How to find the right balance of choice and control as you look for work

03 June 2021

How to find the right balance of choice and control as you look for work

Having the freedom to choose gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on our circumstances. This helps us to take on more personal responsibility and make informed decisions.

We make an enormous number of choices every day, both consciously and subconsciously. Some choices are very important to us, others we don’t really care for. For example: we choose to have a coffee before we leave home; we choose a doctor to talk to about our health; we choose to check our letterbox every other day.

As an employment services provider, we know the importance of having choice and control over your job search. It gives us a sense of ownership over the path we’re taking which allows us to take pride in what we do.

While you may not always be able to have choice and control in every area of your life, these are some things to keep top of mind in your relationship with your employment services provider.

1. Choice in your job plan

At your first appointment, choose what you’d like to share. The CoAct team asks lots of questions because we want to understand your goals, health and wellbeing, skills and experience. We listen to those answers and use them to complete an assessment to see how ready you are to start work – emotionally, mentally and physically.

This freedom to share what you’re comfortable with is the foundation of the plan we prepare together. It leads to a menu of activities and supports that you can look over and think about, before deciding on which you’d like to take up.

We also ask you what you’d like us to disclose to a potential employer, and what you’d prefer to keep between us. We’ll talk to you about what might be helpful to share with a future boss, but we won’t disclose anything without your consent.

2. Choice in activities and supports

There are many different activities you can do to help you get ready for work. They include workshops on crafting a strong resume or cover letter, or support to manage conflict and build resilience. We can also link you up with industry training like getting a construction ticket or find you courses and learning opportunities. All these activities are optional.

We’ll also offer non-vocational supports like connections to a housing association or counselling, if we think they might help. There’s financial support for crisis accommodation, food vouchers or medical bills that you might want to explore too.

Depending on your circumstances, we have a wide range of supports for you to choose from, depending on your needs at that time. While we’ll help you explore your different options and the potential outcomes of each choice, you can choose your path and the pace at which you travel it.

3. Choice in the jobs you apply for

A number of the questions we ask you are directly related to jobs assessment. This includes questions around your skills, experience, strengths and preferred areas of work. We’ll also explore how your condition impacts your ability to work in certain roles. For example, limited mobility may restrict the number of hours somebody could work in a physical job.

One of the things an assessment like this does is prepare a job report. It details several options for industries and positions within them. Your employment consultant will chat these through with you, giving you control over the types of jobs that you start to apply for and the businesses we link you up with.

4. Choice in your employment services provider

In Disability Employment Services, you can choose which provider you work with and, if you find yourself unhappy, you can change up to five times. Give us a call if you’d like to talk about changing provider.

Finding the right balance of choice and control

When we have the right support around us, it’s easier to find the right balance of choice and control. Letting go of some choices, or giving control to others, can actually help us find a better balance. It might be allowing someone else to prepare our evening meal, help us complete the registration for a course or drive us to work.

We don’t always need to have full control, sometimes we just need a sense of control. For example, if we trust an authority in our lives, like a doctor or parent, we allow them to make decisions on our behalf. This trust still gives us a sense of control.

The more trust we build in our lives, the more we can allow others to take control of elements of our lives. This can ease anxiety and give us the freedom to focus on the things we actually want to do. It also drives us to seek out more trust in our lives.

To sum up, here are some words from one of our workforce partners:

“If our customers feel a sense of ownership over their employment pathways, they will place more value on them and, more importantly, get better outcomes. Allowing and helping people to make educated and informed decisions about their future promotes self-determination which I believe is essential for people being able to take pride in themselves and in what they do.”

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help find the right job for you, call us on 1800 226 228 or register online.

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