- The better your relationship with your employment consultant, the more suitable support and advice you’ll get
- Why your support network should trust us too
- Trust in action: Austin’s awesome outcome
If you’re looking for work, having confidence in your employment services provider and team of employment consultants is crucial. If you have a good relationship with your employment consultant, you’ll feel more comfortable talking to them about your skills, interests and needs. You’ll also feel like you can be honest with them, especially during tough times.
The more they get to know you, the more they can help you find the right job or training. If you trust them, you’ll be more confident that they’re sharing the best advice and opportunities.
By being sure that they’re on your side and wanting you to succeed, you’ll be more motivated to go to appointments, write that resume, apply for jobs and jump into new opportunities that come your way.
You have the right for a friend, family member, carer or advocate to support you while you receive employment services.
Having this advocate can be really helpful. If you choose, your advocate can help you make choices and talk to your employment services provider on your behalf.
It’s important that, if you’ve got someone advocating for you, they have confidence in your employment consultant to deliver the best for you.
Austin is currently being supported by his local CoAct service partner Workways. He’s 19 and has autism. With his mum Ros by his side as his advocate, he worked with his employment consultant Timo to find a job he’d thrive in.
Austin and Ros built a great relationship with Timo and the Workways team, who helped Austin start an apprenticeship in commercial cookery. Austin is now in his second year of the apprenticeship and has gone from strength to strength.
We asked Ros some questions on her and Austin’s experience with the Workways team.
Why was trusting Austin’s team important to you too?
As a parent, it was important to me that Austin took the right steps at this critical stage (post-high school) to find the right job for him. I was passionate about finding a team that could help him.
I’m always focussed on Austin’s future, making sure that he has opportunities for the successful life that he wants for himself. It can be scary to trust someone with these big dreams when the world presents so many challenges, especially for people with autism.
Were there any specific questions you asked Timo that gave you confidence?
I first spoke with Timo at a careers fair. I asked about the Workways approach, first steps we’d take and possible outcomes we could expect. He calmly presented the approach and his commitment. This differentiated him to me as I didn’t feel like I was being sold something. He seemed genuine from the first meeting. I had a fist-full of DES business cards that night – but I felt a level of assurance from Timo’s responses, so I contacted him for a meeting.
I know I asked a lot of questions and spoke at length about what we were wanting, but I was more struck by Timo actively listening to what both Austin and I had to say. And then thoughtfully questioning us to get more details. When Timo presented the process and plan back to us, he showed how it would fit with Austin’s needs and our requests. I think my belief in Timo came from that more than anything else.
What helped you be sure of Timo and his approach to finding Austin a job?
From the first meeting, Timo was empathic and authentic in understanding Austin, his history, needs, likes, dislikes and abilities. Timo made Austin feel comfortable. He focused on talking about Austin’s strengths and what was possible, helping to build his confidence.
While Timo worked with Austin and I as a team, I was impressed that he took the time and made opportunities to get to know Austin individually and build a relationship. So often, people defer to me to answer questions for Austin – and while sometimes I had to help, he respected Austin enough to lead the conversation.
The team never doubted Austin. In a world that limits and excludes people with autism, it was so refreshing to be presented with a well-thought-through and logical process. The team was enthusiastic and had a genuine belief that if we worked together, we could make this happen. And then Timo took real, timely action and kept us informed.
How long did it take for you to build trust?
It started immediately. I walked out of the first meeting feeling like we’d made a good choice. Our following meeting built on this as I could see the process actually happening.
By the time Austin went for the job interview (about 6 weeks later), he was ready and able to do the interview with Timo’s support.
Driving him to the interview that day he said, “Timo said I’ve got this!”. That’s gold for me as a parent. Austin’s independence grows when there are trusted supporters around him (and not just me!).
What would you say to jobseekers and their advocates about finding an employment consultant you can trust?
Finding the right employment consultant is your gateway to success. Look for a consultant who’s authentic, respectful and empathic. Don’t settle for anything less.
Ask lots of questions to understand the process, plan and actions. This will help you understand how you can all work together for the best outcome. And make sure you are heard.
Want to know more on Austin’s story and his awesome outcome built on trust? Read his story here.