February 13th, 2018

Ticket to Work Portland, OregonI received this bookmark from a friend recently and it reminded me that we may never get there but the steps we take, the experiences we have, and the relationships we establish make a significant difference in our journey.

Those of you who are involved in the Ticket to Work Program are embarking on a journey that will change your lives forever. And the decisions you make along the way – what I like to call the who, what, when, where, and why – will be critical to your success.

Who You Take with You is Important, Depending on the Destination

If you’re going on vacation, you may want to take a friend who’s been there before, or perhaps a tour guide if the location is unfamiliar. The right Employment Network can provide a coach or mentor to help you define your career goals, job criteria, and help with the ups and downs that come along with trying to land the right job.

What do You Need to Take with You?

When you return to work, you’ll need to know Social Security Administration (SSA) rules to help you manage your transition off benefits (called Work Incentives), and what information(?) SSA has in your personal file. Pathways to Independence works with the Plan for Work Program to help you understand how your earnings will affect your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefit as well as continued eligibility for Social Security. Job preparation tools are available to provide you with more confidence.

When is the Right Time to Start this Journey?

Things to consider include your physical or mental health, your mobility, your stamina and your financial situation. Are you ready for full time work or should you start part time? Do you need time off for frequent medical appointments? Is your housing situation stable or your personal life in turmoil? Our staff is available to discuss these issues, so you can determine the right time for you.

Where You Go Could be the Difference Between Job Satisfaction and Just a Job

The kind of company, the location, the type of people you want to work with, and available transportation can make the job enjoyable. Pathways helps you define your career direction, job goals, job accommodations, and even future career development opportunities so you end up with a career, not just a job.

Why Do You Want to Return to Work?

Probably most importantly, ask yourself why you want to head in your chosen direction. When it’s time to return to work and you know what you want to pursue, you’re more likely to find personal satisfaction in a job and – ultimately – discover your career. People find satisfaction in their jobs if they use their personal strengths, find the right people to work with, develop the right skills, and listen to their hearts. Yes, and sometimes they even have to try more than one job or company before they settle down.

It Might Take Some Time, so Don’t Give Up

It took me a long time to find the place where my deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet as Frederick Buechner said. I stayed in the other place too long because I was afraid to start the journey. It wasn’t easy and sometimes it was very lonely, but I found it. I get to sit across the table from you, helping you find that place for yourself.  Contact me and let’s talk about your future.