What do I do as an ETE Volunteer?
“Encourage, encourage, encourage.” Hilda Preston, ETE Founder
What do I do as an ETE Volunteer? Nothing special. Just think about the ETE client being like any other friend who has asked you for help in finding a job. Take time to share who you are and find out who the client is. No hurry. Getting to know the client around helping find work will come naturally.
Start with Career One Stop: https://www.careeronestop.org/
Connect client with Career One Stop services in their area as a first step. It will probably take a while to counsel the client to the point they are able to go to a career center.
Contact One Stop Career Center closest to the client and establish a relationship with someone who can greet the client and help them.
Use Career One Step Center to meet with client at scheduled times and work with client via Skype.
ETE clients are living with a severe mental health condition (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression) and have not worked for years. The client you are working with wants to work. Start slow and easy. Just thinking in terms of an position of a few or more per week.
Don’t concern yourself about the mental health condition your client has. That is being handled by the client’s psychiatrist. We can discuss the effects of the disability anytime. Just give me a call. Attend monthly staff meeting.
You will spend your time on internet job research, job boards, discussions with client, submitting applications, etc. An hour or two per week is great. Your first task may be to help create a cover letter and resume. This would be a good way to come to understand the aspirations and directions for the client.
You don’t need to be any more careful or any more reluctant to share your thoughts and opinions with your client than you are with a friend . Actually, courteous candor is the best way to form a healthy, friendly, working relationship.
Don’t feel pressure to get fast results. Take time to get to know your client while finding out about type of work they would like to look for. Most likely your client has not worked for 15 to 20 years. Your client’s expectation may often be unreasonable. Just go one day at a time. Use your ingenuity and computer skills to research, discuss and match. Your client will gradually become aware of possibilities and limitations. Easy does it.
Most of the time, we will not be able to “find” employment for the ETE client. Most of the time the right job will “emerge”. It may not be obvious what we mean by that. Ask me. I will explain.
I have found it is a good idea to have the client’s project notes open at the time I reach out to continue working with the client. I make the note immediately. Make the note brief. Follow this format: Example of project notes:
Remember: You come first! If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of your client. Stay in your comfort zone.
Call any time. I am always here to help. If I don’t pick up, it helps me a lot if you leave a detailed message.
310 702 8272 (Leave detailed message if I don’t pick up.)