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No reasonable adjustments made in employment or interviews, says new reporter Nadia


Published on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Employment Family
Blogs Video Stories

No reasonable adjustments made in employment or interviews, says new reporter Nadia


Published on Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Employment

Family

Click below to watch an animated version of Nadia’s story about the challenges she has faced in life and employment.

By Nadia

In this piece, new reporter Nadia wrote her answers to the Project Lead’s questions about her background, her life and her challenges and triumphs.

Tom: Where do you come from?

Nadia: From the Cinderella fairy-tale – there’s a general analogy. I am from a conservative and culturally strict family background, where there have been high expectations of me and rules that were defined for me to follow. I love my family, but the dynamic is a bit rigid and I do not feel heard as it’s a very patriarchal set- up. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s like the three ugly stepsisters in Cinderella, but I have four brothers and as guys, culturally, what they say goes – without question. They are given a lot of power. Compared to them, I am not heard as much as I would like to be and feel a bit drowned out and not accepted for who I am or allowed to follow my own way.

Tom: What are the most important things that have happened in your life?

Nadia: When I ventured out on my own and got away from London, I felt I had space to begin to open myself up. I gained independence and then I began to feel heard, seen and valued and developed my own voice in London. I moved around a lot.

I had to try to cut through bureaucracy to challenge a system that does not accommodate my needs.

I have faced a lot of challenges though. I have had problems with homelessness and housing and had to try to cut through bureaucracy to challenge a system that does not accommodate my needs.

Image of woman named Nadia

Regarding work, no reasonable adjustments have been made for me in employment or in interviews. I’ve worked in a lot of places and still haven’t felt a sense of belonging. I experience stigma as I do not fit in a box.

The struggle, rejection and suffering I’ve gone through on this journey has given me an energy that I use to focus on my goals.

Then there are the expectations people have of me. I want to make those choices for myself and rely on internal resources and independence rather than making decisions to please everyone else externally but myself.

The struggle, rejection and suffering I’ve gone through on this journey has given me an energy that I use to focus on my goals.

Tom: How have these things made you who you are today?

Nadia: By challenging my comfort zone, I have become resilient and rely on myself alone. I’ve developed my own identity and am my own person. I think for myself. I challenge the family role that has been imposed on me and now act to how I believe I should act instead of how they believe I should act.

I have freedom.

Tom: What is your super-power?

Nadia: Insight; awareness; speaking my truth, which is about reaching my goals; I can see outside the box (there is a lot of grey outside the black and white approach that a lot of organisations have); I see possibility; I see beyond the confines of boundaries. I’m creative, a game changer, a challenger of the status quo. I have the freedom to be who I am.

Tom: Why are you telling your story?

Nadia: I want to be given a chance to work in London and train in a specific role. I am finding it difficult to get my foot in the door, to get on to my career path within the NHS, which will give me the beginning access and on route to one day get my dream job. I’ve got so much to bring to the table to do with psychological well-being. It would complement the programme.

Tom: Who will be listening?

The NHS – employer, disability services to support equality act,

Tom: Why are they listening?

Nadia: I’ve had a range of experiences in working and voluntary roles. I have been a service-user representative, a mentor in crisis houses, a client in different therapy groups, a mental health trainer and a participant in research on service access among carers during the pandemic. I’ve done a lot of work on myself in terms of personal development too.

There’s a gap within the NHS that I could fill as a professional with relevant working experience and lived experience of mental health problems. I could develop services and my contribution would complement the current psychological wellbeing model. I want to work in Camden/Islington and help develop psychological services.

I also want to improve access to employment and fight discrimination.

Tom: What I want for them to do as a result of hearing my story?

I want to be treated fairly in job interviews, which means making the interviews accessible for me.

Nadia: I want to be treated fairly in job interviews, which means making the interviews accessible for me so that I am given a fair chance like the average person.

I want to be asked interview questions in a different format, so that when I answer the interview questions, the employer has the capacity to see what I have to offer.

By default the system supports the average person who functions in a mainstream way and because I do not fit in that box, I am seen as having a disability. But I do see and feel things that others miss; so if that is what having a disability means, I will own it and say that because of my individual sensory processes I have a disability.

The challenge I am facing is that there are no reasonable adjustments being implemented for me in job interviews, which means I am not being given a chance and employers cannot see what I can bring to the table. I am lacking in opportunities. I want to be given a chance to train in a wellbeing role.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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