When the people you support are working, they're more likely to be able to live their best lives. Even when a job is secure, however, employment conversations remain important.
As a support professional, you can make sure the people you support are growing in their career paths. Check in regularly to assess the situation, make sure they have the needed supports and find out if they're still happy with what they're doing. Consider whether there might be opportunities for advancement or if they want to try something different.
When a person is working, it's important to help them stay engaged. As someone gains skills and experience, it's natural to want to move forward, try new things, earn more money and use new skills. Sometimes people get bored with the same old routine and simply want a change.
To determine if someone is ready for a change or encountering obstacles at work, ask open-ended questions and use person-centered tools. Use the sample questions and conversation starters below to help gauge someone's satisfaction with work.
About financial need:
Consider using the 4+1 person-centered planning tool (PDF) to identify what's going well, what could be improved and what could be done differently at the current job.
Whether a person is satisfied with their work, dissatisfied or looking for growth, you can provide helpful resources.
When a person is satisfied with their current job and earnings, you can:
When a person is satisfied with their current job but open to advancement, you can:
When a person is dissatisfied with their current job or earnings, you can:
If the person you're supporting has questions or concerns about how changes in their work — such as changing jobs, working more hours or accepting a pay raise — will affect their benefits, introduce them to Disability Benefits 101. Show them the benefits estimators plus the chat feature for questions. You can also connect the person to a benefits expert at the Hub.
Your role as a champion is to help the people you support grow into their full potential — and learn to be their own champions.
People build confidence from experience. Help the people you support consider what they've learned during their employment and how working has helped them grow as individuals.
Become a self-advocate
To help the people you support develop their self-advocacy skills and interests, use the following resources:
Provide opportunities for people to share their employment success stories with others. Encourage them to join the Virtual Insight Panel, or VIP, and share their stories on the Hub. Encourage them to be an inspiration to others who may be starting to think about employment.