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Centrelink/ jobsearch/ general money woes...

Hi guys,

I was going to do an update in my other thread, but I have so much overwhelming me at the moment that it'd probably be too long. Someone suggested I post this current situation here, as a few people might be able to relate! 

I'm just honestly so sick of Centrelink + having to go through jobsearch. I wouldn't need to be on jobsearch usually (as I'm in no way interested or capable in working right now) but I need to as I'm part-time in uni.

Every single appointment is exactly the same. They book a half-an-hour timeslot for me but it just takes one minute:
"So, remind me again why you're not working for the dole?"
"Because I'm at uni, and that's not required."
"If you're at uni, then why are you here? Are you looking for part-time work?"
"I'm here because I now have to do uni part time. I am struggling with my mental health."
"Ah, everyone struggles sometimes! We just learn to deal with it! Get yourself a job, something like working in fast-food, you'll be better in no time and in the end you'll be wondering what you were worried about. Also, you're going to need experience or else your degree will become useless'.

It's so disheartening! For starters... no experience?! I see what they mean, but I plan on actually studying further into psych (Masters/ PhD) so I doubt I'll need the fast food experience they're suggesting... plus I'm volunteering most of my time so it's not like I'm not doing anything! Do they not believe I'll get into further education? One person told me 'I was going to do Masters! It's really hard, not many people get through'. Um... thanks?

I'm completely sick of them dismissing my mental health, too. Like, if I was dealing with 'what everyone else struggles with' I wouldn't have had to drop from full-time uni, would I? I hate that I have to do part-time, but it was for the benefit of my health and everyone makes it sound like I just did it because I'm lazy! 

At the moment I'm thinking about making an appointment with my GP and seeing what he thinks... I'm pretty sure there's a forum where you can be exempt from jobsearch due to medical conditions, but I'm not sure how this works as clearly no one I've talked to thinks mental illness is a medical condition! Smiley Very Happy (sarcasm smiley, ahah).

I'm so stressed out about money in general right now. I feel like I'm in a constant cycle of... no money = need a job, can't get a job because poor mental health, poor mental health because I have no money and can't afford the treatment I need. Ugh, it's affecting so much. I feel like such a bad person; someone I know with shared they were going to private inpatient treatment, and my first thought was 'wow, I wish I could be able to afford that'. It's disgusting! 

It's affecting so much more than mental health... I've had problems with my wisdom teeth for about three years but I absolutely can't afford to see a dentist right now Smiley Sad. Also, this is far more superficial, but I'm sick of not being able to buy clothes because I feel like everything good quality is too expensive. I love to buy second-hand but searching through everything takes so much out of me lol.

I feel so pathetic. It's not like I'm totally poor or anything (my family always says never let the bank account drop below a comfortable amount in case of a total emergency), but a majority of my centrelink payments I share with my Mum so she can support the household (my Mum works but the last two months have been particularly hard since her boss went away on holidays, leaving her on unpaid leave. Centrelink screwed her over when she tried to apply for support Smiley Frustrated). I feel like the least I can do is just get over myself and contribute something. My brother doesn't work either but at least he makes money selling things online.

At the same time, though, it's so unfair and inhumane that some people only want you to heal because they require you to be useful to society. I've looked into myself and I feel like no one can ever get better because they're being forced to (e.g. feeling they need to be able to improve to work, thus contribute to society). All this does is help lower self-esteem which makes someone's mental health worse! I need to be able to get better for myself, because this is my life, after all. The problem is that I've been feeling so stuck that I don't know how.


Re: Centrelink/ jobsearch/ general money woes...

Hey @Hozzles


I'm so sorry to hear that your situation isn't good right now. That sucks! The way that they talk to you and dismiss you and your situation so easily Smiley Sad It must be super frustrating for you!


I'm guessing you're studying a Psych degree right now? I'm currently starting one and have met with a careers advisor on campus to have a chat. Getting paid work as an undergraduate is really difficult because of things like confidentiality and the registration needed to actually practice as a psychologist. I was told to try and just do any kind of paid work I can, volunteer more with mental health-related projects and maybe try to apply for a part-time admin or receptionist job at a clinic. 


As well as paid work, volunteering and other things are really important to employers these days too and show a broader scope of what you can achieve. So good on you for spending lots of time volunteering! Heart I also definitely agree in that I think a chat with your GP would be beneficial for you. Maybe he'll have some more advice.


I can understand it must be really frustrating and disheartening when you're stuck in a bad cycle that seems never-ending. I believe in you. You'll find what's right for you. If you haven't already, try to use your uni/college's resources to the best of your ability. In general though, as hard as it can be sometimes, block out those who don't believe in you and those who dismiss you and underestimate you. The fact that you're even trying to get a job right now is an achievement and something you should be proud of. Heal for you and for nothing/nobody else. It's something that makes you feel better and can uplift you. Heart



Re: Centrelink/ jobsearch/ general money woes...

Hey HozzlesSmiley Very Happy !


Im not all familiar with the full story of whats going on, but going off this post I can tell you one thing for sure. Im proud of you for pushing yourself despite the rejections and the obstacles and having the drive and motivation that you do after being so frustrated. You should be proud of yourself for placing your family ahead of your needs in these cases and being a trooper that keeps on goin !


I dont have much experience or advice I can give directly to your problem, but Im happy you're getting your thoughts out there and If I could leave you with one piece of advice, is to make sure you find time for yourself during all this. I know it can be hard since you might have to grind uni and job searching, but find time to do things you enjoy or something you find relaxing and just give yourself time to ease of mind and wind back.


Also I think its a great idea to talk to your GP and ask for suggestions and feedback !


Heres a parrot to hopefully make your day a little better, Best of luck and keep us updated Smiley Happy



Re: Centrelink/ jobsearch/ general money woes...

Thanks guys. Heart

I can't really talk to the career's advisor because it'd probably be useless. I live about two hours from campus (I commute). I've tried in the past to make an online appointment, but I got too anxious about being on the phone so I cancelled it. I don't feel like I can work at any capacity right now. As I'm taking every opportunity to get experience through MH volunteering, I think it's really frustrating for them to say that my degree will become useless. I'm at two organisations, and am looking at a placement somewhere. I was supposed to volunteer in data collection but the person never emailed me back, which makes me feel useless Smiley Mad. I'd probably like to do admin, but I literally can't answer the phone/ make phone calls rn, so... Smiley LOL Really, I'm not at all trying to get a job, jobsearch is just required for my payments. Since uni is part-time I can't be on youth allowance. 

I'm honestly sick that everything in life revolves around working. I want to do things I'm passionate about and not be stuck in a job I hate just because I have to. If I'm being honest, I volunteer because I love to do it and it's important to me, not because I think it will look good on my resume. Unfortunately, I just have to grow up because life doesn't work like that.

I'm definitely going to ask my GP if he can write an exemption, or something. This money stress isn't the best for my health. But also, next time I see my GP I'm going to have to spend more money, as he said if my current meds aren't working we're going to have to find a psychiatrist (which, of course, costs money).

Sorry for somewhat countering everyone's attempts to make me feel better, I just feel really low right now. But thanks for the parrot, hehehe. Heart


Re: Centrelink/ jobsearch/ general money woes...

Hey @Hozzles , 


I really hear your frustration about your experiences with Centrelink, the JobSearch people and attitudes to work in general, I know a lot of people who've been in a similar situation to you, and that merry-go-round of job search appointments and reporting, especially if the people you're seeing aren't especially helpful, can be really demoralizing.  It's really disappointing to hear that you've been told that your degree will become useless- it must have felt disheartening to hear that. I don't think that is true at all, and there is so much value in the volunteer experience that you're gaining and what you're studying! 


It sounds like you're being really proactive in looking for opportunities to volunteer and build up your skill-sets as well as doing placements, and speaking from what I've seen of what you've done here at ReachOut as a mod you clearly have  a HUGE amount to offer any organisation. And yes, sometimes in life we all have to do jobs, or have aspects of jobs that we don't love, but I really do believe that we can find valuable work that enriches our lives as well as earns us a living. 


I hope you're feeling okay today - and in the spirit of funny animal GIFs, I just had to add this one


Image result for funny seal gif


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