Small Steps Essential in Returning to Work
By Guest Blogger Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder,Employment Options Inc.
One of the major hurdles of returning to work after a disability related absence is the mindset of “It will take too long to get from here to there,” or just simply not knowing where to start.
Small steps can help bring simplicity to the process of returning to work and not make it seem so daunting!
The first step is to become aware of the desire to work and why. Sure, there is always the need for money and paying bills, but desire is motivational. How can going back to work also help you as a person? What can working add to your life?
Those who have returned to work will tell you it was great to get out of the house and be around people again. Work at home employees will express gratitude for something to do in the house and have productivity and focus in their day. Most everyone who returns to work really likes meeting new people, whether working face to face or virtually. Working can be so much more to someone than just a paycheck!
The second step is the willingness to work. Are you willing to structure your day around a job? “Wanting a job” is theoretical and being “willing to work a job” is being practical. It is the recognition that it is time to try working again. It is time to try something new. It is accepting that change may be hard, but that changing nothing at all can also be very hard. Being willing to work is empowering, motivating and can propel you forward toward great things.
The third step is to get down to the realities of scheduling. This often is a major roadblock for many job seekers because it is hard to visualize it. So, let’s start with fantasy. How would you like to structure your day if you had the ideal schedule? Full-time, part-time or flex-time? Block out on a calendar these fantasy hours when you could see yourself working. Write in appointments for dependents in the house and other concerns. This planning is essential for peace of mind in going back to work. The more organized you feel about your entire schedule, the easier the new routine will go for the entire family.
The fourth step is the honest self-assessment about your skills and abilities to work. When you have a disability or illness, it can be very easy to get all caught up in what you cannot do or what you are limited by. This harsh assessment could sabotage your desire to work. Try to be kind to yourself and acknowledge the things you ‘can’ do and your strengths – the tasks you can perform; the requirements you could fulfill and the achievements you have earned! Think positive about the skills and abilities that you could bring to a company.
The fifth step is to make a decision about how you are going to approach job hunting as a person with a disability. Of course, any job seeker can do a lot of looking by themselves online, at career centers, or pay for placement help. However, if you are a job seeker with a disability, you have more free resources to turn to than that!
People with disabilities who are ready to try working again can get in touch with a state vocational rehabilitation office, a local non-profit agency, or for those on SSDI/SSI, the free Social Security Administration Ticket to Work program can provide free employment services in work at home and community jobs. In all of these cases, having a trained employment professional can dramatically speed up the process of getting back to work and take some pressure off the job seeker. You can help yourself feel more confident and prepared. You are not going about it alone!
Making the decision to return to work again after an illness or disability can seem overwhelming at first. Breaking it down can keep things simpler and clearer. These first five steps will help you to be well on your way to finding work and hopefully make getting “from here to there” more tangible and manageable!
About the Guest Blogger
Paula Reuben Vieillet is president and founder of Employment Options Inc., a certified Social Security Administration Employment Network in the Ticket to Work Program, which assists those on SSDI/SSI benefits in returning to the workforce. They specialize in Work At Home Employment and have long-term relationships with national employers. They also offer community on-site jobs serving 47 states.
Her company, which also has a Facebook and Twitter page, let’s interested job seekers apply online for their free services atwww.MyEmploymentOptions.com. You can also learn more about their Work At Home Specialties. Paula is a frequent consultant to the SSA on the Ticket to Work Program and has authored three books on job placement.
If you have any questions about the company’s free services, nationwide job openings or resources for people with disabilities, email Lori Adler at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-441-3114 ext. 754 (Shieka).