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I want to work but have no skills

66Mustang
66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
edited October 2020 in Coffee lounge
Summary: I want to work in the future but I don’t have any specialist skill and fear a life of unskilled work.

Long version: I have been thinking about the future and maybe that if my situation improves, I will be able to work, but then my thoughts drift on to the fact that I don’t have any skill, talent or passion that I am really good at, at least that is useful in a workplace.

(I love driving but couldn’t do that as a career due to my issues and not being able to drive alone or on the motorway.)

I have “secondary” talents, for example I’m very neutral and see both sides of arguments, and I am very calm in stressful situations, but none of these are actual, applied skills that someone will pay me for! What I mean is if I go to an interview and say “I’m calm in a stressful situation” an employer will say “very good but can you fix this engine/fill out these accounts/drive this bus/operate this machinery” etc. I don’t have any practical, employable skill, like being able to fix a car or drive a lorry, if that makes sense. I just have the secondary skills, like being good in a stressful situation.

Because of this, I’m worried I will not be able to get a job, or if I do, that it will be something like stacking shelves which I am not knocking because the country wouldn’t function without them but is not something I want to do for my whole life. Also, as I am not into relationships and plan to live alone I will have to be paying my bills and mortgage out of my single salary, not two salaries, so it needs to be enough to be able to run a house off of.

Having never had a job I’m not expecting to walk into a well-paid job as soon as I am ready to work, and I have family that will allow me to live at home for as long as I need to so I’m not being pushed out, but it would be nice if I could afford to be independent at some stage.

I’m just wondering if anyone can relate to my position, either having been in the position before or in it now, and wants to share their experiences. 

Thanks!
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Comments

  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 5,229 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you thought of taking careers advice at all?
    i tried it years ago and actually it wasn’t so good but things have moved on a bit over fifty years! 

    If you don’t mind heights you could train to be a fireman. If you don’t mind the public you might train to be a policeman, Or if you don’t mind animals you might become a zoo warden. Quite few things come to mind but I think probably you need expert advice.

    when I was seventeen or so I had general skills but no specific ones until the jobcentre made me work for a carpenter. He gave me the benefit of his experience and over time I learned the rudiments of carpentry. Later on these skills were my lifeline for a while and on and off over many years when I needed money. I know how awful it must feel at the moment but there will be a solution, it’s just a matter of you converging on it, it’s out there. 

    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”


    ― Dalai Lama XIV
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for the helpful post @leeCal, I really appreciate it.

    I might do just that. I’m in the support group for my ESA which I think means I can access advice if I ask for it.

    I guess the gist of what you are saying is that I just need to choose something, and stick with it?
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,412

    Scope community team

    @66Mustang Thank you for sharing this with us and I hope we can help clear your head a little about it!

    Just throwing this into the mix, would you consider studying for a qualification? 

    Also, what do you enjoy and could you see yourself doing happily?
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    @Cher_Scope thanks for the reply.

    Yes I would definitely consider study. In fact I’m not ready to work just yet so now is the perfect time to study while I focus on my health at the same time.

    I think part of the problem is I don’t know what I enjoy as I haven’t been able to get out into the wide world and explore different activities to see whether I like them or not.

    There is one thing I can think of that I am good at which is managing money. I actually do a bit of informal financial advising for family members for free and trade on the stock market on their behalf using their money. However, I signed up for an A level in maths and just couldn’t cope with division of algebra so decided I probably wouldn’t be up for a career in accountancy or something similar as I guessed you needed a degree in maths for that!!
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,412

    Scope community team

    @66Mustang Oooh well this gives us options  :)

    You don't need a degree in maths to become an accountant so don't let that pesky division of algebra stop you.  

    The Prospects website explains:

    Although many accountants will hold a university degree, it's often desirable rather than essential. Even if it is a prerequisite for a role, the degree can usually be in any subject.
    So, while maths and economics at A-level followed by an accounting degree may be advantageous, if you didn't go down this focused route you'd still be able to get the qualifications you need - as professional bodies provide courses for students and workers at all levels.

    On that website are also links to professional bodies who run courses.  Maybe give it an explore and let us know what you think!  
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Cher_Scope

    I actually switched the maths to economics which I am studying now so may still be useful.

    I will go and have a look on that website now :)

    Thanks, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply  :)

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    That site has made me feel a lot better, thanks for sharing it. I had better get on with studying my economics :smiley:
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    There's also Scope's 'Support to Work' programme to remember for future use. See: https://www.scope.org.uk/employment-services/  :)

  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,412

    Scope community team

    edited October 2020
    Great call @chiarieds

    @66Mustang I'm so glad it helped.  if we can support you along the way please let us know.  I'm a big advocate of lifelong learning and think you would really enjoy it.  

    Also, you mentioned you didn't think you had skills and I wanted to say don't underestimate yourself, life will have taught you more than you think.  You are an articulate, intelligent person with bounds of potential so follow your aspirations  :)
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for the suggestion @chiarieds, I will definitely take a look.

    @Cher_Scope thank you very much for the kind words, they mean a lot to me :)
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you tried the governments new 'skills search' site?  Might come up with some interesting suggestions...  

    https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment

    Some of mine are Biotechnologist, Medical Physicist, Production Manager, Helicopter Engineer...and Nail Technician!  :D
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    @OverlyAnxious thanks for the reply and the link. I just filled that questionnaire out but I answered “it depends” to quite a few of the questions. It suggested what seems like every job to me, from electrician to beauty consultant to demolition operative to blacksmith!!

    I might do it again later and try to be a bit more decisive with my answers. 

  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 6,690

    Scope community team

    edited October 2020
    Hi @66Mustang :) 

    Great discussion as it is a topic that many people will relate to in some way or another.
    I would add that volunteering is always a great path to go down. It's often not very time consuming but can lead to opportunities in the future if you get your foot in the door with a few places because of the connections you can make. It also helps with confidence building and skill development. 

    It made me aware of career prospects that I'd not even considered before and in some cases it allowed me to make some good use out of my interests because I volunteered with organisations that carried out work relating to areas I am passionate about.
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    That is a really good point about volunteering. I’m not very good at the usual volunteering roles but maybe when I am ready there would be a charity shop willing to take me on as a volunteer bookkeeper or something.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,196 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang I wouldnt discount the retail trade thats where I started out. I was a shelf stacker but then worked my way up and stayed with the same company for 30 years.

    I had so many different roles from cashier, admin clerk, payroll clerk, then went onto trainee management and ended up in some head office advisory roles before becoming a Human Resource Manager for the same company they sonsored me to do my degree as well

    Its not where you start its what you make of it
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    @janer1967 thanks that is a really good point. Thanks for the tip.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,196 Disability Gamechanger
    @66Mustang Also remember any work is good experience as is any interviews 

    Getting a foot in the door is the main thing and can lead to lots more we all have to start at the bottom but if you join a good expanding company then the world is your oyster

    If you are looking at retail then aldi and lidl are the ones expanding, if you live near an amazon depot they are recruiting 

    Also DWP are taking on work coaches dont know if that is in all areas tthough
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2020
    Thanks again @janer1967

    I agree from what I have heard getting a foot in the door is the hardest part. I’m not ready to work right now as I’m still working with clinics on my mental health but once I get it a bit better I will consider doing what you say.

    I don’t have any work experience but I do have experience of meetings because before COVID I attended monthly meetings at the clinic I go to where staff and patients liaise with each other to suggest improvements. It was quite a professional atmosphere and I got paid £25 each time for it. I guess that would count a little bit as experience. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,196 Disability Gamechanger
    It would count to some degree but the best experience is working on a regular basis as it proves you have the commitment ang loyalty to hold down a paid job.

    Even if it is voluntary work which again may work to get your foot in the door and for some experience you dint have ti di it forever but being in work is the way to finding work easier
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2020
    Yes I agree with that definitely

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