Discovering a New Way to Find a Career

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Discovery Services list - Customized employment, Job Creation, Supported EmploymentAt employU, we offer a variety of employment services that can assist clients throughout their career path journey, no matter what level of support they are looking for. Though a valuable service, Discovery is a program that many aren’t aware of. Vocational Rehabilitation states that in order to qualify for Discovery Services, an individual must be eligible for Supported Employment Services. Typically, this includes clients who have multiple levels of impairment, profound needs, and who would otherwise would not be able to work within the community setting without these supports. One of our Discovery Specialists, Jeff Hancock, explains what sets Discovery services apart from other Employment Services in the passage below. 

For most people, the process of finding a job conjures images of walking store to store asking for an application or endless hours online searching the web on sites like Indeed.com. For others, the idea of finding a job seems more impossible than climbing Mt. Everest. With the right supports and desire, anyone can find the perfect job. Discovery and Customized Employment are two such supports offered by Vocational Rehabilitation and provided by employU. Discovery is a process of getting to know the client on a much more personal manner and diving deep into their life to find their interests, skills, abilities, and desires and CREATING a job around them.  

Through interviews with family, friends, supports, and others who know the client, a Discovery Specialist gets to know the individual and who they are. Then we engage with them in the community to learn and observe how the client interacts with others, how they learn new skills, what types of environments bring them joy. We take all of that information and build a profile comprised of three possible paths to follow for career fields. 

 But we do not identify these paths as specifically as typical job seekers. Rather than a path of “teacher,” we look for a path of “working with children”. Once we find these paths, we then begin to find the best route along that path towards employment. This is where the Customized Employment comes in. For this, we do not use the idea of job finding, but rather job creating. We meet with businesses that would fit into our client’s path, observe the daily operations, and see how our client can fit into the business and use their skills to complete specific tasks that the business might currently have completed by a variety of other staff. We try to show how our client can focus on those specific tasks will allow for others to direct their time to the main duties they have been assigned.  

Think of a restaurant and all the servers and staff working at the end of the night. Part of the duties for those staff is to wrap silverware and prepare the tables at the end of each shift. For some people, this adds at least an hour or two to the end of the shift, costing the business those hourly wages and also costing the staff tips that they would otherwise get working tables. Now imagine bringing in a single person at the end of day that loves to be around other people, has a desire to work in a popular restaurant and be a part of the team. That person comes in for three to four hours each night and their only job is wrapping that silverware and finishing the side work that all the other staff had to do “when they have time between tables.” The cost of that one person is negligible as compared to even an hour extra for 6 servers. The servers get to go home at the end of their shift rather than staying to complete the extra work. The individual has a job, is part of team, and that team shares in benefits of having this extra person. This is a win-win for everyone, including the business. 

As Jeff explains above, although Discovery services are a completely customized solution for the client, they also, in turn, benefit the business and oftentimes, the business’s employees, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved. Additionally, not only can a customer establish a fulfilling, rewarding career they may not otherwise find without these supports, but at the community level there are the benefits of an inclusive and diversified workforce. At employU, our specialists take the pride in creating meaningful career paths for our clients which bring about lasting impact in their lives and for everyone around them. For more information on our Discovery Services go to https://employu.org/supported-employment/