Preparation for the first day at work

Outcomes

This session provides jobseeker with disability with the necessary information and tools:

·         How can you improve his/her chances for making a great first impression when s/he is starting a new job

·         To help him/her to make a great impression.

 

Rationale

Starting the first day at work is always a big event for everybody. As a person with disability may wonder how his/her new colleagues are going to react. In that session the SE coacher should give some useful tips how s/he can easily integrate at the new workplace. His/her first day in a new firm draws closer and s/he might get nervous. Two important facts should help him/her to relax. Firstly, you as a SE coacher should highlight that their boss hired him/her because he/she was convinced of his/her qualifications. The boss will support him/her since nobody expects that the employee will be a super-hero right from the start. In time s/he gets acquainted with new job due to his/her former knowledge and through continuous training. You as a SE coacher should encourage your client not to worry about things that are yet to come and that it is best to let take things their natural flow.

The second tip is a bit hard to swallow. His/her new colleagues might never have had any contact with a person with disability. If his/her colleagues feels a bit insecure as to how to go about this new situation then your client is the right person to help them deal with it in an easy and relaxed manner. Bear in mind that his/her colleagues will not disrespect him/her because of disability. The opposite is true. His/her colleagues will treat you with natural respect and might even respect you more when you go about your disability with honesty and frankness.

What your colleagues definitely should know is whether or not your workplace presents any impairment to you. This might be a special working aid or appliance, an external service (e.g. an interpreter for people with hearing impairment) or just an occasional helping hand from your colleagues.

Some disabilities are quite visible, but others are hard to detect and sometimes even totally invisible. You as SE coacher should advice and help to avoid any misunderstandings or rumours at workplace (for example if your client needs to go to the gents several times a day to do his/her insulin shot).

In addition the SE coacher can include discussion about possible conflict situations and how they can be resolved or better avoided.

Content

This session includes:

Discussion: How to prepare for the first day at work? How to behave with colleagues and supervisors? How to ask for suitable workplace adaptations or assistive technologies? How and when is appropriate to disclose your disability? How to seek for support by colleagues?

Activities: Worksheet “Your rights in employment”, Worksheet “Staying in work”, Activity “Tips for job retention”, Test “How do you deal with conflicts? “ (see module 3).