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Forums / Staying well / Loss of job - loss of purpose ??

Topic: Loss of job - loss of purpose ??

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. loouuiiee
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    loouuiiee avatar
    77 posts
    5 August 2019

    Hi everyone I have not posted in quite a while.

    Long-time sufferer of depression and generalized anxiety disorder here ...

    Recently I poured my all into my work as a way to distract myself and unfortunately, this workplace had a really unprofessional culture and I quickly became the target of some unpleasant workplace bullying.

    There was no consistent management or person that I could really go to for support most of the period of time that I was there.

    My coping mechanism was to not take the negativity to heart, to just keep trucking on as I hoped if I didn't respond that it would eventually stop. I thought if I persisted that eventually, things would get better.

    The bullying continued to get worse and worse ... and after 3 months I was dismissed on the spot during a probation meeting. I didn't break any rules or specifically do anything wrong they said simply that I just am not the right fit for the job/company.

    I am looking for other work but found that as soon as potential employers find out I was let go by my previous employer they are not interested in talking about the reasons why, or giving me a chance to explain anything. They simply do not want to know me after they discover I was let go.

    I have found lots of positive things to do to keep me busy whilst I am unemployed such as upskilling ... but just waking up in the morning and having nowhere to be is upsetting - especially with me being such a routine orientated person. (I find routine comforting.)

    Things just seem so unfair and I am trying to be positive and move on from this negative experience, but employers don't seem to want to give me a chance which is really affecting my self-esteem and making me view myself in such a negative light.

    Has anyone been through something similar and/or have any advice or tips they would be willing to share??

  2. Mickii
    Mickii avatar
    46 posts
    5 August 2019 in reply to loouuiiee
    Hi Loouuiee, I really understand how how you are feeling. In 2009 I was medically suspended because I reported corrupt conduct, become a victim of extensive workplace bullying, fought for my position back through the accusations were proven to be correct by the courts, but by the time it was over I had major depression and PTSD. I was medically "retired" in 2011...and now no longer work. When I lost my job/career I felt I lost my identity (I had studied extensively and work huge hours to get to my dream position). I thought there was nothing left, BUT now I look back and losing my career saved me. That is why I am replying to your post. I use to think "everything happens for a reason", but no I am more of a "shit happens" person. Even if I was well I would not be able to go back into my career field...I am a happy to talk in more details....but my experience is look at medical retirement if you are unfit to work, or a complete career change if you are fit to work. Retraining now is a lot easier and even if it takes a few years, when you apply for your new job you will be fresh and your past work history will be less significant. There is no quick fix, it is unfair, and some employers are just terrible. Unfortunately our workplace laws do not protect you....the court process is slow and extremely debilitating, and as soon as you mention you were bullied at work many people go "well what did you do to cause it". The most important thing I found in the process was talking to my doctor, psychologist and psychiatrist through the process.I found that even when there were times I thought I was coping with the stress, I wasn't.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. loouuiiee
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    loouuiiee avatar
    77 posts
    6 August 2019 in reply to Mickii

    I'm sorry to hear that. I'm glad that you have turned the whole experience into a positive. That is amazing :)

    The reason the bullying occurred is that I reported 'corrupt conduct' (like yourself) and I refused to look the other way whilst my colleagues were shamelessly and frequently doing the wrong thing.

    I LOVED my job before those horrible coworkers came into the picture and I feel like I have so much more to offer and to give in that field.
    However, I will always have that negative experience behind me following me like a dark shadow.

    I have done nothing wrong and I don't deserve that.

    A career change could be a fresh start for me. Thanks for your advice :)

  4. Mickii
    Mickii avatar
    46 posts
    6 August 2019 in reply to loouuiiee
    One thing I learnt..... my career was everything I wanted to have. It was my dream position...something I worked for all my life. Like you I loved it. When I lost the job I was devastated, as if I lost who I was and my whole identity. Suddenly I looked at my life as wasted. The biggest lesson I learnt was my career was not who I was. It was important but not in the way I believed it to be. Now I look at life differently....and for the first time I have been able to "smell the roses". You will probably have some sad times about your grief....I hope you find a new pathway that brings you lots of joy. With your positive attitude I am sure you will! Also, your experience with your co-workers is so common on cases of bullying. As sad as it is most people turn their back on bullying. I wondered if I was the on-looker and not the target what I would have done....I hope I would have stood up for the victim, but I guess we never know unless the situation arises. I was broken when my co-workers, who I considered friends, said they simply would not give evidence because "they did not want to get involved", and "it would effect their careers" etc etc....Now I think their decisions they have to live with. They are not my friends or my enemies...I just hope that they can see that turning your back on and not speaking out about bullying is the reason bullying is so prominent in the workplace.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3151 posts
    6 August 2019 in reply to loouuiiee

    Hi loouuiiee,

    Thanks for your post and I'm really glad to see that Mickii has jumped into give you some support.

    I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with this so much, and yet glad that you're here because it sounds like you're really motivated to create a routine and find meaning - especially when things are knocking your self-esteem.

    I stopped working a while ago for different reasons, but I found myself in a very similar boat. The job was all I knew, so without it I felt quite lost. I thrived on routine too and hopes would be built up and knocked down with every application and job interview. I imagine that this might be how you're feeling as well.

    One of the biggest things that's helped me is routine, and for me that's meant creating my own routine - treating what I had to do that day as important as if I was getting paid for it. Sure, my routine was different (because I didn't have to leave the house), but that sense of structure is so so important. If you're upskilling, perhaps you could find a specific time to do that so that you knew this would be your routine. If you like to go for walks (or leave the house for a particular reason), that can be apart of your routine too.

    The other tip I have for you is to do something that's enjoyable and pop that in your routine too. Because losing your job is a loss, and that can be very sad, so it can be helpful to find time for things that you enjoy. Maybe that's watching a TV show that you like, doing some cooking, arts and crafts, whatever - something that's just for you that you can look forward to.

    I hope that gives you something to think about. I love the idea of thinking about a career change too. Wishing you luck with whatever you decide.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. loouuiiee
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    loouuiiee avatar
    77 posts
    7 August 2019

    Mickii I absolutely feel that I have lost my entire identity and sense of self since losing this job. I spent my entire life up-to-date planning, studying and working towards that particular role, so considering leaving a field that is all I have ever seen myself working in his HUGE for me.

    But I know that this particular industry I have been working in is well renowned for gossip, bullying and putting a strain on employee mental health as it is not only a physically demanding job but also a very emotionally demanding job.

    Romantictheif hits the nail on the head when saying that my hopes are getting built up and knocked down with every application, interview and then subsequent rejection (or even just being left guessing because you don't actually hear anything back from the place you attended the interview with)! This is taking a massive impact on my self-esteem.

    I too had a lot of colleagues who noticed the bullying, commented on it by saying 'you should say something! do something ... stand up for yourself'. But me being of a timid and people-pleasing nature, I did not stand up for myself. I wonder why my colleagues didn't do anything to help me ... but whenever speaking to me about it they would say 'I'm staying neutral' and 'im not getting involved because I have to get along with everyone'. In other words- if they stood up for me, undoubtedly they would become a victim of bullying also :/

    Over the last 2 weeks of me being unemployed my sleeping and eating patterns have been all over the place because I do not feel like eating, and my sleep is constantly interrupted by my intrusive dreams about negative things that happened at my old workplace and my brain overanalyzing and going over EVERY LITTLE DETAIL picking at what I should have done differently.

    I will try to work on generating more of a routine that I can find some comfort in while I figure out what on earth I am going to do moving forward ... :) thanks for the support!

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