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spirit

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I am 30 years old now. About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It sort of built up during high school, and hit its peak when I started college. I ended up dropping out of college because I was mentally breaking down. I was a high achiever before the illness, so this is very frustrating. A few years later, I took a different media course at the college. I ended up doing very well, but unfortunately it didn't lead to a job. Since then, I've been working a low wage job. My entire family is putting heavy pressure on me to get a stable, higher paying job. So, I've been teaching myself web development. My aim was to get a web development job with a local company. I am in extreme anxiety about the prospect of getting a more advanced job. I am afraid I won't meet their standards, and I'll get fired. I know many people here recommend freelancing as a side hustle, but I do really need a stable income right now. As far as a business, I have 0 ideas.

I honestly think a web development job would help me. I need a stable income and I'm in high pressure from my family. So far, I've created about 5 front-end projects for my portfolio, that I believe are of high quality. I'm not sure where to go from here. What do I need to know before I apply for a front-end development job? How do I know I'm ready for this next step?

I feel stuck and I need some help.
 

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jpl

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Is there only one company in your town that would hire a web developer? Otherwise I suggest you just apply for a job. When I was unemployed after graduating I wrote about 50 applications per month and did interviews whenever I got invited just to get experience (and eventually find a job that works for me). While finding a good job didn’t work out, mostly because I chose the wrong company to work at, going from there was fairly easy.
 

spirit

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Is there only one company in your town that would hire a web developer? Otherwise I suggest you just apply for a job. When I was unemployed after graduating I wrote about 50 applications per month and did interviews whenever I got invited just to get experience (and eventually find a job that works for me). While finding a good job didn’t work out, mostly because I chose the wrong company to work at, going from there was fairly easy.

There are a few places in my town that would hire a web developer. The thing is, how do I know I'm ready for a job? I don't want to be underprepared and then blow my chances with all the companies I apply to. Although, I have heard opinions that most of the knowledge needed is learned on the actual job.
 

Abrodos

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There are a few places in my town that would hire a web developer. The thing is, how do I know I'm ready for a job? I don't want to be underprepared and then blow my chances with all the companies I apply to. Although, I have heard opinions that most of the knowledge needed is learned on the actual job.
That's it. I think this fear of being unprepared has a lot to do with perfectionism and ultimately fear of the unknown, and the whole "waiting for all the traffic lights to be green before starting the car". I suffer it a lot too.
Try to tackle it as straight as possible, take action and get that job as soon as possible, even if you perform badly, even if it's a job not related to web dev. Just to have that new perspective and stability as soon as possible. And then, from that new place, analyze that path and steer or change if needed.
Also it's not a problem if you aren't ready for something, or if the job is too much. You can just share this concern with the employers, and if you keep getting skills, and have overall a positive attitude, the response will probably be positive as well.

And if it's not, that's not the end of the world either. I've let down several clients throughout the years, mostly delivering waaay later than I promised (big sculptures that took a year longer than expected). When analyzing, I learned about which projects were too much for me (the bigger pieces), and which others I was perfectly able to deliver (sets of several small pieces). So I've decided I'll stop doing the big ones and just focus on the ones that are easier for me. And some people have been let down along the way; but I've tried to be honest, even when things werent' going well, so as not to close any doors towards future projects.
 
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WestCoast

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Hi @spirit - first off, love the avatar.

Second, sorry if this is a basic or even insulting question, but, can you care for yourself?
I believe schizophrenia comes in various 'severities' - and I'm totally guessing yours is not totally off the charts?
Basically, do you need care/supervision in the day to day - or are you fully independent?

I ask because, if you don't need care, the answer is likely a lot different than if you are dependent on family/care to stay healthy and safe.
 

spirit

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That's it. I think this fear of being unprepared has a lot to do with perfectionism and ultimately fear of the unknown, and the whole "waiting for all the traffic lights to be green before starting the car". I suffer it a lot too.
Try to tackle it as straight as possible, take action and get that job as soon as possible, even if you perform badly, even if it's a job not related to web dev. Just to have that new perspective and stability as soon as possible. And then, from that new place, analyze that path and steer or change if needed.
Also it's not a problem if you aren't ready for something, or if the job is too much. You can just share this concern with the employers, and if you keep getting skills, and have overall a positive attitude, the response will probably be positive as well.

And if it's not, that's not the end of the world either. I've let down several clients throughout the years, mostly delivering waaay later than I promised (big sculptures that took a year longer than expected). When analyzing, I learned about which projects were too much for me (the bigger pieces), and which others I was perfectly able to deliver (sets of several small pieces). So I've decided I'll stop doing the big ones and just focus on the ones that are easier for me. And some people have been let down along the way; but I've tried to be honest, even when things werent' going well, so as not to close any doors towards future projects.

You are absolutely right. it's almost like binary thinking. Either everything goes perfectly, or it's a total failure. For some reason, I imagined employers to be strict, or even brutal. But the thought that I could talk to them about my progress and keep learning is extremely helpful.

Hi @spirit - first off, love the avatar.

Second, sorry if this is a basic or even insulting question, but, can you care for yourself?
I believe schizophrenia comes in various 'severities' - and I'm totally guessing yours is not totally off the charts?
Basically, do you need care/supervision in the day to day - or are you fully independent?

I ask because, if you don't need care, the answer is likely a lot different than if you are dependent on family/care to stay healthy and safe.

Thanks, one of my all-time favorite movies! :)

I can take care of myself. I still get some support from my family, but I can manage on my own. It was really bad when it first started. I was hospitalized and I needed a lot of help. I wasn't even allowed to drive a car for awhile. I had mostly what are called "negative symptoms", which is when certain functioning is gone. Although I did have some "positive symptoms" like delusions, and trouble concentrating.


I don't mind talking about it, it's just there's a lot of stigma attached to it. I can't go around telling everyone, but if someone knows and asks about it, I don't mind!
 

Knugs

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You are absolutely right. it's almost like binary thinking. Either everything goes perfectly, or it's a total failure. For some reason, I imagined employers to be strict, or even brutal. But the thought that I could talk to them about my progress and keep learning is extremely helpful.



Thanks, one of my all-time favorite movies! :)

I can take care of myself. I still get some support from my family, but I can manage on my own. It was really bad when it first started. I was hospitalized and I needed a lot of help. I wasn't even allowed to drive a car for awhile. I had mostly what are called "negative symptoms", which is when certain functioning is gone. Although I did have some "positive symptoms" like delusions, and trouble concentrating.


I don't mind talking about it, it's just there's a lot of stigma attached to it. I can't go around telling everyone, but if someone knows and asks about it, I don't mind!

Schizophrenia is on a wide spectrum. Some of my patients spend most of their times in hospitals and some of them have barely any symptoms and live a normal life. I think the most important part is that you take care of yourself above anything else in this world. A lot of the mindset here in TFL doesnt apply to you, because some of it is literally a risk to you. Your mental health is your #1 priority.

You shouldnt take major risks unless you feel you can handle the anxiety and stress succesfully. In general you need to reduce the amount of internal and external pressure that exaggerate these feelings. You dont need to start a business, you dont need to have an advanced job. It doesnt matter what people expect from you.

My advice to you is to do everything with the focus of protecting your mental health first. Maslows pyramid of needs. A low wage job secures your basic needs: food, shelter etc and that stable income is also important for a a lot of psychological needs too. In medicine, we hospitate through specialities to see what we like and can do. Thats something you can do too. Dont apply for a job yet but perhaps you can intern at a company and find out how ready your webdev skills really are. In addition, this will also give you the hands-on experience you will need and builds a stronger CV you can then apply with. These shadowing-periods dont need to be that long. 1 week or 3 months or whenever you get that job somewhere else. Its not a waste of time when you learn how to do it.

This is also one way of getting into a job. When they see you in action and like what you do/also get to know you, its so much easier to land a job if the company finances allow that. Most of the times its better than applying straight for a job.
 

Simon Angel

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I can understand how lonely you may feel with your diagnosis.

I'm 23 and I've also gone through psychosis and I may or may not be on the schizo spectrum.

Probably am, considering at one point I thought I was a messiah and also that the Matrix is sending secret agents to veer me off my life path. I've also thought myself into the biggest rabbit holes of "where do we come from" and I've come up with some gnarly theories. At one point, I constantly had SUPER unlikely coincidences happen on a DAILY basis. Like, some next-level shit I don't even want to remember experiencing, lol.

I've come to believe that coincidences happen ALL the time, but when you're in a healthy state of mind you don't really pay much attention to them.

There's a lot more to it, but my life basically felt like a Black Mirror episode and The Truman Show. Like you, I am also mentally unstable but have become more hardened over time. A lot of it had/has to do with the fact I also have Crohn's disease.

And I too faced pressure from my mother and family to work. I couldn't even last 2 days on most jobs, I would be "fine" during the day but then come home with a FEVER and feeling impending doom and a huge unwillingness to go back there the next day. This was so stressful to me, and nobody could understand why.

It all boiled down to me being afraid to let down my employers too. I thought I had to be perfect from day 1, never make any mistakes, always be confident, etc. I was making myself physically and mentally sick due to my mentality. Most people give 0 f*cks what they do much less how well they do it as long as they get paid.

I wish I could give you advice about that, but I never got over it. Instead, I started doing web design (cold calling) and eventually progressed into copywriting. I'm really good at what I do, so 99.9% of the time I hear praise. But trust me, if I get criticized for something, I still feel like shit, even though it's not personal. I attach myself and my worth to my work.

I'm earning some very good money now, finally! Like, 5x more than I even wanted to in order to live a life in which my food and bills were paid. And to be honest, I have a hot girlfriend, a handful of decent friends, and even though I may not feel it EVERY day, I am very confident in myself and have accepted my weirdness.

I've openly talked with my girlfriend about the fact that I probably am on the spectrum and have shared my experiences and the thoughts that I've had. Every single one of them. I remember expecting her to be freaked out and possibly wanting to end the relationship then and there. She listened to me carefully, and then, mostly unamused, said:

"You think too much. Can we go to the store now?"

As banal and simple as that may sound coming from her, it actually helped me a lot. Nowadays I literally force myself to not think too much.

Sure, there's probably a lot of stuff happening all over the world and outside of it that I'd LOVE to know, but then again, if it's going to make me incapable of living a normal life, would it really be worth it?

Kind of like Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull kind of scenario, when that chick died from "knowing everything" at the end, you know?

Also, one thing about having a mental illness and accepting the fact that you do makes you a LOT more normal than the majority of the world. I don't believe there's anyone alive that doesn't have a little crazy inside of them, whether that's OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, BPD, NPD, and etc. Most are just good at hiding it or are in denial about the fact that they have it.

I believe self-awareness is the most important thing. If I'm feeling like the world is about to end (for me) then I try and break the thought process by acknowledging it's probably depression due to my biochemistry on that day. If I get weird, compulsive thoughts, well, it's the OCD f*cking with me, who cares. If I keep seeing the same guy walking on the street looking at me over and over again for days, weeks, etc, then it's my brain + paranoia/possible schizophrenia that's overanalyzing the situation and associating a pattern with a movie I've seen that had this (such as The Truman Show).

Anyway, I'm sharing all of this in case you find it relatable and empowering in some way to your situation. And Fight Club is my favorite movie as well, hence the avatar!
 
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monfii

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I couldn't even last 2 days on most jobs, I would be "fine" during the day but then come home with a FEVER and feeling impending doom and a huge unwillingness to go back there the next day.
Happened to me too. In this regard, being able to work from home was a huge relief.

I had a panic attack at the idea to go to an office and "be stuck" there. It is some sort of claustrophobia, but mental. Super weird.

Luckily, i ll never go to an office ever in my life.
 

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