Don’t Give Up!
Finding a job can be challenging for anyone, especially when you live with a developmental disability. But that didn’t stop Carly* from finding a job that she loves. Part of her success was her own determination and accessing help through Community Living Program – Employment (Communitas Employment), a program of Communitas Supportive Care Society.
Communitas Employment helps people discover their abilities and gifts and then matches them with a suitable job. In order to find the perfect job, Carly worked with Tamara Seebaran, an employment specialist with Communitas.
“Part of what made Carly successful was her openness to the process. She was willing to learn,” Tamara says. “She’s also tenacious, she knew exactly what kind of work she wanted to do.”
Despite her confidence, Carly’s experience working with a large grocery store chain was not successful. She found it difficult when given multiple, new tasks and felt that her boss wasn’t patient with her. Still, it was a learning experience.
Carly learned that it’s important to be honest and open about identifying her current skills. – Tamara Seebaran, Employment Specialist
This learning helped her when she landed her current job as a sales associate at Marketplace by MCC CE. Kathy Lang, the manager at Marketplace, says that part of the goal of this community enterprise is to give opportunities to people who experience barriers to employment.
“Our goal is to help people grow into their full potential,” Kathy says.
It was helpful for Kathy to interact with Tamara in order to understand what would help Carly’s success. Tamara explained that it was important for Carly to focus on one task at a time and learn to do that well before moving on another task. This process ensures that Carly feels confident and when she has confidence, she really shines.
“Carly is a great employee, she’s become an important part of our team” Kathy says with a smile. “She’s willing to work more, she’s very reliable and I call her my ‘selling-machine’ because she is really good at making sales.”
Carly has many responsibilities: she helps at the till and tidies around the store cleaning the fitting rooms and making sure that the display areas are neat. She’s learned how to use the cash register system and is learning how to sell larger furniture items. While she loves these tasks, it’s the encouraging environment that she loves most.
“We’re treated like family here,” Carly says. “I know that Kathy will help me learn what I need to know to do my job.”
Carly says that for anyone, whether you live with a disability or not, the most important thing in finding work is perseverance.
“Don’t give up,” she says. “Keep looking until you find the right fit. I knew that the right job would come along eventually and I found it at Marketplace. I love it here.”
*The feature photo at the top of this article is an Unsplash stock image by Caroline Attwood