ASERT August Newsletter 2016 Feature: Job Success

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Transition News

ASERT August Newsletter 2016 Feature: Job Success


Kathryn Labalokie did everything recommended to prepare for work after graduating high school. She gained valuable job experience while still in school, worked with a local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Counselor, had a job coach to help her get started on her way and even participated in a vocational readiness program. However, she still faced struggles once she was out in the workplace on her own.

After working for a few years at a local assisted living facility, management changed and Kathryn struggled to connect with her new supervisor. After trying to make it work, she realized “It wasn’t going well and I decided to be done with it.” Once she reconnected with her OVR Counselor, it was decided Kathryn might benefit from some extra support with her social skills and she eventually found her way to the ASERT Multimedia Social Skills Group for Adults. This 16-week program provides group instruction along with a peer generalization component and focuses on a variety of social skills, including those necessary for success in the workplace.

According to Kathryn, the group helped her learn what to do and what not to do at work, as well as how to be more approachable to her coworkers and customers. After completing the group, she successfully advocated for herself to get a job, even though her OVR Counselor wasn’t sure she was quite ready yet. Kathryn credits the group with allowing her to “show I was ready and confident to work.”  

Since then, Kathryn has successfully maintained her current job for close to a year, and has learned how to manage difficult situations that in the past may have proved too stressful to handle. When asked what advice she has for new graduates or someone starting out in the workplace, she shares insights learned from her experiences over the years:  “Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. You’ll end up making mistakes and you’ll learn from it. You don’t have to be perfect all the time.” 

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