Top job coach skills needed to get the job.

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What are the top 3 traits or skills every job coach must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your job coach expertise?

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Stefano in Santa Monica, California

72 months ago

Thick skin, thick skin, thick skin! This isn't so much for clients, although you need that too, as for middle management and especially the people who work at corporate headquarters. Many of them justify their salaries--existence--by nitpicking staff's documentation. They are far-removed from the daily routine of a job coach, assuming they ever were one, and they leave you shaking your head in bewilderment by some of the questions they ask.

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Middle Manager in Regina, Saskatchewan

68 months ago

Stefano in Santa Monica, California said: Thick skin, thick skin, thick skin! This isn't so much for clients, although you need that too, as for middle management and especially the people who work at corporate headquarters. Many of them justify their salaries--existence--by nitpicking staff's documentation. They are far-removed from the daily routine of a job coach, assuming they ever were one, and they leave you shaking your head in bewilderment by some of the questions they ask.

Stefano, I am going to assume you have never been a middle manager and don't have a clue what the expectations are. If your manager is "nitpicking" your documentation, it is likely in the best interest of the client or to try and protect your butt ....

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Stefano in Harbor City, California

68 months ago

Middle Manager in Regina, Saskatchewan said: Stefano, I am going to assume you have never been a middle manager and don't have a clue what the expectations are. If your manager is "nitpicking" your documentation, it is likely in the best interest of the client or to try and protect your butt ....

HEADQUARTERS nitpicks case notes. It has little knowledge of the clients. And as far as either it or middle management trying to protect staffs' butts? They're MILQUETOASTS!!

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Patty in Kingman, Arizona

60 months ago

I have been a Job Coach and owner of an employment agency that does job development and placement and job coaching for individuals that have barriers to employment. I do understand the comment regarding upper managements that nitpicks on documentation. I also understand the feeling that some people that come in and look at documentation do not do the day to day work with the client and struggle with the time management of working hard with a client and making sure everything is documented. That is why someone needs to look that the notes we all make mistakes. I am a working supervisor and owner but I have people that audit me some internally some from insurance company's and state agencies I would rather have internal auditors catch something I have done then have the state or insurance company find it in addition I would rather not get in the habit of making a mistake and not correct this behavior I feel it is all in how you look at it.

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SRV in West Covina, California

57 months ago

knott89 said: Hello,
My name is Michael (20 yrs old) and I recently was Hired on as a Job Coach. Can someone please help me! I work very well with people and I am intuitive when it comes to helping others. I should start working as soon as next week. What should I expect? I know this should be a question I should ask the employer but I want someones opionion that will not sugar-coat it for me. What should I do to prepare for this position, as far as orginizational and helpful hints I could use? I really want to make a huge impact in my community and do whatever it takes to make sure people are properly trained on the job and are sucessful. Thank you very much and any help would be much appreciated. Again thank you!!!
p.s. so the normal pay is $8 an hour???

The field you are going into is not so much difficult as it it RISKY. You will be working with some clients with BEHAVIORS! My advice is,
*Keep your three clients supervised at all times,
*Keep your paperwork in order,
*Don't expect anyone to back you up when the inevitable incidents occur.

Despite the fact you're not paid well, you will take the heat/fall when they do. Management views you as disposable. The people who work with developmentally disabled adults need a voice more than in any job I've ever worked in. What do I mean by voice? You'll see...

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Patty in Kingman, Arizona

57 months ago

I have been a Job Coach/Job developer/Employment Specialist for well over 24 years and own a business doing just that right now with several employees under me. It is difficult to tell you just what to expect. A lot depends on the population of clients you are working with. The hardiest part about the job right now is the job market. It is difficult for anyone right now, adding to it the limitations some of our clients have it is even more challenging. The big reward is when you do help someone get a job you know you have helped to change someones life. As far as pay social services is never the field to do in to get rich. My entry level employees start at that same pay you spoke of. I have a wealth of knowledge and would be willing to share it with you.

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Patty in Kingman, Arizona

57 months ago

I would like to add some information after reading some of the comments. Yes you do need a think skin and can not take things personally, and always remember if it is not documented it did not happen so document well. Also always keep the clients limitations in mind when placing them into employment for example if someone has a back problem do not exceed the doctors recommendations no matter what the clients tell you they can do. This in itself should keep you out of major trouble. Relating to the comments about never getting backed up I strongly believe it depends on your employer I try very hard to back up my employees unless they were 100% wrong. It is a rewarding field to be in.

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sadie in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

56 months ago

I was hired as a job coach, and had excellent credentials and a wealth of experience. After 10 months of constant harassment, nit picking, lying and badgering; I was finally fired. My employment history consisted of N/A, pharmacy tech, prison guard, Central Wis. Center, for the develop mentally disabled. I also worked at Mendota, on the Psych. unit. I was employed for 16 yrs., with a large airline as a purser. I flew all your international routes. I'm also a licensed EMT. I owned and operated my own restaurant for a number of yrs., yet I was fired. I have always enjoyed working with the mentally and physically challenged individuals. Received many positive comments regarding my interactions with my clients, yet not one came from my supervisors or the dept. manager. I believe they were threatened by my experience and wanted me out. I've had years observing peoples behavior, and in my opinion....if you were young and lazy, you were doing your job right. If you were older and did your job with pride and excellence, you were harassed. Having owned my own business, and having been a purser with 14 flight attendants under me.....I would never had treated my personal in the way that I was treated. I absolutely loved the job, for those of you that are considering employment in that field. Very rewarding. It was unfortunate that I had to go through that experience.

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SRV in Harbor City, California

56 months ago

I hear you. My experience re my supevisors, not just in my last one but in general, were similar to yours. I had a BA, was bilingual, had respectable reviews and the best attendance record there and I got fired--not in person, not by phone, even e-mail would have been stud horse by comparison. I got fired by Fed Ex. That's as spermless and spineless as the day is long. While working with DD adults can certainly be rewarding, it is a job. And job coaches/direct support staff need a VOICE more than any other field I've ever been in.

Who, in the overall scheme can a job coach/direct support staff say is ON THEIR SIDE? Not the rules. They were written for the benefit of the clients. Not the clients. Their behavior gets them into predicaments and their muddled testimony during investigations often seal staff's doom. Not the regional centers. They play "gotcha", too. Corporate headquarters? Geez.

The ONLY WAY to get this VOICE is to band together and WIN IT!

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sadie in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

56 months ago

Thank you, I'm sorry it happened to you too, but glad to hear I'm not the only one that has experienced this. My self-esteem really took a dip after that experience. I knew it wasn't my fault, but when you've got two staff members tag-teaming you.....it makes you feel like crap. I've worked in many fields, but never have I been treated like that. Thanks again for responding to my e-mail. That meant a lot.

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SRV in Harbor City, California

56 months ago

You're welcome. No, we're not alone. I saw a number of people get fired, some for very questionable reasons. If you see someone still working in the field, encourage them to call their County Federation of Labor and organize.

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SRV in Fullerton, California

50 months ago

To anyone working with DD adults in either a program or group home, the only--ONLY--way to get a voice is to organize a union.

A union will give you DUE PROCESS in cases involving possible termination, much like what you get in a court of law. You don't have to pray for that perfect director. You don't have to rely on a quisling one to defend you. It spares you the indignity of having to be a sycophant for job security.

You work in a risky field. You need a voice. So get started and call Sylvia Carranza, Lead Organizer at the LA County Federation of Labor.

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joy1213 in Oceanside, New York

45 months ago

Patty in Kingman, Arizona said: I have been a Job Coach/Job developer/Employment Specialist for well over 24 years and own a business doing just that right now with several employees under me. It is difficult to tell you just what to expect. A lot depends on the population of clients you are working with. The hardiest part about the job right now is the job market. It is difficult for anyone right now, adding to it the limitations some of our clients have it is even more challenging. The big reward is when you do help someone get a job you know you have helped to change someones life. As far as pay social services is never the field to do in to get rich. My entry level employees start at that same pay you spoke of. I have a wealth of knowledge and would be willing to share it with you.

Hi patty
I have been a job coach for 4years now. I love my job and consumer's, but, I hate the paper work. My manager makes us write two incidents and two responses. I am having trouble any advise?

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