Transitional Independent Living


Helping Young Adults Build Skills to Get Hired

Have you put much thought into how your young adult looks for jobs? Does he or she just spend hours looking through classifieds or online postings? Is he or she filling out applications for anything that is available? Or maybe you’re the one doing all of the hunting for them? It may seem like this approach is working. Your young adult is getting interviews and has even been hired. But in a relatively short amount of time they are right back where they were before: jobless and looking the same way. They might even still have the job, but are completely miserable. Your young adult needs to engage in a job search that is focused rather than scattershot. This is one of the skills taught by New Directions. Before the Job Search Begins We start with an assessment. When students who are interested in working on their vocational skills start in our transition program, they take a test. The results of this test give our instructors an idea of each student’s aptitude. Building the Resume Once we have an idea of what the student might be good at and like, we help them find a position (or more than one) that gives them experience. This position may be an actual paying job, but it also might be volunteer work or an internship. There are several benefits to this approach. The student gains work experience to put on his or her resume or applications when job hunting. He or she also learns whether or not they are suited for a specific type of job or industry. It also gives students the opportunity to practice the social and job skills we are teaching in the program. If that one doesn’t work, or the term ends, we help students find another position. We don’t try to pigeonhole students into one type of job. We have placed students in a wide range of jobs and industries. During the Job Search As students are looking for work, they are assisted by our vocational staff members. Each student learns how to:
  • Look for jobs matching their aptitudes according to the assessment test
  • Complete a job application or resume
  • Present themselves for an interview, and how to interact during the interview
  • Keep the position once they’ve been awarded it
Take Jill’s Example When Jill arrived at New Directions, her assessment test told her and our team that her personality was suited for a people-oriented job such as teaching. Jill also had teaching experience from her college coursework, so she started in a volunteer position at a local school. However, Jill soon realized that, although she enjoyed working with the children and teachers, teaching was not her calling. We then helped her find a full-time position at a nearby hotel. Working in the hotel is something Jill has discovered she is good at. She likes the work and the people she meets. She was even recognized as Employee of the Month recently! It’s also a position with long-term potential, as people are often promoted and have been working there for years. The Focused Approach Once your young adult understands how to find a job that fits his or her personality, they will thrive in their next position. This type of job search may require more work than just taking whatever job comes along first, but the long-term benefits are much more valuable.
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