I (f30) am a trafficking survivor and I am still facing barriers to finding employment years later
February 15,2023 at 10:29PM UTC
I was trafficked when I was nineteen. Once I finally got out, I always went back to s*x work because it was what I knew.
I finally left the industry for good in 2018. I have only several years of real work experience. I endured exploitative work environments with similarly abusive employers that re-triggered my trauma. I would leave after 10 months to a year or so. ***Please, please do not tell me or any trauma survivor it is a matter of needing thicker skin or being "too sensitive", etc. Work trauma is very real, and we need to talk about it, but I digress.
I started working as a remote Executive Assistant at the start of the pandemic. Yet again, it was another toxic work environment. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was quite literally reliving my trauma. This made me understand that my trauma was unresolved and pushed me into trauma therapy to heal.
I vowed to stick this job out for the sake of my resume. I also yearned for stability. I wanted to work for this person for years. I did it for as long as I could until health issues surfaced that could no longer be ignored. After, 2.5 years, I was forced to take time off to focus on my health. I was let go.
I am now 6 months into my job search. I have filled out hundreds of applications, had 20 interviews, and even made it to the final round a few times. No job offers. I know my resume is problematic. I never paint previous employers in a bad light. I simply say I am looking for work that is aligned with my values and stability. All of this is true. Literally, ALL I want is stability and a healthy work environment. I do not enjoy being a "job hopper". It is exhausting. I want to plant my roots and grow, not be re-potted every few years.
Therapy has been an incredibly transformative post-traumatic growth journey. I learned to develop boundaries and recognize and break unhealthy patterns. I am determined to create the life I deserve. I refuse to again settle for a toxic and exploitative working environment.
So I need help navigating this when most employers are not trauma-informed and are very quick to make judgments about a person based on their resume or lack of a degree. I would love to pursue a degree in psychology, however, I cannot do that without an income.
I rely heavily on my cover letters to demonstrate the value I could add. I always thoroughly prepare for interviews, research the company, and the panelists, and prepare questions for the end. I care and I believe it shows. But it is not enough.
I am tired.
What else can I do? I need help navigating this. Thank you.
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