employee of the monthSometimes, the most challenging thing about getting a job is deciding if you want one or not. There are many factors to consider: the type of job you would want, the type of job you are qualified for or could handle with your symptoms, whether it will impact your social security benefits and if you are ready to go back to work at all. Each person has to make this decision themselves, but some resources that you should consider are talking to your state training and assistance programs including vocational and rehabilitation specialists. They will not only be able to assist you with social security guidelines, but can walk you through the process of finding work.

Even if you have been out of work for awhile, you still have skills that would make you a valuable employee. If you took the bus this week, you practiced some of the same skills that employees look for. One, you had to have arrived on time or early or you would have missed the bus. Secondly, you had to have had the money ready and available. You were prepared and anticipating what was needed of you. You probably interacted with others either waiting for or while you were on the bus. You had to use your communication and interpersonal skills to accomplish this. You had to watch for your stop and ring the bell to signal a stop. Most likely, you were doing something else at the same time. So, you not only were able to remain focused, you multi-tasked. It may seem like a stretch, but whether you rode the bus or managed your household, be confident that you have what it takes to be a good employee.

Being confident in what you have to offer leads to new opportunities. One of the opportunities that some people take advantage of is self-employment. There are many ways that you can work without the set schedule and expectations that come from traditional employment. For instance, if you enjoy crocheting or knitting, you could sell your goods on websites such as etsy  or to friends and family. With a computer, you could create home videos for people using their photos and favorite songs. Cleaning houses or walking dogs are other ways to get out, meet people and get some exercise, as well as a little extra spending money. Take an inventory of all that you have to offer, including your talents, time, and resources. Then, be creative and find a way to make yours and someone else’s life better.

If you can or  want to find work outside of the home, but need some extra support, here are some resources to tap into:

Michigan Ability Partners

Michigan Rehabilitation Services  (Michigan Rehabilitation Services: Ann Arbor)

Work Skills Corporation: Employment Services

Jewish Family Services: Employment Training Services

Work First Washtenaw overview

MichiganWorks! Agency information

Veteran Employment Specialist through MichiganWorks!

Fidelity Bonding Program

Programs/tax incentives designed to support people with disabilities going back to work

Guide for People with Disabilities seeking Employment

The Washtenaw County website has a list of organizations to contact for employment assistance including temp agencies in the area.  You can find the link here.

Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living
Provides educational services, job-search prep, referrals, skill development, and youth and recreation groups for those with disabilities.
Address: 3941 Research Park Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: (734) 971-0277
Website: http://www.annarborcil.org/

Center for Education of Women, University of Michigan
Counseling regarding academic, career, and life issues as well as job assistance.
Address: 330 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734-764-6005
Website: http://www.cew.umich.edu/

Food Gatherers Community Kitchen Job Training Program
Provides low-income and at-risk youth (ages 17-24) with instruction in basic culinary arts, food safety and sanitation, work ethics and life skills. Seasonal program, call for details.
Phone: (734) 761-2796
Email: missy@foodgatherers.org
Website: http://www.foodgatherers.org

Job Accommodation Network
Phone:  (800) 526-7234
TTY:  (877) 781-9403
Website:  askjan.org

SCORE- Small business education and support
Free mentoring and paid workshops for people who are in business or want to start a business. SCORE provides free and confidential business advice and mentoring tailored to meet the needs of your small business and your personal objectives. Ann Arbor SCORE also offers workshops, for a modest fee, for both start-up and in-business entrepreneurs.
Address: Cleary University, 3601 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: (734) 929-9091
Website: http://annarborscore.com/

Student Resource and Women’s Center, Washtenaw Community College
Career counseling and support, including tuition, textbooks, childcare, bus tokens, disability assistance for students at the college.
Address: 4800 East Huron River Dr,  Ann Arbor MI  48105
Phone: (734) 677-5105
Website: http://www4.wccnet.edu/studentservices/otherservices/womens/

Related Pages:
returning to work   
success stories