be fit my personality as well the personalities of the future clients that I would be helping.

Another thing that I worry about in regards to looking for a job as a peer specialist are the clients I currently help in the consumer aide position I am in at the moment. I worry about how it will affect them when I leave to a peer specialist position especially since its only been just under a year when I started. I just don’t want it to do more harm than good especially since we have had an extremely high turnover in staff the last three to four months for the particular program I work in. It has been quite difficult for the clients. I know realistically on how resilient my clients are, it’s just a concern of mine that having another staff member leave so soon after so many other staff left around the same time. I know I will have to leave and move on eventually and there is never a good time to leave when it comes to dealing with people who struggle with a mental illness. It is something to think about as I update my résumé and cover letters.

I do know as I update my résumé and cover letters that I will have to do a salary history letter as well. I am not sure if I am comfortable doing a salary history if I’m not 100% sure I am going to at least get an interview. I don’t even know how to do a salary history letter despite my efforts in looking for examples online. I will be asking my therapist the next time I see as well as asking one of the peer specialist that I talk to on occasion when I go to my appointments at the mental health agency I seek my services at. I do know that before I apply anywhere I have to first update everything as well as ask people to be references. Asking for references will not be the difficult part. The difficult part will be the salary letter and I am okay with that.

I think I have bored you all enough with my career and how I am wanting to move up in the world. I best be going because I have an overnight shift at the young adult shelter I volunteer at. In fact it is my first overnight shift. I usually do evenings but think it would be a good experience for me. I hope to do one overnight shift a month and three evening shifts a month. Any way before I get more off topic I will end this entry for now. I hope to blog again tomorrow and tell you how my first overnight shift went. Have a good night all. Peace Out!!

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