You may have heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” When it comes to getting good jobs, I believe in the power of relationships. I could never do my job alone; in fact, I had the help of others in finding my own job. My clients are no different – they will need others to help them find new opportunities and support them.
At the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), we form relationships with the people we serve as well as the local community. We do this because we know that it takes a team in order to find a job. We also rely on job seekers to make their own connections through volunteer work, going to community events, joining social clubs and attending job seeking skills groups.
Experience builds confidence
One of the programs I am most excited about in my work at MRC is On-the Job Training (OJT). The OJT is great for people who have the skills and interest in a job, but do not have a lot of work experience. As a counselor, I have worked with consumers who have difficulty communicating their strengths and skills by simply filling out job applications. They may be told that they do not have enough job experience to get hired.
However, if you give the same person a chance to actually perform on the job, they shine. That is why MRC develops relationships with local businesses who want to participate in the OJT program.
A team approach that works
Here’s how it works: As a counselor, I work with the job seeker to prepare to get a certain type of job. We work on a resume, interview skills and the application process. Then, we work with the MRC team to find an employer who is looking to fill a position at their company. If the job seeker gets the job, and the new employer agrees to become a vendor of the Commonwealth, the On-the Job Training period begins.
MRC supports the job seeker and helps pay the company for the training period. At the end of the training period if everyone is satisfied, then the employee remains as a permanent employee.
At the end of the experience, it is a true team effort.
Many businesses have been so impressed with MRC job seekers that they call us when they need a good worker. As you can see, building relationships makes a huge difference in employment. Building relationships is important for anyone’s job search…and as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I try to help my clients make positive and supportive connections to the world of work.