Dear Potential Employer: Here's Why You Should Hire Me, Depression, Anxiety and All
Dear Potential Employer,
Over the past couple of years, I have been more and more open about my ongoing battle with depression and anxiety. While I have had a number of people reach out to me to thank me for being so open, I have also had a lot of people ask me if I am worried a potential employer will see any of my posts and then have that impact whether or not I get a job. I have even had people I trust tell me to flat out stop. But I push back.
For one thing, I do not want to hold anything back from you. I am who I am. I am not ashamed of my illnesses.
For another thing, my depression and anxiety are big assets to you. Yes, you read that right. Here’s how:
1. I have hit rock bottom and have come back.
In my experience, when you deal with depression, you quickly become a very resilient person. When I face a setback, I do not let it hold me back — I use it to motivate me. I may make a mistake or hit a rough patch, but for every step back I take, I am going to take two more forward.
2. I am adaptable.
With depression, I am constantly learning on the fly. Maybe I am dealing with a new trigger, or I have an episode that comes out of nowhere. Each time this happens, I overcome it.
3. I have high emotional intelligence.
This has improved out of necessity: I am very aware of my own emotions and am constantly ensuring I have them in check. I am also cognizant of my surroundings, whether it is for potential triggers or issues or ways I am having an impact on people around me. There are numerous benefits to this in the workplace: I can make adjustments easily, can work well on a team, and am very self-aware of what I bring, and do not bring, to the workplace.
4. I care. A lot.
Put another way, I have trouble letting things go. This makes me the type of employee that will do whatever I can to help out a co-worker, even if that is staying late or working as hard as possible to do a good job. If I make a mistake, it stays with me. It marinades. I replay the situation over and over. I think about every way I could have done it better. I do not want to ever make that mistake again, even if it is something small.
5. I follow through.
As a result of some of what I mentioned before, I do not give up. That translates to me following through on a problem, assignment or project until it is completed.
6. I am driven.
For all of the reasons listed above, I have an uncanny drive. It isn’t just that I want to do a good job, it is that I need to do a good job. If I do not give you 100 percent, it will eat at me and I will be angry with myself.
I understand, potential future employer, how you may be worried about hiring someone with depression. But I hope this post has helped to open your eyes to the advantages there are to hiring me as someone with a mental health issue.
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Thinkstock photo via shironosov.