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Jobseeking After Being Signed Off

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by nanon4370, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. nanon4370

    nanon4370 New commenter


    I'm sorry if this isn't the right place to post this - it's a query half way between jobs and workplace dilemma.

    I'm a secondary maths NQT - I completed my first term but, due to a number of reasons, (a combination of lack of school support and not looking after myself properly) was not well enough to go back to school in January and have been signed off with anxiety and depression for the entire term. I knew that I didn't want to try and struggle on in my current setting so handed my notice in before half term.

    I'm now getting to the stage where I feel well and hopeful enough to believe I could actually stand in front of a class again.
    I'm looking at applying for some primary jobs as I feel a massive contributor to my situation was that I was hating secondary teaching and should have done primary to start with! (I have significant volunteer primary experience). I know that getting a primary role in this situation is a long shot - I'm also looking at applying for primary TA jobs, so that I could build up work experience and gain a clear reference.

    What I'm really working around to asking is, should I/how should I address my long term absence in a job application? Should I mention it in the covering letter?
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You'll be asked the reason for leaving the last job so you'll have to be honest and take your chances.

    Honesty is always the best policy. Try to portray your change of heart as a plus. You made a mistake in opting for Secondary but you have come to your senses and that's a strength. Rather than persisting along the wrong career path.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As gdw points out above, from your service record on your application it will be obvious that there is a gap. Theo used to talk about such situations as 'the elephant in the room'. If not addressed recruiters may 'jump' to conclusions which are worse than the reality.

    So what you need to do is make a brief mention (and I suggest not too near the beginning) of your sickness leave. Provided it is true, you need to say something like, 'After a period of sick leave I am now fully recovered and have developed strategies which actually make me better able to cope with the job of a class teacher' type statement.

    You honestly own up that you've had a problem, but show that this is now a positive. It is possible at interview you might be asked specifics about any strategies so you do need to have developed some and be prepared to give an example.;)
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Why not try supply teaching for a bit first
  5. lapso77

    lapso77 New commenter

    I made a big mistake with my first school as an NQT and only completed half a term. The school knew the appointment wasn't right for either of us and let me go. I gathered my thoughts for the second half of term and landed a maternity contract for terms 2 & 3. That job was a single person dept ( HOD but without any TLR if you like) I completed NQT there and the experience allowed me to get a HOD job straight afterwards. That was a long time ago as I'm still HOD at that school many successful years on....but my point is, sometimes you just don't fit and getting out can be the start of something great. Good luck x
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Am I right in thinking that you are currently still employed but signed off sick? If so, I am sorry to add a note of caution, but you need to be careful about applying for jobs if you are off sick. You are allowed to apply, but going to an interview without permission is a very bad idea. It would probably be best for you to keep your Head in touch even before any reference requests come in. If the school recognises that you made a mistake starting there, they may be sympathetic, and would probably let you go at Easter.

    I hope you can fid a new role that suits you. Good luck.

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