After leaving University in 1997 I was employed for 10 years before finally being forced to take a sabbatical due to
workplace bullying damaging my mental health. I took the time out to write a book, and the success of that one has
prompted me to write a second one, which is due out soon.
It wasn't my planned career goal. I have been trying for many years now to re-enter the workplace and I would
be willing to do anything, from data input to development to straightforward admin; and most people won't even look
at my CV - perhaps because I have reached that magic age (40) where long-term unemployment becomes an inevitability.
I hardly ever receive an acknowledgement for my CV, but have noticed some small recognition after someone suggested
that I write a more conversational resume
to make it stand out. I try
to maintain an active interest in the latest technology and often indulge in small projects to keep my programming edge,
but beggers truly can't be choosers, and I'd settle for any employment.
Because I left my last job, I get no Job Seekers Allowance, and we get a token £5 reduction in our £100+ council
tax. Also because my wife works we get little support from anyone - even though, despite working for a major multinational
bank and is the recognised top performing employee for this region, she gets paid peanuts.
I have written to every benefits agency I can think of, and have even tried my MP (Andrew Lansley) but they won't/can't help.
Its almost as if the Government is happy to take money off people but when it comes to dispensing support they all turn their
I am overwhelmed with guilt as my parents, both pensioners, help us with our rent each month to the tune of £500 (our rent is
£700, we can't afford to move or put our stuff into storage so we're in a no-win situation); all we get is £100 in benefits and we make
up the balance meaning that we often go to bed hungry.
So good luck to anyone who thinks we live in a society that cares for its down-trodden citizens. Once you're on the road to
penury there is little chance of escape.