Job Placement

Client or Customer? Both are Equally Valuable!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I consider the individual as the client, and the business entity (eg: an employer,  or a service provider, or a law firm) as the customer. In the case of providing job placement services, the client typically is a person who has already worked for a number of years in the workforce and is now on a path looking for new work opportunities that the person can do and wants to do.Matching People With Their World of Work

Matching People With Their World of Work

My philosophy regarding placement is to individualize services to match the job seeker within his or her own world of work. Although we all comprise the working world, we each have our own niche that can be as far and wide or narrow and slim as our talent can go.

I focus in on which job search tools the placement client can use to benefit their own natural style of communication. Being able to describe yourself in a way that answers questions during an interview while showing your personality is valuable.

Understanding your transferable skills and where you can apply them in many different settings and situations (and make $$$ to boot!) is instrumental during job placement. Believe in yourself first, and then build a market profile of yourself. And start the sale!

It’s a matter of expression to picture your skills as valuable, marketable and on sale to the best buyer!

On the consulting side of my business, I have services available for the customer. One such service is job analysis.  A job analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular functional duties and requirements and the relative importance of them for a given job. An important concept of a job analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the job, not the person.

While job analysis data may be collected from incumbents through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, and again, not a description of the person.

carrying clipart - Clip Art Library

Don’t describe me, describe the job!

A job analysis that includes accommodation options has helped when the client is already an employee (and has an illness or injury leading to questions about ability to do the job) and a decision needs to made whether the best option is to retain or release the employee from permanent employment.

Judgments are made using data collected regarding the job and / or a variety of jobs with similar components. And then I can provide expert testimony based on the data and my opinion of the person’s place within his or her own working world.

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I like customers and clients equally and promise to serve all people to the best of my ability.

Call me, Amy, at 515-778-0634 or email should you want me to help you with your clients. I have a plethora of other services to help you help your client!

Btw, this post was originally written and posted 10 years ago! With some updates, it’s could to go again and I thank you for reading!


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

Job Placement

Happy 19th Anniversary Vocational Resources Plus

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Vocational Resources Plus LLC Celebrates the beginning of 19 years in business!

September is a special month for me. My birthday is on September 15 and I started my own business on September 15…back in 1963 and 1999 respectively!

Please read on for information on Vocational Resources Plus LLC. I offer life care planning as well!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, or whatever is needed to bring facts on board.

The goal of each service is to identify strategies that are proven to achieve positive employment related results. The objectives set forth in a service plan will effectively place the person 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 comprehensive placement services to address labor market conditions, workforce issues, and attributes of specific 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 along with various vocational and physical 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 employers!  The strategy of assigning your difficult cases to a knowledgeable consultant saves time and reduces long-term effects of any claim.  I’m here to help!


~ 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.


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 months (based on available employment opportunities and client cooperation). Placement is broken down into 3 phases: Information Gathering, Accessing the Labor Market and Placement. 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.

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

515-282-7753 or email


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

Job Placement

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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 ever stop 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 (actually 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 an open 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!

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


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

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * * 515-778-0634  *


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

Job Placement

Randy’s Jobs….and Quitting Okoboji for Good!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

December 30, 2012. Perhaps a meaningful day in Randy’s work history. The day he “officially retired” from Okoboji Grill as a food server. In a previous blog, I wrote about working in a restaurant. Okay, he quit again, making this the 3rd or 4th time over a course of 20 years working at the restaurant that he “retired.”

Happy RetirementWanna place a bet whether he’ll return?

I know, I know, he’s king tv remote guy, and he has a lot of “regulars” who like him to serve em up at Boji. And I also know he likes to put the bartender hat on every now and then. But any bet placed will be won only by me. I think.

I couldn’t tell you (cuz I never kept track) how many evenings and weekends Randy has worked at a restaurant (first it was Garcia’s, in the early days of our marriage, then Okoboji). He reminds me he didn’t work any second job for like 4 years…but I don’t recall. I was probably working a second job at that time…as a transcriptionist.

The Honey Do ListTime to work for me!

Well, yes, I understand you are a public school teacher, and sure that takes some of your time during the work week. But, please let’s get some stuff off the honey do list! Or I’ll threaten to hire a handyman.

toolboxThat always makes Randy grab the tool box!

I’m continuing on in future blogs with writing about my husband and his jobs, with a focus on his work ethic. He has a good one!

People often refer to someone as having a good work ethic when they work hard however I think there is a lot more to having a good work ethic than just this.

When I perform vocational evaluations, I include an assessment of the individual’s work ethic. To begin that process, the individual does a self-rating and is asked to provide specific examples of their personality traits when they are at work.

Take a moment to think about your ethical and dependable work behaviors. Are your proud of yourself? Your significant other? I am.


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

Job Placement

Interview Motivation & My Daughter The Hulk!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Original Post dated: 11-2-2012

In this week’s writing, I’m enhancing my blog from last week about job interviewing  and encourage you, if you are seeking a job, to study certain traits to create a positive image during an interview (or for any type of communication with a human)!

But first, I want to congratulate my daughter Arin for landing a new job. She clearly presented herself and interviewed well! She starts tomorrow, after school, at Walgreens.

You’ll find Arin working in the cosmetics department!

It is true the key to landing a job is how well you present yourself during an interview. But did you also know there are secrets to getting jazzed about the interview? I found a nice article on the internet titled Job Interview Motivation. It lists five secrets to help you get motivated. In summary, they are:

1. The interviewer might be as nervous as you are.

2. The interviewer has more to do than you do.

3. Find a way to keep the negative thoughts out.

4. Realize you are only human.

5. Get outside help.

Click here for the entire article titled Job Interview Motivation. It is really good and will really help you! I added a bit to it, so please take some time and read it!

Using outside tools and techniques for job interview motivation can really help. Realize that many times nervousness comes from being selfish. I know that sounds a little crazy but typically we get ourselves all jazzed up about something because we are worried about how we are going to look or how we are going to act.

Those are selfish thoughts. Work on the selfishness you might have inside and watch your nervousness go away! I love to help people prepare for an interview. Placement is my specialty! If you have a client, or need help with interviewing, please let me know how I might assist.


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




Job Placement

Your Presence is Key to Landing a Job…It Ripples!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The key to landing a job is how well you present yourself during the interview.

Study these traits to create a positive image! 

Presence ~ Your first impression is very important. In fact, it ripples through the entire interview. Do what you can to create a positive presence through manners, wearing the appropriate clothing to the interview, making sure you’re well-groomed and having a relaxed, confident manner.

Ability to communicate ~ How well do you communicate to the interviewer? Can you communicate your ideas clearly at the level the position requires? Your interviewer will generally assess both content and delivery of communication.

Motivation ~ Do you have a positive, enthusiastic approach? Do you sound and look confident that you can handle the job?

Intelligence ~ Your answers to questions, your questions to the interviewer and your demonstration of creative and imaginative capabilities will all be considered by the hiring person.

Energy levels and general alertness ~ These motivational forces underlie the other four traits listed here. These traits are not as easily measured as skills, education or experience levels, but they do play an increasingly important role in how you present yourself to the interviewer.

 Click here for a copy of what’s above.

I love to help people prepare for an upcoming interview. Pretend it’s a game, and you are the Star of the Show! Stay tuned for interviewing like a Star!


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

Job Placement

Help Wanted. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A local business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window, stating the following: “HELP WANTED. Must be able to type, must be good with a computer and must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.”


A short time afterwards, a dog trotted up to the window, saw the sign and went inside. He looked at the receptionist and wagged his tail, then walked over to the sign, looked at it and whined.

Getting the idea, the receptionist got the office manager. The office manager looked at the dog and was surprised, to say the least. However, the dog looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped up on the chair and stared at the manager.

The manager said “I can’t hire you. The sign says you have to be able to type.” The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to type out a perfect letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager and gave it to him, then jumped back on the chair.

The manager was stunned, but then told the dog “the sign says you have to be good with a computer.” The dog jumped down again and went to the computer. The dog proceeded to enter and execute a perfect program, that worked flawlessly the first time.

By this time the manager was totally dumb-founded! He looked at the dog and said “I realize that you are a very intelligent dog and have some interesting abilities. However, I STILL can’t give you the job.”

The dog jumped down and went to the sign and put his paw on the sentences that told about being an Equal Opportunity Employer. The manager said “yes, but the sign ALSO says that you have to be bilingual.”

The dog looked at the manager calmly and said,



 Click here!

The hiring process is expensive and, because of this, it’s a very conservative process. This expense is reflected in the cost of recruiting and interviewing along with the amount of lost productivity that is occurring while recruitment is going on.

The basic rules of the hiring process:

• There must be an opportunity;

• There must be a “fit” between the candidate that’s selected and the corporate culture of the organization (grades, level of professional and personal strength and personality, dress and experiences); and,

• The person conducting the interview must be convinced of just how well you “fit” within the twenty to thirty minute selection interview.

Let me know what I can do to help you with returning to work!

BTW ~ I’ve had the above cartoon material for so many years, I don’t know where it originated from. I love it and wanted to share it with you!


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

Job Placement

Happy Veterans Day! Thank You for Serving Our Country!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Happy Veterans Day to my dad Dick, my father-in-law Jim, and all the Vets I’ve worked with in the past and in the present!  My dad was in the Army during the Korean Conflict; and my father in law was in the Air Force. Thank you for serving our country.

Flags Displayed at Gray’s Lake on 9/11

Over the weekend Randy and I listened to the Iowa Military Veterans Band play at the Civic Center. It was really good! I was surprised how full of variety it was for a “band”. There was singing, a skit, and many instrumental solos. The instruments were incredible and included a harp! The crowd joined in many times singing and dancing! Waving our little American flags too!

There was one band member recognized who served in WWII. And there were quite a few in the crowd who did as well.  The veterans in the audience were well honored! The event was free and well done. (I shed a tear or two…) I’ve heard this popular band before, they play in a number of locations and draw large crowds.

I am proud to support Veterans with returning to work! Here’s a post that I love to share about a Veteran I helped.  I also have experience assessing independent living needs for Chapter 31 Veterans and helping them achieve their goals.

Here’s a short clip of happy dogs welcoming soldiers home.  It’s great and leads into a post about one smart dog!  To the love of man and woman’s best friend (Hi Bella!…We love you! bark! bark! Although I don’t think you would’ve made a very good military dog…..being an Aussie and all who thinks she has to make noise and herd everything in site….)


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

Job Placement

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When I stay out of town or I 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 (like watering houseplants!). That’s beyond the scope of this blog!   However, within the scope of this writing is the fact that….

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I am fascinated by the work people do!

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!. By hiring many people who helped him in each of these areas, which lead to a successful business.  On one day in the 1950’s that included hiring 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? Here’s another blog post on interviewing skills! I loved to share stories about success at work! Leave me a comment with one of yours! Or call me at 515-778-0634 and let’s talk! 


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


Job Placement

What is Job Placement? It’s a Professional Procedure!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Job Placement Can Be Viewed as a Professional Procedure

The goal of the procedure is to facilitate the job search to locate a position that matches the person’s knowledge base, skill set, attributes, work capacities, interests, aptitudes and physical abilities. Location, work scheduling, level of earnings, benefits, opportunities for growth plus more are identified.

Image result for blue dart

Job placement also involves career counseling, job seeking skills training,  and processing best methods for the client to connect with jobs found within his/her labor market and take appropriate and meaningful steps towards finding and securing a job.

Placement may also include vocational consulting for employers with hiring needs to find adequate profiles of persons to meet the requirements of their job openings.

The aim of job placement is to ensure the right person gets the right job!

Caveat:  Not all rehabilitation counselors are trained in job placement.

But I am!

I’m trained and certified in rehabilitation counseling AND in  job placement AND in forensics.  My expertise allows me to be very effective at placement!

I, Amy E. Botkin, have developed a certain resourcefulness and a placement orientation to things….and love providing placement services!

email me at of call me at 515-778-0634 for help with your placement needs.


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