The job market is tough for everyone out there, but it can particularly difficult for those with disabilities to secure work. By working as an employment specialist in supported employment you can help those with disabilities to prepare, find and succeed in employment. Providing them with this support and guidance is incredibly rewarding as you help people to gain independence and achieve their potential as they succeed and progress in their careers.
You will discuss with your clients what job opportunities are available to them and which are best suited to their interests and personality. This can involve organising and accompanying your client to visit a workplace or even complete some work experience in community job settings. You will then need to match the right job to the right person, which involves considering the employer’s needs too. You will work with employers to educate and advise them about hiring those who have a disability or health condition. The workplace must be examined in order to determine the kind of support your client will need before their first day and whether any changes to the office or contract will need to be made to improve this role for the candidate. Once your client is installed in their job, your work doesn’t stop there: you’ll attend the workplace alongside your client, helping them to feel comfortable and get to grips with the job. If there is an incident at work or a change that causes some difficulty for the client, it is your job to go back and help them to solve/deal with this issue.
What Makes It So Rewarding?
You can restore confidence and independence to people who have previously felt restricted in the world of work, helping them to pursue their career aspirations.
Patti Delbuono, an employment associate at Career Path Services, explained:
‘My greatest joy working at Career Path Services is watching our participants learn to like themselves once again. When they begin to excel in areas of their lives, they not only elevate themselves, but also make a positive impact on their children and those around them.’
Your communication skills (verbal and written) have to be top notch so you can build a rapport with your clients in order to truly understand their needs and aspirations. Furthermore, you’ll need to communicate with employers effectively to ensure your client receives the support they require. Multitasking and problem-solving are also essential qualities as you’ll often have to determine how best to help your client succeed in their role and overcome any obstacles they may face.
Salary & Entry Requirements
You will need at a least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a relevant field such as business or counselling. In addition, some relevant work experience will always go in your favour. Consider completing a course that will help you to develop the necessary skills to become a successful employment specialist in supported employment, such as this one. Salaries are similar to those of a job coach, with the average salary at £20,388, starting salaries around £16,000 and those with more experience reaching £34,000 a year.