A new job has me feeling anxious.

I’m finally in a place health-wise where I can take on a little more. I’ve been looking for a second job to work nights and weekends, and I’ve found one!

I had a job interview Monday and was hired on the spot. I will be working at an arts and crafts store starting in July. I’m very excited!

But also nervous. When you start a new job, you usually don’t know who you’ll be working with. I hope my supervisor and coworkers are nice.

I always feel like I have so much to hide when I first meet people. I’m an atheist with schizoaffective disorder.

I’ve worked in the mental health field for the past seventeen years, so when I talk about having schizoaffective disorder, for the most part, my coworkers and supervisors have been understanding. 

Working outside of mental health, I feel like people will doubt my abilities if I come right out with it, so I’m going to keep it on a need-to-know basis. I don’t anticipate any problems as I’ve been doing really well, but if it becomes an issue I will be honest.

Then there’s the atheism. I just don’t talk about it. I’m just hoping I don’t have to tolerate too much religion in the workplace like I sometimes do at my current job. (At least I’m not working at Hobby Lobby!)

It might seem a little surprising, but where I live, I would rather tell people that I’m mentally ill than an atheist. People seem to be more understanding about schizoaffective disorder because it’s obviously not a choice.

In my dream world, I would become so comfortable at the arts and crafts store that I can truly be myself, but in reality, I am going in with my guard up.

Any words of advice?

On a side note…one huge perk to my new job is the thirty percent employee discount! Imagine how much I will save on all the art supplies I buy!


  1. John Morales says

    I think it’s quite normal to be a bit apprehensive about starting a new position in a new place.

    Good luck.

  2. Alan G. Humphrey says

    My atheism was obviously not a choice. I could no more choose to worship Jesus or Yahweh than I could choose to worship Aten, Toci, or Freyja. If anyone asks how I chose atheism I just ask them how they did not choose Atenism, the first well documented monotheistic religion.

  3. Katydid says

    CONGRATS, a job at an arts-and-crafts store sounds like the perfect job for you. Remind yourself that you’re an artist and you know what you’re doing when it comes to picking out supplies. If someone asks you a question, you’ll be able to answer with confidence.

    Are you working for a small store or a large one? Are there any small arts & crafts stores still around? 30 years ago when I wanted to try my hand at calligraphy, malls (remember those?) had small arts stores where you could just walk in and ask the owner for advice. Those are long gone. I don’t shop at Hobby Lobby either. Like every store these days, their competitor is hit-and-miss if you need help. You can be the bright spot in someone’s day for knowing what they need and where it is!

    It’s interesting that you said you’d rather disclose your mental state than your atheism. I was going to advise you not to disclose your mental state because nobody you work with needs to know that. I’m pretty sure you live in an at-will state which means your boss can fire you for any reason, and a lot of people hear “mental illness” and their minds go to “is going to come to work with a gun and kill everyone”. Also, you’d be othering yourself at the start in a job where you want to fit in. Everyone has something about them that makes them different, but many people are too insecure to handle others’ differences. Along those lines, don’t bring up your atheism at the start, either. Just be pleasant and I’m sure your new coworkers will love you.

    You are going to be GREAT at this new job!

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