Worried About Job References

Hi all,

After writing the last post, it occurred to me that the job offer could still be withdrawn as it’s reliant on references.

In my past two jobs, I’ve really struggled with anxiety. In the last one as a student careers ambassador, I only managed 8 hours before resigning. It was one 3-hour shift every week, after the first shift I had a sick day due to my anxiety. At this point, I’d already been taken off my anxiety medication and was struggling to cope, it was also making my IBS flare up. During this period I also had to take time off uni too.

In the job before that, I went to therapy as a last resort to help me overcome my anxiety in the hopes I would be able to keep the job (it was impeding my ability to do the job). As it turns out, I discovered I could finally fulfill my dream of going to uni, so I did.

So basically, I’m worried that the references will show this time off and the job offer will be withdrawn. I have been totally honest about my anxiety, that I was struggling but I’m calmer now that I’m back on medication. I also stated the importance of working in a place I feel comfortable in. However, I’m now very worried the job will be taken away from me.

I got an email back from my previous boss when I gave her a heads up that they would be asking for a reference, she said that she would provide one, however, she couldn’t go into any detail about my level of work or skills as I only worked for around 3 hours, called in sick, and then resigned, and that after this I should look for another reference. That really hurt. I did 8 hours in total: 1x 3-hour shift, sick the next week due to anxiety/IBS, 1x 3-hour shift, 1x 2-hour shift (we were meant to be doing the third hour on Friday but it was canceled). So naturally, I’m now very worried. I didn’t feel like I could tell her I’d actually worked more than that as 8 hours is still a small amount of time. I quit about two weeks before the position was meant to come to an end anyway, and for two of the shifts, she wasn’t in the office. You can see that our accounts of the situation do not add up. I’m hoping there’s some evidence I was there for longer – after all, I was paid for the correct amount of hours – and therefore the reference will reflect this.

Do you see why I’m worried? This was a period 1 month after I came off my anxiety medication cold-turkey on the doctors’ orders because it may be affecting my night-time seizures. I had to cope with it any way I could, and yes, it was affecting my everyday life. Now I’m worried that my history with anxiety in both jobs will prevent me from getting this one at Dove House, which is an excellent opportunity for me. They know about my anxiety there, I’ve been open about it, however, what if the references come back bad and they pull the offer without letting me explain myself? I feel like I’ve done everything to combat my anxiety. This last year has been one long struggle that I finally thought I was winning, I don’t want it to cost me another job.


Do you have any advice?


Amy x


job references

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