This month I started working in a local supermarket- I'm not going to say which one purely for privacy reasons! My most recent appointment with my consultant, basically went a bit like, him telling me I should probably get a job to get some routine back to my life now that school is finished. Both me and him could see it in my blood sugar that I was getting lazy! However, I was in the process of a job application at that time anyway, because my parents and the rest of my family, and me, have been telling me to get a job- which is fair enough! I needed a job so I went and got one. It's a Christmas temp job with the chance they might extend my contract.
It wasn't handed to me on a plate obviously. I had to fill out an online form, an assessment/quiz and to go for two interviews before I actually got the job. This job application was the first big company that I have applied to and to be honest I didn't even think I would get past the online assessment part of it! So to be called for an interview was surprising, especially since I was actually beginning to forget that I had even applied because it took them over a month to get through all the applications as there were so many.
Of course, diabetes had to be mentioned. I took the opportunity to mention it at the interview stage, I wanted to get it out there and explain it all there and then and give the interviewer the opportunity to ask any questions they might have. In fact, I actually used my Type 1 Diabetes to my advantage...
Interviewer:"Why do you want to work for us?"
Me:"(Spouting random ramblings)...this company has a strong belief in equality in the work place, which is really good for me as I am actually a Type 1 Diabetic"
Nailed it! Got her attention even more, and it actually led to a more casual and open conversation which allowed me to relax slightly! However, I feel like I had to downplay my Type 1 slightly. I didn't want it to seem like I can't do anything. All of the phrases like "It can be physically demanding" "Do you have to eat at certain times?" etc. started flowing and I mostly answered with "No, I'll be fine. As long as I'm looking after it I'll be ok" And we all know diabetes isn't as simple as "looking after it". I did tell them that my blood sugar can go low and I might need to take an extra break if that happens, and that my blood sugar can go high etc. All in all the interviewer understood and made sure that she gave me hours that won't affect my diabetes too much. For example she didn't give me the job role that requires 5am starts because I said that might affect the timings of my insulin rates on my insulin pump.
Overall, I used diabetes to a slight advantage at this job interview, I also used examples from when I went to Parliament with JDRF and Diabetes UK to make me seem more interesting when asked certain questions! Although Type 1 Diabetes can seem like it's something that is hindering, it is also something that you can use to impress people sometimes. My message to the interviewer basically was yes, I have Type 1 Diabetes, is it going to stop me from getting a job? No. Is it going to hold me back in anything that I do? No. Here I am, an 18 year old with a potentially life-threatening disease, but I'm applying for this job and as serious as it is, I'll be alright.
The only issue with me handling a box isn't my diabetes but my lack of upper body strength.