Being Nosey, Opinions and I Make My Point Clear! Job Placement is Hard Work!

One summer while I was walking around Gray’s Lake, I eaves dropped over a conversation two young women were having about tap water throughout the city. I was right behind them, ready to make a fast pass around…and interested in their subject!

I’m not like Gladys Kravitz all the time!

One thought Urbandale water was good and the other didn’t. They agreed West Des Moines water tastes ucky.  One loved Chicago water (and I thought ewwww ucky, and the strange smell to boot).  Then their conversation turned to a cute guy jogging their way…and I made my pass.

BTW, I remember where I was,  nearly 1/2 way round where I started, not including the everstop at my brother’s plaque on the bridge!

Clearly, people’s opinions vary widely around one subject!

I don’t think I will ever find a person who is adversarial to water – and specifically why water is important to a person. 

However, in my role as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I routinely find a person (an attorney or two) who is adversarial to my opinion regarding whether or not a person can return to work (over their stance that the same person is permanently and totally disabled.)

I’ve evaluated hundreds of people and I hold firm in my opinion that work is incredibly important to a person. Rarely have I not been able to identify work for a person. In that type of return to work situation, the person’s serious mental health condition (such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder) comes into play more than the person’s physical capacity.

One point I’d like to make clear! And this isn’t an opinion, it’s just the truth! It is easier to state that a person cannot work than to identify what a person can do for work.

“No, can’t work.” That’s it.  “No” “Can’t Do” “No Work is Available”  What a negative attitude.  Is it really just too much work to find work for a person?  VS  “Yes, you can work” “Here’s why, how and what the person can do!” “Yes” “Can do” “I will help you!” This is a positive attitude! Yes, and truly the fact is that it’s a lot of work to find work for a person! That’s what I’m trained to do! And I love it!

A vocational rehabilitation counselor cannot give a person a job – the professional works to define, enhance and channel the placement client’s skills, abilities, and aptitudes into the working world. 

The client is empowered with resources and strategies to perform specific and goal-oriented job seeking activities.  I’ve found the outcome of return-to-work in a workers’ compensation case impacts the placement process just as much during litigation as it does following case settlement.  Keep that in mind when forming any opinion. 

It’s a tragedy when an attorney sabotages any job seeking efforts, whether implied or not. I do not appreciate when any one tries to negatively influence any one else, especially when it comes to work.

I keep my opinion clear, based on fact and grounded in rehabilitation. No one can steal my opinion away!

Image result for grounded

Please see a paper I wrote in August 2013 titled (it’s posted on my LinkedIn page) or ask for a copy titled:

WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE RETURN-TO-WORK DURING A LITIGATED WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM?

Let me know what I can do to help you with your legal work regarding your client’s return to work!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@gmail.com

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services with a Focus on Placement

Vocational Resources Plus LLC offers an array of vocational rehabilitation services with a focus on placement.

Vocational rehabilitation is a set of services designed to facilitate the return to work process (also known as placement) for individuals following a serious accident or illness that disrupted employment.

Placement is the bottom line of vocational rehabilitation, and therefore is the most in demand service.  Placement can be simply defined as finding suitable employment. Continue to read on for more detail on Vocational Resources Plus LLC’s placement services and procedures.Vocational Resources Plus LLC designs unique placement services to return-to-work problems that arise on workers’ compensation, personal injury and disability cases.

The objective of each placement assignment is to research key details on an individual’s employability. This information provides the base to plan for courses of action. Action is presented in the form of service delivery, case management, and reporting services.

The goal of each service is to identify strategies that are proven to achieve positive employment related results. The objectives that are set forth in a client’s plan will effectively place individuals back into his or her working world.  This ‘pathway to work’ expedites resolution, details the scope of occupational loss, and ultimately addresses the monetary figure of claim that is in litigation.~Vocational Resources Plus LLC offers one of the most comprehensive placement services available in the local market to address workforce issues and attributes of occupations. The value of designing a service specifically based on the individual’s personal background, work history, transferable skills, knowledge and abilities, coupled with his or her interests, aptitudes personality factors and various vocational related attributes is higher than the actual cost of providing the service.

The case is covered carefully while the individual and all representatives associated with the claim are provided with specific details of the situation to better understand the priorities of successful rehabilitation. All services are documented and a narrative report is useful to evaluate the claimant’s rehabilitation potential, to determine the extent of loss of job, or pay, or of employability.

Specific details on level of cooperation to secure employment, worker qualifications compared to existing employment opportunities, and compliance regarding recommended therapeutic intervention or physical exercise are a few examples that are assessed for the individual to adjust to their situation.Vocational Resources Plus is often called upon to help when a case is in litigation or has the potential to become overly problematic and costly. Referrals are welcomed from attorneys and self-insured employers!  The strategy of assigning your difficult cases to a knowledgeable consultant saves time and reduces long-term effects of any claim. 

MISSION STATEMENT

~ Vocational Resources Plus LLC commits to helping with the needs of its clientele by providing consulting services that exceed the standards of practice expected in the field of vocational rehabilitation.

 COMPREHENSIVE JOB PLACEMENT OFFERED THROUGH 

Vocational Resources Plus LLC

Job placement is a professional procedure. The purpose is to assist the job seeker to find a job matching his or her knowledge base, skill sets, abilities, work capacities, interests and aptitudes, as well as needs for location, work scheduling, level of earnings, benefits, plus more!

Comprehensive placement on average can take 4 weeks ~ 6-12 months (based on available employment opportunities and client cooperation). Placement is broken down into 4 phases: Information Gathering, Accessing the Labor Market, Placement and Follow-Up. Other services such as Job Seeking Skills Training, Vocational Counseling, and Outsourcing are available on an as needed, individualized basis.

Within the first few weeks of placement, the placement specialist may be able to discern if success at obtaining employment is likely or not. All case activities, research and results of efforts are reported. Expert testimony is available.

Phase I ~ Information Gathering

This phase is time intensive and involves meeting the client, orientation, paperwork, appraisal of qualifications and transferable skills, and participating in other preliminary processes. The individual’s skill set is matched with existing employment opportunities. Resumes are prepared, reference building is performed, specific, information details are gathered and goals are set.

Timeframe: 1-3 weeks. The placement specialist can spend from 10-15 hours per week on preliminary processes. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

Phase II ~ Accessing the Labor Market

This phase involves designing a flexible marketing strategy to assist the client in establishing informational interviews and job interviews. Results are evaluated to help make decisions and to clarify career choices. It involves identifying and contacting businesses in appropriate markets and industries to assist with finding adequate profiles of persons to meet marketing needs and job opening requirements.

Timeframe: Commonly starts in the 3rd week and continues as long as feasible opportunities are identified, up to approximately the 6th week. The placement specialist averages 5-10 hours per week. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

 Phase III – Placement

When the client has sufficient opportunities available and is cooperative with placement procedures, this phase unfolds. When the client is placed, follow-up occurs at appropriate increments. If the client is uncooperative or if excessive barriers do not allow for a successful transition into the workforce, other Vocational Resources Plus, LLC services are available or referrals can be made.

Timeframe: Starts at approximately 3 or 4 weeks into the assignment, depending on the client’s situation and continues until placement occurs. A minimum of one month of post-placement services are offered. The placement specialist averages 1-5 hours a week. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

*Phase 4 ~ Follow-Up Post Placement

Once a final job offer is accepted, the placement specialist will extend involvement to assist the newly-hired individual in various aspects of transition, including any steps that must be taken to resign their position from their current employer. Post-assignment contact is also maintained between client and employer to assure the mutual satisfaction of both parties.

Timeframe: Starts at time job begins, depending on the client’s situation and continues until mutual satisfaction of both parties. The placement specialist averages 1 hour a week for four weeks. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

Thanks for reading….now give me a call!  There’s a sample employment packet the client receives, it’s located on my website. Take a look around at all the resources available! I have even more to share!

515-282-7753 or email VocResources@gmail.com

    lcpresourcesplus.com

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

I’ve Served as a Guinea Pig. Wheek! Wheek!

More on volunteering. As you will see, I have on my resume that I have experience as a guinea pig! Yes indeed, to help counseling practicum students (BTW: I’m currently available to help). I received free counseling sessions (!) while the student practiced. The sessions were videotaped and then viewed with the professor for a grade!

Einstein

 This is Einstein. I preferred to call her Peggy!

Our beloved guinea pig died earlier in the spring 2013. She was a very nice pig. I miss her wheeks! A wheek is the loud excited noise guinea pigs make when they are excited! Wheek, Wheek! Peggy is also the name of the woman who gave us our new pet! Peggy the human (an Iowa State professor) and I connected via Craigs List. She was listing free guinea pigs but the babies were all taken, so Arin and I got the momma!

Arin (my daughter, whose shirt you see) named the pig Einstein, can you guess why? But, again I preferred to call her Peggy. She lived for several years after her arrival to our home. She really was a great pet. Back to the post Amy:

When you’re looking for work or are changing jobs or even careers, consider your volunteer activities. If they’re not on your resume or professional profile, stop right now and describe them! You can incorporate those skills and abilities into your next position or you can enhance them now with your work! Wheek, Wheek!

There are so many more benefits than gaining valuable skills from volunteering. Take a look:

Benefits of Volunteering 

#1: Volunteering connects you to others

#2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body

#3: Volunteering can advance your career

#4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life!

 Wheek! Wheek! Wheek!

and then look at or download this 5 page attachment for more information! It’s titled: Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits ~ Helping Yourself While Helping Others.

Hope you have great volunteering experiences….with more in store in your future.

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

 

Happy Labor Day…Raise the Wage!

Today on The White House Blog there is a great post which is a copy of a message sent today by Labor Secretary Tom Perez and features his friend Ms.  Austraberta Rodriguez.

Mr. Perez writes “So today, if you’re ready for a country that does right by Austraberta and the nearly 28 million Americans who stand to benefit from a $10.10 minimum wage, then honor them by adding your name here

I sure did!

I just added my name to support raising the minimum wage. It was last raised to the existing $7.25 an hour on July 24, 2009 (our Iowa minimum wage rate that is, which is the same as the Federal minimum wage.) The time has come. Click here for more info about reasons to and reasons not to raise the wage.

I choked the other day seeing a loaf of bread for over $5! How much is that cheese? That much for butter!!  No way!!!!  Then all the other high food prices starting yelling at me. I had to run out of the grocery store!

Workers Need to Make More Bread!

How can people work and make ends meet at. It is hard to believe. My daughter questions why pay is low. She wants to move on in her life, but struggles with how she can do so. Plus recently her car died. Arin continues to work at Walgreen’s however she is in interviewing mode for another job that will pay more. (She may still continue to work at Walgreen’s.)

Click here Arin and and my readers for more information about Raising the National Minimum Wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

I’m into the Department of Labor lately! Here is another excellent link about

Books that Shaped Work in America

I read the summary of a book titled The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker written by Janet Groth and published in 2013. I am interested in reading this book as it brings back many, many memories of my days as a receptionist (teaching me incredibly valuable work skills.) I was paid temporary worker wage way back them, which commonly was more than the minimum. Which I would say 25-30 years ago I probably received like $5-6.

Receptionist

Hold Please!

I’m going to spend more time reviewing the content on this website! Very cool. The website also offers information on what each title in their growing collection of books has to do with the U.S. Department of labor.

“The Department of Labor touches almost every aspect of working in America”

Hope your Labor Day is happy and safe! Enjoy yourself!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

Alison is a Nice Name ~ Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online

Alison stands for Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online. Alison is an online open source educational website that provides over 500 high-quality, certified, multimedia courses, free to individual learners and groups of learners.

Free Online Courses

Open source learning is exciting!

Alison helps the user to develop essential workplace skills. There is a plethora of choices. You can chose from courses in Business & Enterprise Skills, Finance & Economy Skills, Languages, Digital & IT Skills, Personal Development & Soft Skills, School Curriculum and Diploma Courses. These courses are standards-based and certified. It can be somewhat overwhelming to go through the site to find what you are interested in taking.

You can earn a certificate or a diploma, which indicates the learner completed courses and scored 80 percent or above on the online assessment. There are vocational courses at “certificate level” (1 to 2 hours of study) or “diploma level” (about 9 to 11 hours of study).

Most of the courses are in a PowerPoint style presentation, though a few are audio or video intensive.  The courses appear to parallel job training and certifications I’m aware of throughout the course of my career and by various online resources.

I have used the website to take a diploma course in Legal Studies earlier last year. However, I chose not to become certified because it costs money to print out a certificate. If I were wanting to enhance my skill set for a law office, I would think the attorneys and staff would be grateful of this new knowledge. But I do not work in a law office!

This website would be good for people whose job prospects are constrained by their skill levels and who lack the resources to upgrade them through conventional training. I recommend this website to my placement clients, especially those who may have been out of work for a period of time. I explain that certifying in an area that they are interested in can reveal to a potential employer that you as a job seeker took a learning course on your own accord. This reveals you are a worker who wants to learn something new that would benefit others in the workplace.

It shows you, the job seeker, engaged your brain! You are ready to use your new skills at work. Plus you can list your learning accomplishment on your resume and application! And talk about what you learned in your job interview! Sounds good doesn’t it!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

Never Underestimate the Power of Volunteering!

I want to reflect upon my volunteering experience … and engage you in thinking of your own. Does volunteering pique a developing interest? What specifically do you, or have you done to volunteer? Did the time fly when you were engaging in the experience? What were you responsible for in the role?

Even if it’s low key, your contribution and what you gain from any volunteering experience is of value.

Job Placement Network

For three years, back in 2006 – 2008, I chaired the Job Placement Network group. So, my interest was (and remains so) networking! My role to serve as the leader of this diverse group of community service providers offered me the opportunity to expand upon my existing skill set.

I tasked myself to administrate to the non-profit’s mission, organize meetings, market to employers, design and deliver materials and resources, recruit members, communicate ideas and detailed information, and most importantly network, network, network! And have fun!

Your network can grow as much as your mind can think. And there is no limit to your thoughts!

Currently, the networking group has not been engaged, although I’m sure hopeful in the future with new leadership, JPN can really make a splash in the future of our community!

Here’s a quick slide show about JPN designed in 2008.

If you are interested, (how about you, you wonderful Drake student?) please contact me for more information.

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

 

 

 

Can You Make Money? Save Money? Solve Problems? Yes! Then You’re Hired!

I’ve stayed out of town twice recently and can tell in a second if the water I’m showering in or drinking is hard. Hard water feels different (icky) and tastes different (ucky). When the quality of your water is soft, the soap you use in your bathtub, shower, sink, washing machine, dishwasher, and on your skin is incredibly efficient.  Your body, dishes, clothes become much cleaner than if hard water were used. And the taste is so much more crisp, clear and clean and drinkable!

In my mind, soft water is essential

In the past, I’ve blogged about my dad and his career at Culligan Soft Water. Yes, I grew up around soft water, so that may be why I love it so much. And yes, I realize there are benefits of hard water as well (watering houseplants!). That’s beyond the scope of this blog!   However, within the scope of this writing is the fact that….

I am fascinated by people and their work!

I invite you to read a nice short story about Emmett Culligan’s day once long ago when he was not at work.  Sounds like something I would find myself doing (striking up a conversation with a worker…and then getting fascinated about his work….and losing track of what I was doing to begin with!). The maintenance worker came up with a brilliant idea that accomplished the three goals employers look for when hiring:

A person who can help to make money

In this situation, the worker clearly was a valuable team member to keep the hospital filled with patients.

A person who can help to save money 

The worker’s idea saved on supplies, in this example, the use of soap to wash hospital linens.

A person who can help solve problems

 The worker’s idea prevented scaling in the boilers by removing the hardness from the water.

This holds true to this this day. Employers look to hire a person who can help them either make money, save money, and/or solve problems. And Mr. Culligan ended up doing just that….hiring many people who helped him in each of these areas…..leading to a successful business.  One one day in the 1950’s that included my dad! Here’s a funny blog about how to use the office water cooler (according to cats.)

Want to tell a potential employer how you can do these things? More to come on interviewing skills in another post! Stay tuned and I love to share stories about success at work! Leave me a comment with one of yours!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 15 – Motivation and Your Homework

In my post last week, I wrote about motivation…and my Grandpa Jack. This week I am continuing with this omnipresent topic of life.  Motivation is what drives an individual from the inside. It cannot be learned or taught, this is just who you are!

But, last week I was so wrapped up in my writing, I forgot to give you your homework! (Is that lack of motivation or forgetfulness?) Be sure to draw that line and not get too strict with yourself if you forgot something!

Your homework On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest level: What level of motivation do you feel is required for you to get fit?  To study hard?  To succeed at your job? (add your own….)

This sure looks like a baby teething ring!

Your daily “to dos” or weekly goals are a huge part of how you view your level of motivation. They differ from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, and month to month, year to year! It’s helpful to score your motivation related to specific goal(s) on a daily basis according to your schedule and plans for the day. You don’t have to be detailed.

Your motivation score for cleaning your desk or for cutting your toenails might be a 2.  While weighing yourself or finishing a project a day early might be a 5.  How about a 10 as your score for acing that test, doing well in an upcoming job interview, or working to your best ability every day?

For example, last Thursday, I said:  Hey, Amy, it’s a 10 for the day that I will work on my taxes to get ready for tomorrow’s meeting with the tax guy.  I got it done!

Another example, today is Monday, I’m giving myself a 5 for starting that research project, but in my mind if I don’t get it started today, I know it’ll move up higher in score value (to a 6 or 7) by tomorrow. If there’s a deadline (which I think of when I hear of schedules, assignments, time limits or cutoff dates), be sure to set your task(s) to complete at a 10.  Hey You, that means JUST DO IT.  Be realistic with your time.

You Still Love to Play With This Baby Stacking Toy, huh?!

But of course make time for doing what you enjoy…….or being around those who you love!

Are Babies Motivated to Make Adults Smile?  I Believe It!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce