So sometime this week I had to complete an online test for a job role, LOVE doing these things (not). However this particular one annoyed me. I don't know if it's actually common to have these questions as I don't even do that many, or if this particular one was just incredibly discriminatory.
So I'm clicking along to things that sound like me etc. And I come across this:
How does one even define "easily depressed"? I don't get "easily" depressed. I get depressed and there is nothing easy about it. My triggers are not broken down into "easy" and "hard".
So I grumble about it and then move on, and I come across two more questions relating to depression. When I came across the fourth I was royally pissed off:
What is feeling blue? Honestly? When I am depressed there is nothing blue about it, in fact there is a complete absence of anything let alone colour. The whole focus around trying to determine (I'm assuming here now) whether someone is emotionally stable for the position is ridiculous. If you haven't experienced depression you are not likely to know how "easily" you get depressed. I'm going to go ahead and generalise but most people don't know what depression is, thus will never be able to answer that question properly. And if we go further into the question, what an employer defines as "easily" may not be what that individual defines as "easily". The test was embarrassingly discriminatory.
Why did you not ask any other questions about my health? Or does my physical health not have a large impact on how I do my job? Because I can tell you standing for longer than 10 minutes still hurts my left leg, but you didn't ask about that did you? Furthermore the large focus on depression as being the only illness that could possibly affect your job is laughable. If we take the mental health route we have anxiety, OCD or bipolar that could affect how you work. If we go down the route of other illnesses that could affect your ability in a job we cancer, broken bones and so on. But the main word is could.
It infuriates me that depression seemed to be so prominent in this test. Evidently stigma still exists around the illness. It's always interesting how people are labelled benefit scroungers when they are signed off with depression but then those who are trying to find work are met with things like this. Nevertheless this hasn't discouraged me, rather enraged me but quite frankly for me working in a company that wants to pry that deeply into my personal life about one issue, isn't one I want to work for. Whether I have a history or a present with mental illness is my own business and if that then affects my ability to do my job then me and my employer can discuss it. But you can try and ween me out by having a selection process that seems to single me out because I've suffered with something I've had no control over.
Have you come across anything similar in job searches? Please do share. And do know I plan to contact the company (who of course shall remain nameless) in the nicest way possible about how their test singles people out. In the mean time please continue to fight the stigma about mental health! I'm part of Time to Change, which supports talking about mental health to breakdown the stigma attached to it. Find the campaign website here: www.time-to-change.org.uk and you can follow on Twitter here: Time to Change
They are also currently running a brand new campaign in which they have loads of ways you can show your support and spark up a conversation about mental health, so you can splash it all over your Social Media sites! Find it here: new campaign
If you need help OR want more information on certain mental illnesses then visit Rethink or Mind and have a browse around and it will have everything you need!