Monday, March 12, 2012

My Vocation?

I am now onto the next phase of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. I met with my main job counselor and another man from the job readiness department.  We reviewed how I did during the computer class; we talked more about my previous work history and we talked about what we will do next. 

The plan is that we are going to find me a part-time unpaid job that I will work at for a month. They will set it up for me and will send someone with me a few times to make sure I get all the help needed for me to do okay in the work environment. It would be like job specific occupational therapy and it will give them the ability to evaluate how I am doing in terms of my interests, abilities, physical tolerance, need for job accommodations and aids, and they will assess my work habits and behavior before making further recommendations.

 We can try a few different job placements over the next few months in order to find a job that will be a good fit for me now. This will give me job experience, a chance to sort out what kind of hours I can tolerate at a real job and a job reference. It should also be part of the process of increasing my stamina further and hopefully building up my confidence a bit more in the process.

I met with the job placement coach for a second time last week. We looked at some typical job descriptions on a volunteer job bank listing and then we started pulling together my resume.
I thought it might be hard to sort out the actual details of my resume but I was not prepared for the flood of emotions it triggered. Never mind the recent lost skills and lost jobs, I was suddenly thinking of all the poor career decisions I have made in the past and about all the things I could have achieved if I had only made different choices.  People think they have forever to make changes in their jobs and their future, but a life-threatening event makes one acutely aware of what a short time we really have on this earth and the limitations that can occur because of health and life circumstances. I pretty much fell apart for the rest of the evening thinking about lost opportunities.

It is pretty scary to work on getting a new job, in a new field, at this point in my life.

The newspaper clipart is from


Barb Polan said...

Linda, Linda, No one, even the ones who never had a stroke,are exceptionally productive and feel their jobs are rewarding, believes they didn't make poor career choices in the past. And you have been doing a remarkable job figuring out a good career path for you in the future - you have advisers, resources and have help identifying your skills. I stumbled along trying to accomplish what I'd done pre-stroke and just ended up disappointing myself and my boss. Yours is the way to go!

Sara G said...

Change is scary and boy do I know those emotional triggers. You can do this and I can too! Challenges are for us to grow. Sending hugs! We are still unpacking, settling but in time. I don't plan on settling until we have "our" place but this will do for now. I'm thrilled to read about your challenges.

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Linda, I'm so sorry to hear about how emotionally difficult this transition is. I don't even want to think about it for myself yet. As it is now, I've "wasted" too many years on an education I will most likely never be able to use again. I was an RN. And there is little chance I will ever be doing that again. So we're all in the same boat...just so you know you're not alone. I love that you have found the courage and resources to help you through this transition. When the time comes, I will be trying to model your example. Congratulations on taking on such a huge goal and project, and for sticking with it even when it has gotten really hard.

Marcelle Greene said...

"People think they have forever to make changes in their jobs and their future, but a life-threatening event makes one acutely aware of what a short time we really have on this earth and the limitations that can occur because of health and life circumstances."

Linda, boy do I relate to and struggle with this. It's so hard not to feel like my life is already over and to regret. I'm trying to use the experience as impetus to chase my dreams now.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Sending big hugs your way, Linda! This has been more than challenging for you. Best not to dwell on the past with regret. Try to think of it as simply an experience and move on. Focus on the future and all the exciting things you can accomplish when you take the first step. Look how far you've come already! :)

Linda said...

Thank-you all. I found your comments to be very helpful, encouraging and calming too. I feel hugged!

My next appointment with the job guy is in a week. (they really are being wonderful to me--- ) I decided to print the comments out and carry it in my bag to remind me how lucky I am to have so many people rooting for me!

Rebecca said...

I am so impressed by the series of doable steps you have taken to propel you towards this long-term goal. Continue to keep us up-to-date on your journey. As always, the best of luck and thanks for the inspiration.

Nancy Lytle said...

Linda, Although we have just met, I have already learned so much from you! I am very interested to see the resources available and how wisely you use them.
I too have had job regret. Lying in the ICU, I reviewed what I had done with my life and came to the conclusion that I had put too much time and energy into work rather than family and things that would make a difference to others. I have kept that with me, not wasting energy on it but using it to guide me in future decisions.

I now volunteer at our regional hospital which I enjoy but am making difficult for myself because even the volunteer work has to be something that makes a difference and not just busy work. I am sure that as you move forward looking for that right fit you will be so glad for the opportunity to reflect on where your path will take you now. Your sharing helps so many - keep up the great work!

Glynis said...

Hi Linda

I think I know exactly how you are feeling about all this. I've been there, I've done that.

Stay calm and take your time. You'd be surprised at how quickly you can get back into the swing if things if you just don't push.

Be sure to let us know how thing progress.

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