Randy and Abe’s Work Ethic…Pretty Impressive! Plus a Kiss!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Randy has taught the wonderfully well-behaved youth in our community (hee hee) since 1992 as an instructor for the Des Moines Public School District. He teaches at Scavo High School (which as of this writing on 2/17/2020 will soon be dismantled) and Randy will be moving on to a new program(for sure) at a new location (we think!).

The goal for any teacher is to promote learning. The goal for any student is to earn enough credits to graduate and move on in life.  It takes a lot of time, effort, energy and strategy to teach a learner. 

At times in all our jobs we work with people and coordinate, consult,  encourage, motivate, teach, etc., those who care a lot or on the other hand, those who do not care at all.  It could be about the subject matter, a project, finding a job, changing a bad habit…on and on and on. You get my point. It’s really about how to effectively roll with change. At times, wouldn’t it be easier to throw in the towel?

There you go, plop to the floor

I believe when you sustain pride in your work ethic you don’t “throw in the towel” or feel defeated when it’s not about you, it’s about another’s lack of motivation.

To keep on trying to get through to people who are difficult to teach/or work with, it helps to add humor or creativity into your approach.  Randy has been known to dress up as characters when he taught a history lesson. For example, he has dressed as Mark Twain to teach about (ahh, I don’t really know*); and as Abe Lincoln (to teach about Abe Lincoln I guess*). If I can track him down, he (Randy, not Abe) will be asked to fill in both the parenthesis. 

Abe

I also need to track down a picture from ~1993 of Randy dressed as Abe because I know I took one!

*Please let it be known I’m not the type of person who says I don’t really know or I guess very often, if at all, because of this forensic mind of mine.

Randy’s teaching endorsements in U.S. Government and U.S. History are well used especially regarding what Presidents did or didn’t accomplish during their terms. His favorite President is Abe Lincoln.

I often hung out with Abe and his son Tad during my lunch break when I worked for the State of Iowa (Do you know where this monument is found?)

I am pretty certain Abe had a fantastic work ethic and took great pride in his work.  Like Abe, I do too; and so does Randy. I hope you do too!  Here’s an article that will help you grasp the concept of taking pride in your work from the get go.

Recall from my previous blog that I believe you get your work ethic from your parents. Yet, what about the person who didn’t have great role models yet still exhibit qualities and traits of a hard worker/a person with good work ethic? 

I’ve found that it can be easy to exceed the expectations of others simply by being someone who is reliable, on-time, diligent and professional. I think these are all hallmarks of people with a strong work ethic.

Here are a few questions to ask (and if you’d like, answer for yourself) about work ethic:

Attendance ~ Are you dependable, stable and willing to take responsibility for your actions?

Reliability ~ Are you hard working and conscientious about the quality of your work?

Rules of Compliance ~ Are you likely to obey company policies and procedures?

Trustworthiness ~ Do you feel you are trustworthy and trusting of others?

I hope you feel good about answering these questions. When I interview people and find they have a good work ethic (and I often do as it runs deep here in good ole’ Iowa), I know that the person has what employers look for when they hire.

I found a couple shots of Randy and his buddy Abe. Do you know where this sculpture is found? Good Friends

He Kissed Me Back!

He Kissed Me Back!If you have a case where work ethic is in question, or certain work traits are paramount in respect to your client’s vocational background, please let me know and I can point this out. My number is 515-778-0634. I want to help you help your client tell their vocational story realistically, persuasively and yes, even creatively! 

Answer to Question 1: West of the Capitol building

Answer to Question 2: Jordan Creek Mall near Scheels

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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.

 

A Bouquet of Gerbera to Share, Along with My Vocational Assessment Services

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’d like to share a beautiful bouquet of gerbera daisy with you, my Attorney Reader:
With these flowers, I remind myself of how valuable you are to me as my client and how I am specially equipped to serve you as your consultant. Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to look around my website. 

On this site, I share information about my work background, including the fact that when I first started my vocational consulting practice in September of 1999, I was working part-time at a flower shop (Doherty’s on 2nd Avenue) as the “flower processor”.

My job in the shop involved duties to clean up the backroom, the upstairs storage spaces, the walk in cooler, and any other area that needed it, along with the best part of my job, which was to process incoming freight. This involved (♥I loved it!♥), opening the boxes of flowers after I signed off for the delivery; and preparing the beauties for use by the floral designers. 

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My very favorite flower to process is the gerbera daisy!  They are great for adding color to any room or garden, with flowers that often measure 7 inches across!

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Why You Ask?

Do you want to ask me, so Amy, why is the gerbera daisy your favorite? My answer is: Because of the ease of cutting the stem! But the cut has to be just right for the bloom to last as long as possible! It’s not just about cutting the stem, it’s about thinking about the care involved in cutting the stem!

On-the-job, I was taught how to unwrap the shipment of assorted flowers that arrived, prepare a liquid solution, cut the stems and place them in the solution, then store them in the best place in the large walk-in cooler. When an order from a designer came through, it was again my job to bring the specific flowers out from the cooler and cut the stems perfectly before re-placement back in the cooler, marking the order, and just in time, as required for best results!

I used a really big stem chopper a lot. It looked like this: 

Image result for stem cutterWatch the fingies, Amy!  No, I never got injured!

I really enjoyed this part-time job because I was working with live beauty, and I was continuing to follow my passion. You see, growing up in the 70’s, I  was a member of a garden club. I excelled in flower arranging, even entering fair contests and winning ribbons!  Thank you Marie Hubbard, my neighbor mom, who was the club leader and one great teacher!  To this day I continue to enjoy arranging flowers!

Related imageWhere’d my show ribbons end up?

My job as as a flower arranger was short lived because my consulting business started getting busy and I could no longer take calls in the bathroom without feeling guilty. 

It was at this time in my life (by the way, the week before Valentine’s Day is very hectic at a flower shop…chop chop chop!), that I decided the only job I wanted to focus on was my own job as a consultant, which lead me to make a change for the better!  

In a nutshell, the decision was made to only have one boss from now on! And that’d be me. 

My plan for 2020 is to to continue to utilize my website for the purposes it was intended when I started it in the Spring of 2011, which is to write and share my talents!

Could your plan for 2020 include contacting me to help you help your client who is involved in litigation involving work?  You see I can also help you with a self employed client, because I understand what it takes to run a small business. 

If you need any sort of vocational assessment, I am definitely one of your choices and would like to be your preferred chosen choice!

Although not easy to prepare for because each one is unique, the assignments I accept are fulfilling and I appreciate the opportunity to help and to use my creative resources.  You’ll find I truly care about my work.

To discuss your case and how I can help, give me a call 515-282-7753 or email amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com   Thank you for reading and maybe you could take some time today to stop by your nearest flower shop and splurge!!

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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.

 

Employability, Hireability and Placeability ~ Got Ability? Need Proof?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

To continue on with my post on getting level during divorce, I’m offering working definitions of 3 of my favorite ability descriptors which are:

Employability, Hireability and Placeability

Looking for proof icon

Although my vocational assessment and evaluation assignments span a variety of jurisdictions and are designed to meet referral needs, the concepts of Employability, Hireability and Placeability remain constructively intact.

~ Employability ~ Can try to prove

employabilitySimply put, employability is about being capable of getting and keeping fulfilling work. It refers to the capacity to function in a job and to be able to move between jobs the person could actually do considering personal circumstances. There may be an overlay of disability, physical or mental limitations, or specific work-life needs that come into play when determining a person’s employability.

Employability depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities and how these assets are used within the context which work is performed or is sought. To evaluate employability, it helps to break the concept into manageable pieces. I take a look at the skills, attitudes and behaviors the person has developed through their work background and a variety of other life experiences.

To know if those skills, attitudes and behaviors are in demand, I then research and survey the person’s labor market to identify jobs that match the person’s background and capacities.

It works best for me to highlight the person’s skills and capacities in the best possible light! Skills are transferable regardless of disability, especially with creative adaptation and accommodation.

In addition, if there are avenues to match the person more closely with jobs (eg: short term training), further vocational research is performed with the results offered in a helpful way.

Using all this type of data allows me to try to prove the person is employable. It’s not easy, but I can certainly explain my opinion of a persons employability.  In fact, I’ve evaluated many people and have testified to my opinion many times!

~ Hireability ~ Cannot prove

Hireability

The term hireability is a way of describing the likelihood an individual might get hired for a job they are physically and psychologically capable of performing.

The most prevalent method of hiring is the interview, therefore, it is always helpful to view how a person presents their skills. The individual’s presentation is critiqued, job searching skills are assessed and other issues are addressed relative to the potential to attain employment in various environments.

Further, hireability is about a person’s soft skills, including their style of communication, level of self-confidence, initiative, tact, and motivation. All these elements are important to a business who has hiring needs!

Throughout my placement experiences, I find businesses look to hire individuals who are responsible, trainable, friendly and able to work on teams. Reliable transportation, good references, a neat appearance, and a pleasant personality are commonly preferred.

Throughout my placement experiences, I also understand often is not necessary to assess an individual for hireability, and to rely on the person’s natural ability to succeed without the need to administer a “test”.

So the reason I can’t prove hireability (unless the person actually gets hired during a specific time frame) is because I am not a business who employs people and therefore I don’t hire people. Yet I have experience hiring people when I was employed for a staffing agency in my past!

~ Placeability ~ Can try to prove

Placeability is the likelihood that a person will actually access, secure and maintain work within his or her labor market, usually in a specific job or occupation. Placeability is affected by labor market conditions (outside of an individual’s control) and is partly about how in-demand the individual’s transferable skills are and how well she or he can present those skills.

The dynamics of placeability include the availability of jobs in a certain geographic area; employer attitudes and policies, the evaluee’s age and culture; and specific occupational hiring requirements. I’ve had many years of work experience placing people and there are numerous variables!

If the person has barriers to employment, for example a functional limitation that would benefit from accommodation, resources are discussed to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the person’s working world. Please realize all functional limitations are restrictions but NOT all restrictions are functional limitations!

So you can see here how I can try to prove whether or not a person could be placed. In fact, I have placed many people in my past! 

Here’s another rather important variable: 

~ Willingness to Work ~ Can definitely prove!

I have testified to this several times. I can definitely prove whether or not a person is willing to work. All this take is for the person to be engaging in a valid job search, which means they would have documentation of what businesses they have been in contact with and the results of their efforts.

If you are a job seeker and need proof that you are validly looking for reliable work, let me know if I can help. I have lots of experience providing job seeking skills training and have helped many people secure work!

Thank you

The bottom line for any business usually involves making and/or saving money! Are you doing that? If you are employed, yes you are! I thank you! And I’m sure your business thanks you too.

Need a vocational evaluation consultation? Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@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.

The Many Uses and Benefits of Vocational Evaluations

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vocational assessment and evaluation services become an integral component in vocational rehabilitation. Depending on the perspective, the service I offer is useful for many different applicable purposes and offers many corresponding benefits.

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A vocational assessment and evaluation can be used to:

  • prepare a report highlighting an individual’s work history
  • look at a person’s transferable skill set
  • help write a resume and cover letter
  • identify job accommodations
  • assist in making job training and career choices based on interests, abilities, and aptitudes
  • plan the content of a vocational training program
  • help trainers and instructors adapt to the needs of the person with a disability

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  • provide data to survey a labor market
  • help process a person’s potential for work or ability to adapt to different work environments
  • help employers make efficient hiring selections
  • describe factors of employability, hireability and placeability

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  • start the process of identifying an individual’s wage earning capacity
  • serve as evidence to help a judge or jury understand an individual’s working abilities
  • help me (your expert!) if called to testify in a personal injury or disability case, divorce or any other civil law case
  • offer recommendations about a person’s work-life

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For a detailed look into the outcome of this service, please take a look at the Sample Vocational Assessment & Evaluation Report link found on my website.

I’m here to help attorneys help their clients through civil litigation involving work and disability.

Thank you for reading this post! Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com so I can do  

Image result for my workto help you with your work!

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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.

People and Their Pets…Got Cat? A Good Vocational Assessment Question to Ask

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Originally published on: Dec 17, 2012 And updated on December 17, 2019

When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psycho-social factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell me a lot about a person!

Got Cat? Dog? Rabbit? Snake? Fish? Iguana? Bearded Dragon? Horse?

Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psycho-social benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.

Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community (you recognize the dog going for a walk in your hood!), and social capital at the neighborhood level.  (Ever been to a dog park? Or even to the pet store that allows pets! You’ll know what I’m referring to!) In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.

SamiJo The Love of My Life!
SamiJo The Love of My Life!

This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!

Okay: At one point in my life, just a few years back I had 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska*), a dog (Bella*), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.

*Update as of 12/17/19: Alaska is now the #1 puddy in the house, and Bella has penetrated the interior as well (she used to be an outdoor dog). And along with these two loves, I’m also the pet mother to a fish named Focus and a rabbit named Mollie.

It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals.  Another view into pet ownership is that of having the physical ability or mental capacity to care for something other than yourself. In fact, this could change in a positive or a negative way based on experiences in your life.

For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park!  Another update as of 12/17/19: Bella  no longer likes dog parks…at age 15 she mostly just likes to be fed treats, be petted and beloved by those who she knows and likes how they smell!  In May of this year, she experienced an old dog condition and was diagnosed with idiopathic vestibular disease.  (Inner ear problem leading to dizziness…just like a human can experience.)  It was very distressful to witness my dog going through the acute stages of this condition, because I thought she was experiencing a stroke. I had to take her to the emergency vet clinic where she received this diagnosis, and then back to our vet for follow-up. Currently she is on medications as needed. Whew!

Patches
Patches

Patches was a grateful rabbit

Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. He was a mini rex, a small rabbit, weighing 3-4 pounds. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”.  Patches liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out, thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!

Patches loved rose petals…He ate them! 

Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.

Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him…continuing to stroke his very soft fur…until he died. And the whole time this was happening, my daughter was also experiencing this loss. She, in fact, took on the responsibility (age 15 at the time) to plan a service and bury him.

Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Back to the dog park experiences, you learn the dogs’ names, but never ask the owners for theirs, right!? How about the observations of the behaviors (both dogs and the owners) you arrive at to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!

In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!  Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!

For You Patches. I Loved You!

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And for you Mollie, she prefers grapes!

Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.

Give me a call at 515-778-0634 or email me amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to discuss your case and how I could help you help your client. 

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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.

Big Miss Steak…Cut Your Meat, Chew A Lot and Eat Slowly!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We humans make some big mistakes. It’s those misguided or wrong actions or judgments that range from simple to complex that can cause alarm and then when understood and corrected can turn into an unforgettable learning experience.

My family and a couple of the kid’s friends had Florida travel plans in June of 2017 to visit my mom and her new husband Dave; and my sister who lives in the Sunshine state, too. Disney was in the works and a lot of beach time was in mind!

We were ready to board the plane…in fact most passengers had already boarded, when I heard over the intercom something to the effect of “stop boarding.” I then witnessed passengers I watched moving into the plane’s bridge walk back out with their carry-ons in tow; and thought “oh no, no, no, this doesn’t seem right.”

After all passengers were back in the boarding area, the announcement came on that the plane had been hit by the baggage handling cart causing a hole in the fuselage and we would not be flying. I listened to several passengers give their theories…and some actually felt the impact from the baggage cart when it hit the plane on the side. Wow.

The flight was canceled…after being at the airport patiently waiting to board for 3 hours, because no rescue plane could be found.  Did you know rescue planes existed?

Many passengers were grumbly and we figured someone at the airport possibly got fired. I watched with fascination through the terminal window as the plane was being inspected, even the pilots were taking pictures! 

Being a Saturday evening, this was the last flight of the week until Thursday, (can you read into what airline I’m referring to if you’re familiar with DSM to Orlando flights? Although there were some options for our travel the next week, none would have worked out for each of our schedules. No vacation in Florida. No Disney for the kids. No beach for me…and I even packed four bikinis!, no seeing our friends and family, no nothing…and all the energy involved in the planning of the trip, down the tubes.

I really just wanted to get out of the airport and back home that day. I looked at this experience with the family as practice however, because we’ll be doing it again! Plus I learned how to pack more efficiently and now know I can take food on the plane! 

Question: How the heck did a human driver hit a huge airplane with basically a golf cart and seriously damage it? This was A Big Mistake affecting a lot of people! Of course my mind went into litigation thinking as there could probably be some lawsuit for any reason. Good thing no one was injured; and hopefully those who really needed to get to Florida ASAP got there without too much anguish.

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You’re Fired!! You’re Fired!! You’re Fired!!

When my son Jacob was very young, he used to love to repeat You’re Fired! You’re Fired! You’re Fired! over and over and over.  I really never had any idea who he was firing, but he did a lot of it! Jacob was fond of Charizard, of the Fire/Flying Pokemon species, maybe that’s why he was fond of the phrase you’re fired? Are you? Have you ever been fired? Have you had to fire someone? Did you learn from it?

Okay, here’s one (of my own mistakes) about me as I was getting ready for the Florida trip. As I considered what to take as a carry-on (free on this airline), I decided upon a smaller purple suitcase with wheels I’ve used before…and as I was packing it I felt something lodged at the bottom.  Upon retrieval, I found a maroon jewelry box and opened it.

Wrapped up in tissue was my diamond tennis bracelet! Being missing for over a year, I had seriously thought it was lost for good. Okay this Big Miss Steak wasn’t so bad, and I hope I learned my lesson.  There was another time time I was stopped at airport security because a pocket knife was found buried inside an unknown ripped seam inside my little purse.Oops.Swiss Army Knife Clip ArtI strive to be extremely careful with my work, especially with my writing skills. However typos do arise and I’ve been known to unfortunately miss my own (including having a date wrong on my resume for a couple years before I noticed it!)  BTW, other’s typos glare at me.  But big mistakes, like negligence when it comes to a patient’s health care, is something I can help with.

I’ve recently worked on a medical malpractice case; and in this case the patient died, however my role/goal was to perform a vocational evaluation and assess his earning capacity had he not died in such a short period of time. For more information on my work in this case and how I followed basically the same methodology as other evaluations, please contact me. 

Image result for big miss steakYes everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs to be careful in our roles at work. I don’t know if anyone was fired or if there was any lawsuits over this airport incident, but it got me thinking about mistakes, including the many of my own.  

I’m not saying eating steak is a mistake, but I agree becoming a vegetarian is a big missed steak!  Keep in mind I am a vegetarian and have not eaten steak since 2011 (although I can’t deny the great smell!)  To each their own, just be sure you cut your meat carefully, chew a lot, and eat slowly!

Contact me if I can help you on a litigated case involving work!

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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 Evaluators: 3 Roles in 1. Germs, Competitors, and a Shredder Help!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In my Iowa State Days and into the Fall of 1994, one course I recall quite well was Microbiology. Here I am, a new mother, messing around in a laboratory with germs. Okay, microbiology is better defined as “The branch of biology that deals with microorganisms and their effects on other living organisms.” Luckily I had a smart lab partner who knew what needed to be done with the microscopes, dyes, stains, aseptic procedures, identification, etc.. My partner helped me to learn and helped me to keep myself and my new baby at home safe from bad germs!

My Grade for the Microbiology Course ~ B+

I believe my grade proves I took the course seriously and I tried my hardest! This leads me to discuss the topic of the serious nature of my role and function as a vocational evaluator.

Because there is a need for vocational evaluation services to persons with or without disabilities, I continually expand my professional capacities in these areas:

1)   Vocational/Career Expert     2)   Disability Specialist     3)   Educator

A Vocational Evaluator has 3 roles in 1!

I work with a wide variety of people and provide a mix of services to improve and expand my 3 in 1 role as a vocational evaluator.

I’ve come across several “competitors” vocational evaluation reports and found they served the best role shredded in the bottom of a recycling bin. Of course, I learn from reading them and can apply data from them, only if it makes sense to me!

In fact I’ve read two reports on two separate people by one vocational evaluator. Boy they read similarly! These reports were canned, used computer generated data, laced with irrelevant statistics, tossed with strange jargon, citing outdated sources, sprinkled with wording that all sounded the same.  Both reports concluded the same thing: this person is totally and permanently disabled from all work. Wow! Was I missing something? Were there germs lurking?

The “competitor” reports I’m referring to did not contain important information (that I include in my individualized reports) such as:

  • detailed information about the workers’ vocational background
  • an analysis of the person’s transferable skills
  • what type of work the person is interested in
  • a look into current employment opportunities that match those interests and skills
  • a review of reasonable accommodations and/or other ways to perform work efficiently
  • real life job placement perspectives and actual comments from local employers
  • recommendations for skill enhancement or ways to learn a new skill
  • offering of job placement or referral to community sources for help!

The information I include is based on the context surrounding the individual and the goal of the evaluation.

Poorly written reports get shredded!

I’ve performed hundreds of vocational evaluations (and have shredded many, too)! When I combine my educational abilities and career counseling expertise while providing disability specific resources when needed, my goal as a good rehabilitation counselor is fulfilled!

I’ve posted several times on the subject of vocational evaluations ~ which happens to be one of my favorites! ~ Please take a look around my blog and let me know how I can help you.

Contact me at 515-282-7753 or 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.

 

 

Simply Yet Methodically Defined…Transferable Skills Unfold During Vocational Assessment!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As a fundamental guide, I agree with and adopted a simple definition of “transferable skills” as those versatile skills that can be used effectively in a number of different roles. Good definition!

Transferable skills are universal skills — you can transfer them from one type of work to another without much effort on your part or training from the employer (Mullins & Roesslers, 1998).

Unlike job-related skills, which tend to be used only in one type of work, transferable skills are skills that can be used in every occupation, regardless of the type of work! Source

There are many dimensions to a person’s vocational capacity, and putting interests and aptitudes aside for now, the challenge is how to measure and classify hard skills (motor and cognitive) and those influential soft skills (of vital importance) in a standardized way to underline the skills of a job seeker.

Assessment Info

Because there are literally thousands of skills, my methodology highlights the most “user friendly” skills as a precursor to job placement.

I ask the job seeker to complete a transferable skills checklist, and this link takes you to one example of a useful checklist.

There are many useful checklists on the web that serve as informational aids, feel free to use which one works best. Here’s another example of a transferable skill checklist I like.

From a checklist (example of yet another!), I look for 10-20 checked items and with a focus on placement, the job seeker is encouraged to tell me their story by participating in a discussion filled with open-ended questions such as ~

Why did you check a certain attribute? How did you use that skill in a work-related situation? What where the tasks involved? Was there room for creativity? How could that skill be used in another job?

Then I ask research related questions, such as ~

What could change if the work appears to be unrelated to the past employment situation? How can we be sure you can be productive in a new job? Who should get to know your best transferable skills? Why would your skills be valuable to others? And so on!

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Get to the best skills through open dialogue!

I recognize the personal qualities of the job seeker and understand those transferable skills s/he owns in comparison to the specific job-related skills and hiring qualities employers often look for.

Assessment Info

During an evaluative interview, I continuously assess any influential “soft skills” that rise to the surface. How does the person communicate?

What is her body language telling me? Is s/he exhibiting an open or a closed style? And of course, the environment and the context is accounted for. I look for indicators of creativity, flexibility, change readiness, leadership, team building, and so on.

If the person is able to build rapport with me and openly discuss their work attributes, they should be able to interview well, or at least feel a degree of comfort marketing themselves and become an effective seller in a job interview [with or without job seeking skills training]. If you’d like help now, here’s a link to Job Interview Questions and Answers, a free, interactive video app that helps you practice your answers to tough interview questions in an easy-to-use mock interview format.

Once solid assessment information is gathered during the interview, through completion of vocational worksheets, along with a generic application and a self-rating scale, the individual’s educational and vocational history is processed. The assessment process continues to unfold!

Assessment Info

I detail all the occupations and job specific skills, roles and responsibilities that appear in the individual’s background and pay particular attention to those skills the individual has the capacity to reintroduce. Starting with one job or volunteer experience, I break down 3 major tasks and then divide those into skills acquired from performing that job. This process is eye-opening!

***Read on! ***

I’ve written about my background earlier in my blogging days titled ‘How did I Get into Rehab Counseling? Here’s a Little Story.’ The link I just provided sends you to the first in a series of parts of my story. But today, here’s a little bit about one of my first jobs.

 Are you using transferable skills from your past in your current career?

Did you work in the food service industry as one of your first jobs? I did and many people do! Back in the early 1980s I worked as a waitress (ugg, thankfully now food server) at a restaurant called the Red Rooster Grill (as of May 2016 she remains open to hungry customers!) on the corner of Oak and Rocksylvania in Iowa Falls. (Trivia: Iowa Falls used to be Rocksylvania!)

As a waitress, I gained many skills!

Following the methodology I describe above, here’s a chart listing the transferable skills I used at Red Rooster with the skills I continue to use in my present job many moons and late night munchies later as a vocational counselor and life care planner.

PAST EMPLOYMENT AS A FOOD SERVER:

Three Main Tasks ~

1.) Explain Menu & Suggest Menu Options to Guest (Interpersonal Skills)    

2.) Take & Place Food Order  (Marketing & Sales)

• Relay Orders to Cooking Staff (Communication & Teamwork)

3.) Deliver Food to Table (Customer Service & Quality Assurance)

• Accurately Distribute Food (Accuracy & Organization)

• Take Payment / Make Change (Accounts Payable/Receivable)

• Manage various types of payment (Invoicing & Follow-Through)  

The soft skills I acquired as a waitress were learned from serving the after Dan’s Place bar crowd (and late night drivers!) who were out in the streets after 2:00 AM. More on soft skills in another post!

 

Sorry!! I tried hard not to spill coffee on my customers!!

When the evaluee or the job seeker sees how simple diagramming a chart can be in relation to their transferable skills, they often become more interested in the job search and in working with me in general! Good job!

Let me know how I can help with a vocational assessment to include transferable skills! Here’s another link to a great resource for help identifying transferable skills.

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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.

Assessment, Assessment, Assessment and More Assessment! Need Your Client Assessed?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I performed a self-assessment and wrote a paper titled “Self-Assessment of Competencies for Entry Level Health Educators” for the School Health course I took while attending Iowa State University in the fall of 1994.

Self Assessment

I remember typing my paper on a Power Mac and using a dot matrix printer! Remember how to carefully tear the sides off after you gently folded at the seam?  I read the old paper (it was yellowed!) scanned it in and recycled the paper (one of my purposes of blogging is to clear out my office of lots of paper!) I won’t bore you with the entire paper, but here’s the original cover page, the introduction and the conclusion:

INTRODUCTION

I am a non-traditional student (if there is such a term) who has worked for 12+ years and made the move to return to school to fulfill a personal goal. Please keep in mind as you read my self-assessment that I have based many skills and competencies on activities I have performed in the past at the workplace.

I have been employed as a nurse’s aide, a medical records clerk, an agricultural statistics gatherer, and a secretary for the State of Iowa. Currently, I am a medical transcriptionist and a placement specialist.

My position as a placement specialist has offered me many skills that can be related to a health educator. This position is for a rehabilitation consulting firm, and as a placement specialist, I work with individuals who have been injured on the job and are now receiving workers’ compensation benefits. My objectives involve offering the client job seeking skills training to return them to meaningful employment as outlined by their personal goals and health history. My education nursing school, secretarial science, liberal arts and community health education. I have many credits!

The paper then focused on how my skills / competencies (including those I would need to acquire) and related life experiences help in the following areas:

  • Assessing Individual and Community Needs for Health Education
  • Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Health Education Programs
  • Acting as a Resource Person in Health Education
  • Communicating Health and Health Education Needs, Concerns and Resources.

And the … last page … the

CONCLUSION

This self-assessment is an excellent tool to use when identifying your strengths and weaker areas of professionalism and room for growth. I put a lot of work into this assessment, as it let me seriously look at why I took various courses and which ones pertain to my future as a health educator. This assessment will help me compile an up-to-date resume, and also gives me a tool which I can use when interviewing for a job.

Although I feel I have many useful skills, I need to refine many of them. With the incorporation of all the knowledge I have gained through my community health education major, I am VERY MUCH looking forward to finding a position where I can utilize all my skills and competencies.

The professor, Dr. Frank E. Shabel, made comments in red ink throughout the assessment, and on the last page of the paper he wrote:  Amy, This is the most thorough assessment I have had in two years. You have gained much through the process. Save a copy for future employers. A+ 35/35 4 pages? (Note it need have only been 4 pages, but mine was 9…typical me.)

The paper is a blast from the past and I see that I did a pretty good job of doing what I said I needed to do!  That being to utilize and develop the skills and competencies I wrote about in the fall of 1994!  And very importantly, since then, I focused in on developing my assessment skills.

An assessment is the estimation of the quality or ability of something or someone.  It is imperative to gather complete, reliable and valid information from the person who is the recipient of an assessment.  

Image result for clip art assessment image

I perform vocational assessments, transferable skills assessments, job assessments, educational assessments, employability assessments, job seeking skills assessments, job search assessments, labor market assessments, educational / training assessments, small business assessments, independent living assessments, life care planning assessments, motivational assessments, occupational health assessments, plus more!
Image result for assessment

If you’d like to learn more about my vocational assessments, or any of the other many assessments available, and how I focus on individual while keeping uniqueness in mind, give me a call at 515-282-7753. You can also find documents for download and click on the sample vocational assessment link.  I’m happy to help assess your client’s assessment needs! 

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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.