How do I go the extra mile? Need help please!


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I'm starting school again in the fall and am going to be studying accounting. I fear being able to get a job when I graduate though. I am bipolar and was undiagnosed for years. Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental illness. For me the mania manifested itself in extreme insomnia and I would only sleep 20 hours or less a week. This made keeping a job impossible. I also failed out of college. I went ten years without a job. Luckily I had a family that supported me. Most people would have become homeless, and in fact most homeless people have a severe mental illness.

Now I am properly medicated. Bipolar disorder is actually the easiest mental illness to treat with medication. It can effectively be cured. So now I am going back to school this fall.

My question is how do I go the extra mile to help me overcome being unemployed for ten years? I'm willing to bet no one will want to hire me because of this. I am willing to work my ass off. What can I do as I go through college that will give me a leg up? What should I study on my own to make myself more valuable to an employer? What skills should I acquire? Would going to graduate school be a good way to give me an advantage? If so what is more valuable, an MBA or a masters in accounting?

Also, how do I explain my lack of work experience? Do I admit to being bipolar and what it did to me? I know that it is illegal for someone to discriminate against me because of this but they could do so and get away with it really.

I would really appreciate any help and guidance you guys can give me.
 
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I think it's great that you're asking these questions now instead of after graduation.

When new college graduates get their first jobs after they graduate, what they did before is not as much of an issue, since their work training is considered to have started during college. Potential employers are more interested in what they did related to their degrees during college (i.e. internships).

You can always say that you were freelancing in a profession unrelated to accounting. See if you can find any accounting-related internships or positions during college so you can emphasize this on your after-college job hunt.

I'd suggest directing your questions to the career counselors at your college. They can provide more specific answers for your situation.
 
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HDN

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Well, if you want to hear my case out. I'm diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia (later with schizo-affective which is manic with schizophrenia) since 2007 and I had two pyschosis which disabled me from being to work and I stayed at home for one year and a half. I was also depressed. But I never gave up even if it was really hard. Now, I'm a Manager of Finance working in a big association with flexible schedule and a good salary.

My advice to you is to take your medication and go to therapy if necessary. Since you're willing to work hard, I find that's really good to start. Also, if you're determined and not scared of failure, you should knock on every door for opportunity and go for it all the way. I think graduate school is good but try to figure out what you want to do with graduate school. Also, try to find accounting experience. If you don't have any experiences, start small such as a part-time bookkeeping position while you study graduate school.

I wish you good luck!!
 

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