I realize it has been a while since I have written a post. I wanted to catch everyone up with the developments from the summer. I learned a lot about myself and my ability to wear multiple hats, sometimes the hats were being worn together. In July I was asked to be an interim case manager for another program at work. This program is helpful for individuals who have a severe disability to help them maintain employment. These individuals are the custodian staff for one of the federal buildings here. I was still working fulltime in the reentry program and then I had to work for this program that is a fulltime job itself.
I learned how much resolve I had by having two eight hour days, one 5 hour day, and two 10.5 hour days. Wearing multiple hats can become a challenge if you are not ready. In this other program there were annual reviews that had to be written to prove the individuals working have a documented disability that meets the severity level. This was a difficult challenge but one I worked through and feel I learned a lot about myself. There were days that I was very tired and not sure if I could continue pushing through but with each passing day I learned more about my own abilities.
- Resolve was something I thought I had but it seems I had room for more. I worked through the tiredness, was able to write more in depth reports and still have time to keep my other program running smoothly. I was able to utilize problem solving skills to juggle both programs and not lose my mind.
- Asking for help when needed does not show weakness but it shows a healthy understanding of your own abilities. There were days that to many things were happening at once and I had to prioritize the events and ask for help from others. I am normally the kind of person who can tell others to ask for help but sometimes I cannot take my own advice. This program helped me become better at asking.
- Stress Management was almost a daily task. I would have to turn to others to vent, problem solve and lean on them for support. I was working hard to not work overtime. I learned that the people in my life are more of a support than I ever thought.
- Grateful is a concept that I know, but it was more of something I needed to remember. There are so many people who are out of work and would love to get a job, I am sure there are a lot of people who would have wanted my job. On even the most stressful day, I had to remember that I have a job and I needed to be reminded of how difficult life is and appreciate what I have.
- Ex-offenders are great teachers. I get to see several ex-offenders daily and the life lessons they teach are tremendous. I see individuals coming out of prison with little or nothing to their name, most are still in survival mode, trying to figure out the way of life. It is rewarding when you help someone gain hope, wisdom and yes learn what Facebook is. Many of my participants have been incarcerated for 15-20 years. That is a shock to many who already see technology and know how to use it.
Helping someone gain and maintain employment to have a better quality of life is a great mission. Over this holiday season, remember that no matter how hard it seems now, it can and will get better. Just take the time to do some soul searching and you can succeed.