Work.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Work.

Work.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Work.

“If you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

― Conan O’Brien

“Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”

― Gustave Flaubert

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

― Stephen Hawking

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

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Work.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Work.

worker resting

Work.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”

― Gustave Flaubert

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

― Anonymous

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”

― Thomas A. Edison

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

counselorssoapbox.com posts you read the most

Here are the top 10 mental health posts to date.

By David Joel Miller.

David

1. How much should you tell a therapist?         

2. Are you Hyperthymic?    

3. Do people really forget what happened when drinking? – Blackouts

4. Why can’t we forget the painful past?                 

5. Do therapists have to report a crime?                    

6. Is nicotine a stimulant or a depressant?     

7. What is the difference between Depression and Major Depressive Disorder?      

8. Levels or types of Borderline Personality Disorder        

9. Six ways to recover from Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD         

10. Which border is Borderline Intellectual Functioning on?         

Thanks for all the support and encouragement you have shown for counselorssoapbox.com I appreciate all of you who read this blog. I especially want to thank those who leave comments and likes.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Can you get a job if you are a felon? 6 tips

By David Joel Miller.

Are there jobs for felons and ex-felons?

Jobs after prison

Jobs after prison.

Just because you have been to prison does not exclude you from getting a job. I know lots of people on parole get discouraged and give up looking because they feel that no one will hire them with a serious crime on their record.

The truth is that many people with a jail or prison record do get jobs, but having that record may make it harder to find work.

Here are some suggestions for finding a job if you have a less than perfect past.

1. Start your job search where you have the best chances.

There are government programs that offer tax incentives to companies who hire people on parole or with a history of incarceration. They save money on their taxes by taking a chance on you.

These programs come and go but if you are on parole ask your agent about these programs. Some of these jobs are difficult grungy work, they have high turnover. If you really want to work again you need to prove yourself. Work on this kind of job for a while, do good work even if the conditions and pay are not so good and you have a reference that might help you land a better job.

2. The connection between your crime and the job you are applying for.

If you were convicted of embezzlement or theft you aren’t going to get a job as a head cashier. Companies often take out insurance (called a bond or bonding) on employees that handle cash or valuable merchandise. If you are convicted of stealing you probably will not get a job handling valuable things but you can get a job doing construction or physical labor.

If you were arrested for abusing a child or domestic violence forget working around women and children. That will not keep you out of many other jobs.

These days’ drug convictions are less of a problem than they used to be. If some companies did not hire people with drug convictions on their record they would have no employees. Just don’t expect to work in a pharmacy or a job where you would be handling drugs as part of the job.

3. Do something to show you are changing.

Start doing positive things and show that you want a new crime-free life. This is hard when you are first starting out but do what you can. Even though you may have paid your “debt to society” the prospective employer is thinking to themselves will this guy do it again? How much of a chance am I taking?

Besides doing this for the job consider doing this for yourself. Do good things and you become a good person. Do bad, selfish things and you – Well you get the idea.

If you had a drug crime go to A.A. or N.A. Consider joining or attending a religious group in the faith of your choice. When possible do volunteer work. Also, make those amends.

Consider going back to school or getting some vocational training. Completing a GED or a college degree says that you are willing to make some effort to improve yourself.

It does not look good to a prospective employer if you are ducking your child support payments and you drive on a suspended license. Get that wreckage of the past cleaned up even if that means working a really crummy job to get those fines and fees paid off.

4. Be honest on your application but do take every opportunity to be positive and explain your situation.

That question on the application – you know the one I mean. “Have you ever been convicted of a —?” Read it carefully. If the question asks for felonies do not include all the misdemeanors and parking tickets. If it asks about misdemeanors include them.

When possible put down something like “Will explain in interview.” Then make sure you have a good explanation. If you were convicted of a drug crime the prospective employer would like to hear you completed a drug treatment program and have the certificate to prove it. If there was an assault did you do the anger management or batters class you were required to do? Have you learned something from this experience and have you changed? Or are you still blaming your ex and talking about why your prison stretch is all someone else’s fault?

5. Go to the interview looking like a professional, not a prisoner.

Cover up tattoos and consider getting them removed. Avoid anything that looks gang related. The customary recommendation is to dress a little better than you would dress if you got the job. So if you are applying to work on a hog farm a suit may not be needed but do not come in for the interview looking like one of the pigs.

Have a resume if that is appropriate or a master job application. Practice interviewing. Doing well in the interview is a skill just like the other skills you need to do the work if you want to get the job.

6. If you do not get the job do not give up or get discouraged.

There are lots of people out there going for interviews. Many of them do not have a prison record. Yes, they have an advantage, but if you don’t get the job it may well not be your record that is holding you back. Do not take it personally or blame the system. Keep working on yourself and on your job skills.

I know it is hard, but many people with a criminal conviction on their records do get jobs if they are willing to do the footwork. Yes, it is difficult and it takes time.

Don’t expect miracles or overnight success. You lost a lot of time while you were locked up. You may be 40 but you can still be starting out alongside some twenty-year-olds. Do not expect to move up overnight. But if you keep on the path, then recovery and a happy life are possible no matter where you have been.

The alternative to going through the process of change and doing the hard work is to end up back in prison. Unfortunately, the system makes going back easier for most than the alternative of staying out. Some people do make it and recover. Do you want to be one of the ones who recover?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

If you’re mentally ill can you work? What profession or job for the mentally ill?

By David Joel Miller.

Can the mentally ill find a meaningful career?

Work, Jobs & the Mentally Ill

Work, Jobs & the Mentally Ill

Lots of people with mental illness work full-time jobs and often these are in responsible positions, not just minimum wage jobs. How does someone in mental health recovery find a job in which they can be successful?

We used to think there were two kinds of people, the normal ones, and those others, the mentally ill. We have found that this is just not true. In the course of a lifetime, most people will experience a mental or emotional problem that would benefit from counseling. Some of these are serious and persistent mental illnesses and some are milder but even the most seriously mentally ill can get better, and we call this improvement, at least in my book, recovery.

Lots of people with a diagnosed mental illness can and do work. Don’t let anyone sell you the idea that once you get a diagnosis, your life is over and from now on some government person will need to run your life. You can develop the recovered life that is right for you.

People with a history of substance abuse issues can and do recover also. So do those with multiple challenges. If you have a history of arrest and incarceration do not give up. People with felonies on their records do recover and get their life back on track. You can work again. More on that in a future post.

What factor is most likely to result in a person who has had an episode of mental illness symptoms being able to work again?

It is all about the job fit.

The most important factor is not the presence or absence of a mental illness, but how do this person’s interest and abilities match up with the job regardless of their mental health challenges. The interaction between the job and that person’s mental illness is secondary.

Someone who is shy is not likely to enjoy a job in which they need to interact with lots of people directly. Occasionally there is a shy person who is great as an on-stage entertainer even when they are shy off stage and in small groups. Being shy may interfere with the ability to enjoy the job but a moderately shy person may take the job anyway.

If that person’s shyness has crossed the boundary and has become a diagnosable anxiety disorder that person may not simply dislike the job but may dread it so much that they throw up each day when getting ready to leave for work. They may have anxiety attacks on the job and spend all day in the bathroom or stop showing up for work altogether.

This is not the right job for them! This does not mean they can’t find a job that is a good fit. They also may be able to work on this shy anxiety problem they have so that the range of jobs they would enjoy expands.

Some people are very social. They like being around others. They crave the interaction and the attention of others. That person may be great in sales. They could do well selling real estate, jewelry, furniture or cars. That same person, say they are a recovering alcoholic would be miserable working in a bar or selling alcoholic beverages. Every day at work would be a relapse risk for that recovering person.

Working again after an episode of mental illness requires learning to manage your symptoms, finding a job that is a good fit for you and having a support system on and off the job that wants you to succeed.

Yes, there are plenty of people with Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder and the like who have good, responsible jobs. Don’t let anyone tell you that recovery is not possible. It is! You need to decide for yourself what your recovery will look like and take an active role in creating that future.

Best wishes for creating your happy life. whatever that may mean to you.

Tomorrow we talk about “so you have been convicted of a crime, you will never get a job again right?” Not so. There is recovery after all sorts of things.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Finding your perfect job

By David Joel Miller.

What kind of job would you most like to do?

Work, Jobs & Careers

Work, Jobs & Careers

Looking for work in the best of times can be frustrating; in times of high unemployment, this becomes a horrific task.

There are some things that can help you do better at finding that job and result in a job you might truly enjoy showing up at.

 

Are you looking for a job doing anything?

You are in the largest possible group of job seekers. Look in the newspaper – under “anything” do you see any jobs listed for people to do “anything?” I don’t see any. If you really want to find a job you need to get a whole lot more specific.

How do you narrow your search and increase the chances of finding a job?

Consider getting help from a career counselor. Career counselors help people find jobs they also help you plan careers. In many areas, Professional Counselors or Clinical Counselors are trained in job placement in addition to their other duties. I do some of this work, especially when seeing co-occurring disorder clients. If you can afford to pay for career counseling think of it as an investment in your financial and emotional future.

If you can’t pay for career help right now, look for online sources, many of which are free. Also, investigate the services of governmental agencies and nonprofits in your area. Some very good suggestions can be found at those free services.

There is a difference between jobs and careers. One puts money in the bank now and pays for food but it may not lead anywhere. A career should have a path that takes you to more responsible and better-paying duties. One is not automatically better than the other though I encourage clients to think in terms of careers.

For today you may need a job to keep the bills played but eventually what career will you really want to do and how will you get there?

One job selection theory (Holland Self-directed search) thinks of jobs in terms of 6 basic functions. Figure out which type of job you would like, maybe a combination of two or three and then look for a job that uses those skills you have or would like to develop.

Say you like working with your hands. You might get a gardening job working outside mowing lawns, or you might become a trained landscape designer. More training, more pay, but it may still involve the same field. Or, still working with your hands, you might get trained as a diesel or aircraft mechanic.

Which gets paid more? The guy who puts tires on your car or the guy who fixes a jet engine? More specialized training and you get more money.

Another skill is working with people. You can work in fast food and say “Want fries with that?” or you can get a master’s degree and become a therapist. Either way, you work with people, but one pays more than the other.

So think about the various jobs you have had, which did you like best? Then look for ways you could do that sort of work but get a degree or advanced training and advance to having a career.

There are things that get in your way when you are looking for a job. What if you have a mental illness or a history of substance abuse? What if you have been convicted of a felony?

Coming up soon in this jobs-as-a-way-to-create-your-happy-life series are posts about those two problems.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.