Moving Into The Workplace As a Survivor And Graduate
Survivors of childhood abuse will often find it difficult to secure and maintain employment. According to one study analysed by The Guardian, up to 50% of childhood abuse survivors reported this particular difficulty. As a survivor and graduate, the prospect of employment can seem even more difficult given the higher complexity in many graduate careers and the added transition from higher education into the workplace. For those diagnosed with PTSD and similar conditions, the changes can seem insurmountable. A few principles can help to smooth over this change and kick start your career.
Money management is key
Finding your own comfortable space and routine and then being able to stick to it is important to maintaining your psychological well being and progressing in your career. Unfortunately, with work comes the added pressures of money. When added to the relative burden of student debt, money can quickly become a leading cause of stress and indeed, The Times Higher Education supplement found that up to 38% of students worry about money. The best way to remain financially secure and avoid undue stress is to be pragmatic. Deal with your commitments early and in as great amount as possible. Self employed people should make sure they budget for student loan contributions. Create a budget and stick to it, treating credit and the like only as a genuine emergency tool.
Adapting to a new environments
Survivors of childhood abuse will often have difficulty in overcoming new situations. When conditions such as PTSD are present, these changes become especially difficult. Finding a way to negotiate a new environment will therefore be key. The most important thing to do is establish what triggers you have, as Mind outline. With help from your support network, establish what it is that can affect you, and develop coping mechanisms – just as you would for anywhere else. If you feel safe to do so, discuss your situation with your employers; there may be a more receptive response today, as opposed to in the past, given the move towards sharing.
Continue with support
Work can dominate your life. Whether that’s due to tough targets, or a professional ambition to do more, countless people have lost track of their day to day lives. For survivors, this can mean losing track of support networks and feeling alone. When you negotiate with your employer for your first contract, make sure whatever you agree to is on your terms. Your psychological well being and recovery is important, even when a career is your ultimate goal. Keep in touch with your support networks and most crucially, make sure to look after yourself.
Heading into new employment can be a scary time for anyone. For those dealing with the effects of having survived childhood abuse, these problems can be amplified. The trick to doing well is to treat work like any new experience. Get as comfortable with yourself as you can be, eliminate unnecessary stress, and take it slow.