Next Step After Long Period Of Unemployment

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Comments (11)

Jesse Mentken

17 months ago

Hi.
I am a 48 year old man currently living in San Diego, California. I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have been out of work and receiving Social Security since 1998. I have worked hard at my rehab and recovery and feel like I can now become employed.

The challenge is what makes sense at this point. I only receive $900/month and so I am desperate to find work and thus increase my income. However, there are only a limited number of jobs that I could find quickly and even that would be difficult given my lack of work history.

The government office of Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for me to go to school and gain training but I need to figure out what training would make the most sense.

I have looked into becoming a security guard. Another path I have looked into is getting trained and receiving a certificate in Microsoft Office.

Do people have much info or thoughts about Microsoft Office Certificate Training? If I had that certificate would it make a substantial difference in the jobs I could obtain?

I have a BA in English and actually have very strong verbal and writing skills but I am not sure how to turn those skills into paid employment.

Any thoughts or information about the above would be appreciated.

thanks,
Jesse

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jenab in Austin, Texas

17 months ago

Jesse Mentken said: Do people have much info or thoughts about Microsoft Office Certificate Training? If I had that certificate would it make a substantial difference in the jobs I could obtain?

I have a BA in English and actually have very strong verbal and writing skills but I am not sure how to turn those skills into paid employment.

Jesse, is the training being arranged through your local workforce career center? If so, they should have information on the high demand jobs.

The challenge then is learning how reliable the high demand jobs in your area. I know there's a lot of pressure and incentive to get training to get work, but before you sign up for a specific training program, make sure there's real value in it locally.

Talk to your program specialist at Vocational Rehabilitation and try to define what is the best training option for your particular circumstances and your area.

I've not heard of anyone being able to really leverage Microsoft Office Specialist certification locally, other than trainers and helpdesk agents. If your area has technical support type call centers, that might be an option for you.

In any case, good luck, Jesse.

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Endoftheworld in Rocky Hill, Connecticut

17 months ago

yes try to get the certificate in MS Office, nowadays this is the equivalent of saying you know how to type or use a computer if you are going to be working in any office setting. Plus it's something new/current to ad to your resume.
I thought that security guards did not get paid much more than min. wage, unless it's overnight shift.
With a degree in English and skills in writing a job in marketing might be something to think about.
Will your local office of vocational rehab actually help with job placement? that would really expedite the process as if you've been unemployed for a long time it won't be easy to get a job now, I've been trying for over 4 yr.s with NO disability, I was simply laid off from my last job which was eliminated.
Out of curiosity, if one is on disability any income you earn will be subtracted from your monthly benefits? not added too? I thought it was like unemployment benefits or any other type of government aid, the more money you make the less in benefits you get so a job is only really worth it if you make over what the monthly benefits are unless you really want to work for the joy of working in and of itself.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

17 months ago

Here in MD, people on disability can earn up to a certain amount (don't know what that is) before disability drops off.

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Jesse in San Diego, California

17 months ago

Hi,

Thanks for your reply to my post.
I have tried working with Vocational Rehab many times in the past and have never been able to succeed. One of the problems is that they only assist people in some pretty narrow areas such as paying for school and so forth. They have never shown any interest or ability to help me deal with my PTSD. And this is a problem because it is the major reason that I am still unemployed. Not dealing with that would be like not dealing with a blind person's blindness.

The reason I moved from Berkeley to San Diego is so I can explore housing options in Mexico. My limited income will certainly go much further down there. And if I can become fluent in Spanish then that would open many doors as far as employment is concerned.

jenab in Austin, Texas said: Jesse, is the training being arranged through your local workforce career center? If so, they should have information on the high demand jobs.

The challenge then is learning how reliable the high demand jobs in your area. I know there's a lot of pressure and incentive to get training to get work, but before you sign up for a specific training program, make sure there's real value in it locally.

Talk to your program specialist at Vocational Rehabilitation and try to define what is the best training option for your particular circumstances and your area.

I've not heard of anyone being able to really leverage Microsoft Office Specialist certification locally, other than trainers and helpdesk agents. If your area has technical support type call centers, that might be an option for you.

In any case, good luck, Jesse.

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Calfornian in Hayward, California

17 months ago

Jesse Mentken said: Do people have much info or thoughts about Microsoft Office Certificate Training? If I had that certificate would it make a substantial difference in the jobs I could obtain?

The answer is that it won't hurt. The best things about a certification is that it can differentiate you from someone who doesn't have it, force you to learn things that you otherwise wouldn't and it can help give you confidence to say, "yes, I know that" when it comes up in an interview or on a job requirement.

Now, does anyone post a job asking for the certification other than a training center? Yes, but very rarely. It probably won't help you in that sense although it could in some older industries where knowing Excel makes you the IT expert in a given department.

Anyways, I'm thinking about doing the Expert version, after I get done with my other studies. I'd be amazed if it helped me get a job, or I ever even use it hard-core in a job, but it won't hurt me to get a bit tighter with it. In your case, if they're paying for it, it's a no-brainer.

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AsktheCareerLady in San Jose, California

17 months ago

Guide

Your best bet for looking for looking for fast/rewarding employment options would be to leverage your most relative 10 years of experience, not relying on training alone.

What have you done in the past 10 years?
If it's all military, do you qualify for security clearances?
What kind of work environments make you feel calmest and most secure?
Do you have VA centers or government agencies locally that are hiring? (you'll get bonus points)
If so, what are they hiring for?
What would you actually enjoy doing all day?

Thanks,
Megan
[URL removed by Indeed Moderator]

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AsktheCareerLady in San Jose, California

17 months ago

Guide

I apologize, as I just noticed you've been out since 1998. What did you do before then?

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jenab in Austin, Texas

17 months ago

Jesse in San Diego, California said: One of the problems is that they only assist people in some pretty narrow areas such as paying for school and so forth.

One thing you might want to ask about is WIA; it's a federally funded program, specifically for who are either been laid off, or have financial hardship for 6 months or more. It's managed through your local workforce center. Depending on your circumstances, it can assist with training, transportation and other assistance. You can't get WIA more than once (with rare exceptions), and it's managed at the regional level (although funding is federal), so the rules can vary a little. But it's worth looking into.

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Jesse in San Diego, California

17 months ago

Thanks to everyone who replied to my initial post.

I have decided that my initial goal to move to either Mexico or Central America is the correct next step because it would decisively address the debilitating poverty I currently suffer from.

After that takes place I can then begin to re-evaluate my next career steps. And one big benefit of moving to Latin America is that I could become fluent in Spanish and that would be a great job skill to have if, and when, I decide to move back to the USA.

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Sam in Bolingbrook, Illinois

17 months ago

This sounds so crazy LOL

No don't get off disability, DO NOT

As for as MS Office, only idiots care about certificates and anyone that thinks having one means something is CRAZY. I've seen people with all kinds of certificates and they usually don't know anything ahaha.

I advice not to get off disability, to move if you feel you must (but how's that work if you are on disability in the USA).

I work and am in debilitating poverty!

Security pays slightly above minimum wage my friend, almost no companies pay more than $9 an hour for unarmed guard's, and armed can very from $10-$14 I suppose.

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