I came to SSILC Employment Services in March 2017. I had a well-developed resume with office, retail, and call centre experience. I began to work on my action plan with my SSILC Employment Facilitator. I made a list of my skills and assets, as well as assessed my barriers to employment. I self-identified that I have anxiety and depression and that I had become isolated. Getting let go from my last position for unfair reasons did not help my state of mind.
I identified my goal as employment. I agreed to take the SSILC Employment Classes: Employability Skills, Self-Management for Work, and Employment Assessment classes in March; as well as the Job Finding Club in April. Part way through the March classes I told my facilitator that the classes were just what I needed in order to move forward.
During the classes I demonstrated excellent punctuality, attendance, participation, determination, and teamwork. The following are some of the areas of growth that I identified in myself-evaluation for class:
- “I set a goal of finding a job and not to stop until I find one.”
- I will not “let my external controls take over my anger. I am the only person I can control. I cannot control other people in the work place. I can only tell myself that I can do the job.”
- I can have a plan in my “internal mind to get along with my co-workers. And not let them control how I do my work. I can learn to keep positive at my employment.”
- “The main thing that I have gotten from the Job Finding Club is the ability to stay positive and not give up.”
I learned many skills including communication skills for the workplace, networking, how to access the hidden job market, mind-mapping the potential places to apply for jobs, interview skills, and I made calling cards.
I applied on jobs and got interviews for 8 positions. I have been hired at LP3 Transportation Solutions as a bus driver. This was my second pick from the 8 jobs I had interviews for.
Lori connected me with Dress for Success Regina to have a fitting for interview clothes and I was suited for interview clothes. I am presently waiting for my appointment with Dress for Success Regina to be suited for a week of clothing for work.
My life changed for the better when I enrolled for SSILC’s Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program. I was feeling quite depressed and discouraged with the lack of accommodation for anyone with a disability in my most recent work place. I began looking into any programs for people in my situation and registered with the SSILC intake in August 2016. I was told about the Entrepreneur with Disabilities program and I got quite excited because I used to do freelance work to supplement my income. I realized I needed to find some type of employment that was more flexible in hours and would give me more control over the amount of hours I worked. At my most recent employment, I organized and rebuilt a Customer Service Representative position for a new Centre Manager at a shopping mall here in Regina. He offered me the full- time position, however, I could not accept it, due to my disabilities and an operation I was to have on my shoulder. I took the part-time position instead and assisted him in finding someone else to work full-time. I supplied basic training to the new full-time hire as well as the other new staff she hired when she was promoted to Supervisor. I organized all paper and electronic files at our work station, built several Excel databases, designed business forms and contact lists, as well as writing and desktop publishing a high end quality CSR Procedures Manual. And I achieved all this while working only “part-time” hours. Sadly, most employers only offer health benefits, training, and higher wages to staff that can work full-time hours. And that was why I registered for the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program. I completed this training and graduated in March 2017. I found all the staff just wonderfully understanding, supportive, encouraging, and accommodating. The program material was professionally designed and facilitated. What I didn’t expect was the “self-help” training that will be so important to anyone running their own business and so vital to a person with a disability. At the time of writing this, I am continuing my research and training myself in the skills I need to be self employed as a Psychic Reader and Healer. I have had a passion for doing readings since my sister presented me with my first deck of Tarot Cards on my sixteenth birthday. And this particular line of work would give me the flexibility to work part-time hours while avoiding the hours of the intensive computer work that had physically hurt me in the past. SSILC also assisted me in receiving Paratransit Services during winter months, as well as supplying me with a character reference for the Subsidized Senior Housing program. I need to find a healthier and safer place to live before I can put my business plan into full swing. During this time of transition, I plan to attend other SSILC events and learning seminars. It is so good to make new friends and expand our horizons. The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program has given me hope and excitement that I can still contribute to society. So I am celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday this year by sharing my story with you. We all need hope for a better future. Without hope, there is no future.
My name is Theresa and I’ve been involved with SSILC for a few months. I have been enjoying the SSILC programs working with group sessions.
Since August of 2016 I was volunteering at the front desk doing receptionist duties. I have also done a computer class and have learned a lot and gained more skills. My self-esteem was low until I joined the SSILC programs, with these groups and the computer class I’m hoping to get a job from all the skills I’m learning.
SSILC is a great place to learn about skills for work or in life. The staff is great and very helpful in helping customers achieve their goals. I have gained more confidence since being with SSILC.
I heard about SSILC through an advertisement pamphlet for people with disabilities who needed help to assimilate back into the workforce. I was not optimistic as I had tried a similar program years ago but went anyway.
I could tell this place was much different right away, I was welcomed with a smile and the atmosphere in the office was exceptionally personable and welcoming. Throughout the whole process I knew SSILC Moose Jaw would help me with anything and filling out a resume and job search was not so overwhelming, I could tell when I talked to the staff that this wasn’t just a job that was filling in time for …SSILC really did shine and I could tell they sincerely wanted to help. Every time I envision myself as an office worker I think of SSILC Moose Jaw as the perfect example of what I want to be like with customers I deal with.
I felt like I lost my humanity when I got my disease because people looked at me different and treated me like I didn’t belong all of a sudden, after 16 years my job made me feel like I was no longer welcome and friendly faces ceased to exist. I was in constant pain because the job was too physical for my condition but had no other skills so by the time I got to SSILC I felt very physically and mentally unwell. I now have been in my new position for a few weeks and my coworkers are wonderful, it’s nice not to go to work and not be hated because I look funny at the job I’m doing. My pain is also much less and I am no longer sick when I leave work. I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity and will forever be grateful.