This month we chatted with Job Coach Talia, who has been with Dirkse CC for two years, all while completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology!
Q: How have your psychology studies helped you in your supported employment role?
My psychology studies have given me a better understanding of how different people learn, and it’s given me the opportunity to teach things differently to support an individual at their worksite. It has also taught me about different behaviors and ways we can learn to help or fix those behaviors.
Q: What does it look like when a client is successful in their job?
I think that for a client to be successful in their job, they must have great natural support [coworkers and managers] to really help make them feel included and like they belong in their job. Creating bonds and trust between client and employer is always a great step toward success.
Q: How do you advocate for inclusion when at a work site?
When advocating for inclusion at worksites, it is best to be confident in yourself to step up in situations when the client may not be able to stick up for themselves at first. This can then help people learn from the advocators and result in them being able to advocate for themselves if possible. To have an inclusive workplace, they [employers] must understand that people have different ways of learning, interacting with others, and achieving goals.
Q: Do you plan to continue your supported employment professional journey after graduation?
After graduation, I am very interested in continuing my supported employment professional journey. The more I learn about this profession while taking on school is that you can never have enough people to advocate for supported employment. I am hoping to learn more and teach more about advocacy and how to support those in need.
Thank you, Talia, for your incredible work! We are excited about your bright future in supported employment!