Congratulations to our participant of the month- Elizabeth, a recent Project SEARCH graduate. She said to “Always remember those who have helped you along the way. Your family and friends have your back and want you to be successful in life. You’ll always have someone you can count on and trust!” We’re all so proud of your hard work, Elizabeth. FULL INTERVIEW BELOW.
Q: What led you to reach out to OOD for services?
A: I wanted to be able to get a good job so that I could have a good future. If it wasn’t for OOD, I would not have had the opportunity to be an intern in the Project Search program. As a Project Search intern, I learned a variety of job skills as well as how to be a good employee no matter where I was working.
Q: Why is it important to you to have a job?
A: Having a job means I can be a productive citizen and be responsible for myself. I don’t ever want to be jobless or homeless.
Q: How is getting/having a job going to change your life?
A: While we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, I’m setting myself up to survive any ups and downs that may occur. Because I will eventually work full-time, my employer will provide benefits, such as health insurance. Knowing that I’ll have insurance to help pay possible future medical bills will give me a sense of security and peace of mind as I go about my life. I’ve been working now for almost two months, and I have already started saving money. I’m taking Driver’s Ed. to get my license soon, and with the money I’m saving, I’ll be able to buy a car to drive to work.
Q: What challenges or problems did you have to face to get your job?
A: I have learned to take constructive feedback better and realized that people were just trying to help me become a better future employee. I also learned how to project my voice more and be more assertive. Now I feel very comfortable asking others for help on the job because I know my manager and my coworkers want me to learn how to be better at my job.
Q: How did Greenleaf help you with these challenges?
A: Greenleaf provided a Job Coach for me the entire time I was in Project Search at Dublin Methodist Hospital. My Job Coach helped me learn the various job tasks I was assigned at the hospital and observed me to make sure I was completing each step of the task correctly. My Job Coach also made sure I had experience communicating with the staff in the department where I was working. For instance, it was my responsibility to contact the EVS (Environmental Services) team lead every morning to find out where in the hospital I was to work each day.
I have even had a Greenleaf Job Coach with me since I began my new job at Doctors Hospital. My Job Coach made sure I could find my way around the hospital, answered any questions I had, and she even took notes for me during my initial training at the hospital. Right from the start, my Job Coach encouraged me to interact with my department manager and coworkers. I now know that I have people I can go to if I have a question that needs answered or if I need help on the job. While my Job Coach was there with me every day during my first week of work, now that she knows I am comfortable at work and have a good support system built up, she usually only needs to visit me at work once a week.
Q: What advice would you give to others who are nervous about looking for a job and working?
A: Always remember that “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone“!
Don’t be nervous or afraid to ask questions when you look for a job because there are good people out there who can answer all your questions, help you find a job, and even make sure you feel comfortable at work once you get hired.
Also, always remember those who have helped you along the way. Your family and friends have your back and want you to be successful in life. You’ll always have someone you can count on and trust!