Life before work was hard. I was a bit upset because I wanted to work and thought I couldn’t do it. I also wanted to save money for vacations but couldn’t.
Then, a chance to look for work came up and I took it! I spent some time with Arienne Jaeb, Employment Specialist, and the staff at Mission Association for Community Living. They helped me with learning new skills and getting ready for a job. Together, we looked for job opportunities in Mission. One of the things that helped me get ready was participating in the Job Club program. We talked about the things we would like to do, social skills, resume writing, interview skills and more.
Getting my first job was AWESOME. I wore a red maple leaf costume and greeted customers for Liberty Tax Services in my home town of Mission, BC. It was good to finally get paid work! I also got a bonus and a free thermos for my work there.
My job at Liberty Tax was short term so after it was over I began to look for another job. I attended a job fair at Superstore. I waited and waited for a call. Then it came. Getting a call for an interview felt really good. I was very interested in this possibility. It was a little hard to wait for their answer but soon I was hired and started my training as a General Services Worker. Not long after, I got another part-time job at Pro Oil Change as a sign waver. Having 2 jobs is GREAT because I get paid now and could save up money for going on vacations!
The staff at Employment Services helped me through all the different steps of finding a job, including job coaching me during my training. Having a job coach was really good – it helped me learn to do the job without all the pressure. Now, it’s really easy to do the work without help.
Life after getting a job is definitely more exciting! I like the way I get to know my co-workers. They are really kind and helpful. Attending the Christmas party last year was fun. We opened gifts and had dinner together. I’m looking forward to the next party. It’s also nice to say “Hi” when we see each other in the community.
I’ve also got to meet new people because now I can go on trips. I found a cool travel company called Minications for travel for people with disabilities, I can go on my own! I’ve been to a New Year’s Eve bash in Vancouver, visited Disneyland at Halloween, and just got back from a camping trip to Cultus Lake. It’s been a blast! I’m also planning more trips for the future – a trip to Seattle to see the Mariners and the Sounders play, to Great Wolf Lodge in Washington, USA, and more…all because having a job allows me to afford it!
If you’re wondering if you can have a job too, you can!
Created in partnership with Mission Association for Community Living: