It’s Going To Be A Busy Weekend

Good Morning, World!!! I know I just posted about an hour ago about how my Friday went. Well this post is going to be how busy my weekend is going to be going. I am going to be going to a facilitator training both today and tomorrow at a local peer run program. This training to help be a volunteer co-facilitator at this peer run program. The training is both today and tomorrow.

I know it it will be an intense training and am prepared for it as much as I can be emotionally. Trainings are quite emotionally draining and I have prepared as much as one can be prepared for such training’s.

I should get going as I need to get ready for the day. Have a great weekend. Peace Out, World!!!

Advertisements

Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration; Day Twenty: The Future

Today is the last day of Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration. I am a wee bit sad that it is the last day. I have learned a great deal from this course. One of the many things I have learned from this course is the many ways I am able to find inspiration to write, weather it is for my blog or personal writings.

Speaking of writing, todays assignment is to write about the future. We were given many different prompts to choose from to write about the future. I am choosing to not pick one of those prompts to discuss the future. I have chosen my own topic to discuss in regards to the future. I have chosen to discuss about my career and its future.

As many of you know I work in the mental health field as a Consumer Aide. I have had this position for the last year. Part of the reason why I am a Consumer Aide is because I was unable to get a job as a Peer Specialist last year (2014) due to the fact that I didn’t have enough paid experience. Don’t get me wrong I love my job with a passion. I just really want to be a Peer Specialist.

Now that I have worked a year in the mental health field, I figure that I have enough paid experience. Plus it looks better on a résumé the longer you are at an employer. I have been thinking a great deal about my future in regards to my career the last several years and the last year has confirmed that I am meant to work in the mental health field. I love being able to help people.

Yesterday, I took another step in making my dream come true in regards to moving up in the mental health field. I applied for a Peer Specialist job yesterday with my supervisors “blessing.” She said that she would be more than willing to be a reference for me “even if it is for a different agency.” In fact my previous supervisor said something similar in an email. It feels good knowing that I am good at what I do and that I have the “blessings” of both my current and previous supervisors. Unfortunately, the agency I currently work for, don’t have any Peer Specialist openings at the moment. If they did I would have applied to them first instead of a different agency. I really want the job as a Peer Specialist and hope I get the job but at this moment in time, I just want a call saying that I got an interview.

The one thing I have learned about applying for jobs is to not put your life on hold waiting for a call to see if you got a interview much less the job especially the interview. I have found out from experience that if employers like your résumé  and/or your cover letter they will call you within two weeks to set up an interview. In most cases, employers will let you know if you got the job or not within two weeks. I did have one agency interview me last year that never got back to me even when I emailed them inquiring weather or not I got the job. That’s okay because I now realize maybe its not an agency I want to work for anyway and for a multitude of reasons. I am happy with the experience I have gotten with how various agencies work in regards to their hiring process.

As I end this last assignment of Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration can you all please send out positive energy and vibes that I get an interview. It will be much appreciated. Have a Happy Friday and Peace Out!!

The Day My Career Changed

Today marks one year since I found out I got my current job as a consumer aide. I was ecstatic that I got my current job. It took all my might to not stick it on Facebook till I had put in my two weeks notice at my previous employer. I thought I owed it to my previous employer to not announce it to the world before they found out I was leaving. They did help me with the job experience I needed as well as giving me some life long friends.  I realized that no matter where I work I’m still going to be part of my previous employers “family” and am beyond grateful for that.

As I look back over the last year, I have realized a great deal about myself not just personally but professionally as well. I learned on how tight nit the mental health community is and how much we really need to rely on each other. The mental health community is also quite small. That is why we need to take care of each other. There is always something to learn in my current career. I think the learning new things is one of the many reasons why I enjoy my career in the mental health field. I have always enjoyed learning and am looking forward to the learning opportunities I will be able to access. Learning opportunities I might not have been able to receive due to the lack of funds. Most importantly, I am able to be an example of what recovery looks like.

As I look forward to what my future looks like in my career, I hope that this time next year I will be a peer specialist. It is the most logical step in my career path. It is what I have been wanting the last two or so years. Now that I have experience, I think it would be a good idea to apply to be a peer specialist. If I get a peer job outside of the agency I currently work at, I will be a little sad. My current agency gave me the break I needed, career wise. I started with them as a volunteer and now I am employed with them and hope that I will be able to get a peer position within the agency. Even if I get employed elsewhere as a peer my current employer will have a soft spot in my heart. The did give me my start in the field.

Now that I told you how today was the day my career changed, I’m going to call it an evening and relax. I hope that everyone has a wonderful and relaxed weekend. Peace out everyone!!!

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!!

11 Months

Today, marks eleven months since I started my wonderful job as a Consumer Aide at a local mental health agency. I love my job. I know it is not exactly the position I desire to be in but its a foot in the door. When, I applied and interviewed for my current job, I knew that I would start looking for jobs as a Peer Specialist (or Peer Counselor) once I hit my one year anniversary. Not because that’s how long the job last because it doesn’t but because the longer you are at a job (or employer) the better it looks to hiring managers. Yes, that means in a month from now, I will be looking for Peer positions. I will be looking within the agency I am employed with as well as outside the agency.

To be honest with you, I am a little apprehensive to start looking for a peer position. I am apprehensive because I fear I will not be what people expect, desire or worse a let them down. Another reason why I am apprehensive is that I have become fond of my clients. Even though it is highly discouraged to have “favorite clients,” it naturally happens. I am also a little nervous that I will get lots of interviews but no job offers. That is what happened when I was looking for peer jobs that last time, which led me to my current position. As you can tell, I am lacking in self-confidence and that is something I am working. on.

I hope that when I do start applying for Peer Specialist positions that it doesn’t take long for me to get a job a peer. It took sending six résumés and cover letters, five interviews and one job offer over a matter of five months before I got my current job. I’m not going to let that get in the way because, I know what hiring managers a looking for now and I have “paid” experience in the field. Not only that, I have been volunteering at the Warm Line for eleven months now and at the young adult shelter for two and half months. I’m sure that all my work and volunteer experience will help me at least get an interview.

I am just thrilled that I am working in the mental health field even if its not my desired position. I love and enjoy what I do. I am grateful that I am able to be an example of recovery looks like to the clients I serve. I am a little sad that as soon as I get a position I desire I will have to say goodbye to my clients.

I best be going now. I need to get ready for the day. I am looking forward to volunteering at the Warm Line this evening. Have an awesome weekend and have some good ole fashioned fun. Peace Out!!!

Being Proactive About My Future

     Happy Friday!!! I have enjoyed my vacation immensely. It was great to see my brother for his birthday. Hell, I had fun seeing my brother. I always have fun seeing my brother. I’ve also been having fun with my boyfriend. In fact my boyfriend and I went hiking today and we both had a blast. We both enjoy going out in nature. It was nice that both my boyfriend and I had our vacations together and spent in it with each other. My boyfriend goes back to work on Thursday and I go back on Monday.

     I may not like my job but I am looking forward to go back to work. I am looking forward to going back to work because at the end of the day (no matter how good or bad it was) I have a sense of accomplishment. That is a big deal for someone who deals with a mental illness. Working at a grocery store is not easy and it is a thankless job a good portion of the time. Another unfortunate part about working in a grocery is that your schedule changes every week. I just wish the schedule didn’t change week to week. I’ve been working in the grocery store business and at the same employer for 9 years now its it time for a change.

    In fact I hope that change comes soon. I have a job interview on Wednesday for the agency that runs the homeless shelter I volunteer at. I really hope I get the job. Its a set schedule. I would only have to work two days a week which would be 15 hours plus get paid at least $2 more an hour than I do now. If I do get the job I will be a little nervous about changing jobs because I have been at my current employer for 9 years. Another thing is that if I do get the job I will miss my co-workers and some of my customers. My co-workers have become like family. I really want this job. I am trying to not get my hopes up because I haven’t even had the interview yet. I know the job I have an interview for is only a Consumer Aide and not Peer Counselor position, its at least a step in the right direction to get a job as a peer counseling.

   Speaking of a step in the right direction I am going to be starting training to be a volunteer call taker at local peer run Warm Line. The training is four weeks long, two days each week and five hours each day which equals to 40hours. I am wanting to volunteer on the Warm Line for many reasons. The first and main reason is that I want to help others. The second reason is that it looks good on a résumé. The third reason is that if I do get the job as a Consumer Aide that means I have to quit my volunteer job at the homeless shelter. You cant be employed and a volunteer at the same agency due to the job description and legal reasons with liability. I can understand that. I have really wanting to volunteer for the Warm Line for quite some time now and haven’t felt ready to do till now.

    Another thing I got involved in this past week is that I became a volunteer advocate for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). A field advocate for AFSP basically emails there senators and congressperson(s) to encourage them to support or not support bills regarding mental health as well be a resource for the politicians. I figure that I want to be involved with politics some how that this a good way to get involved plus it regarding another thing that I am passionate about which is mental health. I am still debating weather or not to put this on my résumé. I know it will look good on one but not sure how future employers would take to it since it involves politics. Its something to consider. In fact I sent my first emails to my congressman and both of my senators introducing myself. I hope I can be a good resource for them.

    Another good resource is NAMI. I am a little frustrated with them right now because the just cancelled the peer to peer class I was suppose to take. This is the second time they cancelled it and both time they cancelled it was because the lack of interest. I find that difficult to believe because I live in major metropolitan area. Actually, I live in a major city. Another reason why I am I am frustrated with NAMI is because I am still waiting to hear back about volunteer with them. I sent them a volunteer application a month ago. I don’t know how long I should wait on about becoming volunteering with them. I think when Monday comes around I will call them to see if they even got my volunteer application. I know that if I do eventually start volunteering for NAMI that I will put it on my résumé.

     Well, now that I bored you all with about being proactive about mental health I will end this particular blog entry. Plus I want some intimate time with my boyfriend. Well, have a good rest of you Friday everyone. Peace Out.

Volunteering And Other Stuff

     Well, it’s still Wednesday and I went to my volunteer job. The bad thing is they closed the shelter for they day to spray for different type of bugs. (Don’t worry, when they spray for bugs they open it back up in the evening so clients can check in and get a bed for the night.) I am just frustrated that I went all the way there to have to come back to my boyfriends.

     I guess I am frustrated because my boyfriend had his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. That’s part of the reason why he took his vacation this week so he could have time to recuperate. Plus he wanted to spend time with me. Anyway, his mom took him to the dentist yesterday since she drives and has a car. I also had to see my therapist so I wouldn’t have been able to take him to the dentist. Getting your wisdom teeth pulled is not very fun especially, when its all four of them. My boyfriend cant chew at the moment and is acting like a big overgrown baby. Hell, I think if I had my wisdom teeth pulled I would be acting like a big baby. Wanting to baby and help my boyfriend today is why I am a little frustrated that I was notified that they wouldn’t need me at my volunteer job today. At least I am getting to spend time with him right now. I just wish I knew how to make him feel better. I know realistically I really cant help him feel better but I wish I could. I love him so much. I know he loves me and wishes I didn’t have to still deal with the trauma I dealt with as a child and as an adult.

     If it weren’t for the shit I went through, I wouldn’t have the passion I do to want to help others and become a peer support specialist. I start training for a peer run warm line next Tuesday. In fact its going to be two days a week for about 5 hours each day for about 4 weeks (which is a month) and that equals to a 40 hour training. The cool thing about being a call taker on a Warm Line is getting different types of training to help you be a better call taker. I also look at it that any training I get being a Warm Line call taker volunteer will help me be a better Peer Specialist when I do eventually get employed as one.

     Speaking of becoming a Peer Specialist or Peer Support, the interview I was suppose to have for the Consumer Aide position last Thursday finally got rescheduled for July 30th. The time is not officially set yet but it is either at 10am or 1pm. I am getting a little nervous about it because by the time I have the interview the job will have been posted for four months. I am nervous that I might be the one they hire. Even though I want this job so badly, I am scared of the job change cause I’ve been at my current employment for 9 years. I know I need a job change because I am bitter at my current employment even though I do enjoy many of my customers and co-workers. I don’t even know if I got the job because I haven’t even had the interview yet. Its difficult  for me to wrap my mind around that a position has been up for nearly four months.

     There are actual Peer Specialist positions up at other agencies that I am thinking about applying for as well. I am a little hesitant to apply to the peer positions the I know I qualify for because I am afraid that I will jinx myself. Even though I am fearful of leaving my current employment I need to get out of there just as badly. I just don’t want to jinx myself and get more interviews and not get any job offers. I will most likely apply for the jobs because I want out of my current employment even though I am fearful of the change.

    Before I get going and put my boyfriend to bed I want to share something with you. I finally got to 1,000 views today. Last time I checked I was at 1,003 views. I just want to know how I can get more views as well as more followers. Oh yeah, I also now have 12 followers. I just wish I knew how to get more followers and more viewers. I have more to tell you but I am getting tired and well my boyfriend is asleep on the couch drooling. It is 11:49pm (pacific time) and I think its time for bed.

    I plan on blogging sometime tomorrow. I hope I remember to tell you what I was planning on sharing tonight. Have good night all. Peace Out!!