My name is Sabrina, and I am a Job Coach!
“What exactly is a Job Coach doing?” – That’s probably the most asked question I have heard since working for Little Gate Farm.
And that’s okay, because actually, I didn’t always know.
I didn’t even know when I applied for this job.
But sometimes, it’s worth listening to your gut feeling, and my gut feeling was telling me that applying for this job, is the right decision.
It’s been several months now, since I started my work for Little Gate Farm. And I can say, my gut feeling didn’t let me down. I love being a Job Coach.
But what was is now, that a Job Coach does?
The shortest answer to this question is: WE SUPPORT ADULTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND AUTISM INTO PAID EMPLOYMENT.
But let me get into detail just a little bit more.
In the UK we have approximately 6.5 Million people with a Learning Disability and only 6% of those people have a paid job. You might be thinking ‘That’s not a lot’, and you are right. It isn’t.
And that’s where we as Job Coaches come in. We are on a mission to change this statistic. We believe, that everyone has the right to work, live a fulfilled life with a purposeful job.
Let me tell you about a young man that I am supporting.
Him and I are the same age. And whilst I had lots of different job to find out what I enjoy doing, what’s the perfect job for me, he didn’t have any jobs. He just never got the chance to proof that he is just as able as everyone else, until now.
So, what changed? How did he get a job now? I will tell you.
He decided to change his fate and got himself a Job Coach.
After spending some time at the Little Gate farm – YES, there is actually a real farm – the Little Gate team found a suitable job for him and I got chosen to support him.
Once a week now, I meet this young man at his work place. I am just there. Follow every step he is doing, be his shadow, and when he needs me, I am there to help him with his tasks. To explain, to listen, to support with everything that might come up on the day.
You could say, I am more than just a Job Coach. I am his right (or left) hand, his support system, his brain (if he forgets something), his lead worker, his counsellor and his friend.
Whatever he needs me to be, that’s what I will be.
It’s not always easy, of course not. But what job is?
Sometimes you want to help, make life easy for him, not see him reaching his limits, struggling.
But just as we reach our limits all the time, it’s important he does as well. To progress, learn that mistakes are okay, learn to make decisions for himself.
Because I won’t always be there. After some time, it’s time for me to step back. Withdraw myself and let him be. Gradually I will be with him less and less until he is on his own. Until he doesn’t need me anymore.
And when this moment comes, he will be absolutely confident. Confident in his job, confident to make decisions and confident to see himself equal to everyone else. Because he is. We all are. Yes, some people need more support than others, but that’s okay.
Because we are all worth the same.
And that is what Job Coaches do. Supporting people with Learning Disabilities and Autism into paid employment, until they are ready and confident to rock their work place on their own.