Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Ready for a job

First time poster, long time lurker!
Our son is 26, diagnosed at 21. After 5 very hard years of many different meds, he was prescribed Clozaril a few months ago and has seen a big improvement in both positive and negative symptoms. He also has finally agreed to therapy, which brings me to my question.
His therapist feels he would benefit greatly from a part time job. However, he hasn’t been well enough to work in many years so he has very little work experience and a huge gap in his employment record.
Does anyone here have any ideas on a type of job that he could do part time? He interviewed with two pizza shops but both only want full time workers. He has applied to at least 10 other places but no one got back to him. I am wondering if it is because he hasn’t worked in 5 years.


Hello @Hanginginthere. I haven’t posted in a long time but your post stood out to me. Our paths are almost identical.

I wonder if it would be safer to start with part time volunteer work or work with an agency that provides supported employment services?

Our children are very delicate.


My son has had a very uneven work history and has been unemployed for at least eight of the past ten years. We moved recently and he is having no problems finding job offers in the fast food sector. Our city is currently desperate for service employees. He is supposed to start a new job this week (the third one since we moved here). I would so much rather he not work and just concentrate on taking care of himself, but he is repeating a pattern. Get employment (which is consistently his goal in life), somehow keep it together enough to work, get paycheck, buy cannabis, lose all composure, lose job.

Finding work has a lot to do with the job market in your area I believe. Every place here seems to want to work you as much as possible, but won’t hire full-time because of the benefits. (I don’t know the particulars, but for example he has not been given health insurance with these jobs.)

That’s wonderful that you son is having great results with the meds. My son says he enjoys working in fast food because it is just difficult enough that he has to pay attention, but obviously does not require a lot of mental effort. I hope your son finds something that works for both of you and that he continues on his path of recovery.


Perhaps he can work part time looking after animals like dogs or cats . There is an app called ROVER and he can choose what job to take on . There is also Uber eats , if he drives he can pick food up and deliver it , that way he doesn’t interact with too many people . If he is not ready then He could learn to buy and sells items on Amazon let’s say . Whatever he decides he has to be gradual and comfortable with it .


Thank you all for the great advice.
I worry that this is all too fast. We have all been to hell and back for 5 years and the peace and quiet of the past two months has been hard earned.
I also worry once he has his own money he will relapse with drinking after being sober for over a year as @steadfast mentioned.
Yes his situation and he are both very fragile.
I will keep you all posted and thank you so much for your kind responses.
Also, I like the idea of Ubereats or dogwalking but his therapist wants him to try a job with a fixed schedule.


I wonder if something training or educational-based could substitute for a job. It’s like work in that you have to complete assignments, you just don’t get paid money. Instead you make yourself enabled for future employment.

There is minimal social complexity – you just take instruction from a trainer/educator and hopefully have some interaction with peer learners.

Probably the best way is to work backwards: find out what the person wants to do. The book Designing Your Life might be useful if the family member does not have a clear idea about what they want to do.

Identify job titles and find out what you have to do to get such a job and that should point to what training a person needs.

Volunteering would fit in here also in that a person volunteers doing the target job in order to build up a resume.

1 Like

I can understand the therapist wanting a fixed schedule to help him organize his days. Uber and Ubereats allow people to set their own schedule, your family member could work a fixed schedule and do either Uber or Ubereats. The flex schedule worked better for my son as he is able to work when he is having a better day and not work when his day isn’t going as well.

One of my son’s friends does dog walking and does arrange her dog walking services on a set schedule. My son has done better since he started working, even if he can only work a couple of hours some weeks. He feels better about himself without having the stress of having to work on a difficult day.

1 Like

Thank you all for the very helpful advice.
Do you mean a vocational training curriculum?
I will look into that.
An update: he is going to start driving for Postmates. He can work as much or as little as he can manage. I think it is like Uber Eats.
Also, he has joined a gym for the first time in years. He was very athletic as a teen so hoping he sticks with that on days he doesn’t work.
Now I’m going to search for old topics on recovery and dual diagnosis. He says he doesn’t “need” to drink anymore. I know very little about substance abuse and don’t know if taking an AP med that works can eliminate an alcohol issue. He is 14 months sober but will also have money for the first time in 14 months.


Our son has worked through DVR program (I think its developmental vocational rehab). Its somewhat of a long process to get started with them but they help find a part time job that suits them. The work sites they use are used to people with disability and they are very patient and forgiving! That job was the longest he ever worked anywhere (over a year). His money was direct deposited so that his representative payee had control of how much he had. (Because he also has had drug and alcohol problems). I think there are a lot of menial jobs in quiet settings that work great for people with mental disability. It really helps their self esteem to be our earning money and having some structured time.

1 Like

Thank you @HelpingT
Do you know how to access a program like this? Is it through the state?
Our son found a job at a grocery store stocking shelves.
Preferably he could connect with a vocational program like you describe. He is bright and reliable but stressed out easily by noise.
I sure wish somebody would start a company and hire our loved ones. I hear that is happening in the autism community across the country.
Our son is desperate to live and work independently. And we just want him stable and happy and safe.

Yes. It is a program through the state. You can actually go on line and apply for him and they include you in everything which is really nice. In Wisconsin, they have a group orientation over the phone, then they meet with you one on one to decide which job is best. Its a lengthy process over a couple months, but worth it in the end. While we are waiting to keep our son busy, we are paying him $5/hr to volunteer. Let me know if you have other questions. Good Luck!

1 Like

I also wanted to clarify, our son worked thru them about two years ago in a different county first. It was the longest he ever worked with an employer because they were so patient with him. DVR actually pays for the first month or two of work and then the business takes over. But then he moved back into our county and is starting over with the program in this county.

Whole Foods has great part time opportunities. Not check out but stocking, bakery etc…

I looked up the website and for Wisconsin it is

Thank you @ HelpingT and @Jeannet for the great suggestions. And everyone else who replied as well.
It takes a village!!

In you are in the USA there are a lots of job postings everywhere. Maybe a couple of hours in a slow fast food? Or a job in a park. He just needs to start building his work experience.It is not a forever job.