Providing confidence for employment – Occupational Rehabilitation.
WISE Occupational Rehabilitation is an allied health service of WISE Employment which aims to empower job seekers to feel confident entering the workforce. Occupational Rehabilitation Consultant, Ayushi Rambojun, explains the process of helping job seekers get ready to find and maintain employment.
Ayushi joined the WISE team two years ago. With a background in working as a school counselor, she was excited at the opportunity to change up her caseload and work alongside an older client base.
“The role was supporting people who needed help and that’s what I really wanted to do,” says Ayushi.
Ayushi’s role as an Occupational Rehabilitation Consultant involves working with WISE customers to help them overcome their mental and often personal barriers to employment. This includes counselling them through personal issues which could affect their performance in a work environment, assessing for possible mental illnesses and giving them the confidence they need to feel comfortable entering employment again.
Additionally, the team works together with customers to highlight their strengths and capabilities. This creates create a positive platform for the job seeker to build from. Focusing on these strengths along with establishing possible adjustments needed to succeed in their future roles helps give the customer the confidence they need to find suitable and long-lasting employment.
“We find the adjustments needed for work and look [for jobs] within their limitations. For example, working front-of-house in a hospitality role is not always great for people living with anxiety… We provide additional counselling to ensure they have the confidence to not just gain suitable employment, but maintain it too.”
In her two years at WISE, Ayushi has worked with customers in both Melbourne and Brisbane. Her caseload varies day-to-day as she travels around, meeting with clients and helping them to achieve their goals.
A recent example of this involves a customer Ayushi has been working with who had battled drug addiction. Counselling them through their mental health and personal barriers has contributed towards positive changes in the customer’s actions.
“We’ve finally had a break through and they have now been drug-free for three months. This is a huge step for them and they’re now ready to start looking at work. They want to find work to use their experiences and help others avoid going down the same path.”
Another customer Ayushi is working with was diagnosed with Asperger’s as a teenager. They came to WISE hoping to improve on their social skills and gain employment to start building their confidence. Eventually, their goal is to work towards becoming a vet. With the help of Ayushi and the WISE team, they worked on relevant skills and started studying towards a qualification to kick-start their employment journey. The customer is now working in an admin position and gaining more transferable skills every day.
“It’s a big turnaround. Before, they found it hard to communicate and couldn’t hold conversations for very long. Now they’re working in admin, taking phone calls and socialising with co-workers.”
Their next step will be going to University.
COVID-19 has resulted in all of Aysuhi’s counselling sessions moving online or over the phone. As social distancing restrictions ease, the team will work towards face to face sessions again. Strict safety measures will be in place to protect both the customers and WISE staff. Aysuhi says for many clients it will be “a re-education process” going back into work roles after being in isolation for the last couple of months.
Through the challenging times ahead, the Occupational Rehabilitation team will continue to empower customers to become more independent and help support them into work.
“We empower people to change things around and help them rebuild their lives.”