Have a planning meeting

Having a planning meeting to discuss work possibilities can be a good way to involve friends, family or even acquaintances with your thinking and planning. It can be a great way to inject some new ideas and enthusiasm to your efforts.

Think of the meeting as a casual get together to brain storm as many ideas as possible. This could be at home or any place that you think would work best. It just needs to be a place where you are able to think and strategise. If you cannot think of people to join the meeting you may know a friend or relative who could sit with you to think about some ideas.

It is important that whoever is attending this planning meeting is made aware of your family member’s vision and goals so suggestions do not get off track.

Step 1:           Think about what you want to discuss and why

Step 2:           Think about who could attend this planning meeting and list them.

Step 3:           Invite people to take part

Step 4:           Host the meeting. Record all of the discussions and suggestions.

More questions to consider that you could discuss with others…

  • What have they done in the past? Work experience, volunteering? Are they involved in social groups or clubs?
  • What are the person’s strengths, capacities and gifts?
  • What are they interested in?
  • Think about the skill set for each interest or role they enjoy. For example what skills does someone embody if they can cook?
  • Discuss how they can become more competent in this skill as this could open the door to more roles in a work environment.
  • Based on passions and interests, what jobs could suit?
  • Do people have ideas about training to facilitate possibilities?
  • Do people in the meeting know others connected to the area of interest? Who are they? These connections could open further opportunities to be introduced to other people who have experience in this area.

Step 5:           Consider suggestions.

Step 6:           Follow up viable possibilities, that is, what steps or goals could they take to get them closer to the work role

Step 7:           Think about using strengths and interests when approaching a workplace. Focus on their assets so others can see what they can offer.

Steps to consider when reaching a desired work role

Work experience - What training/experience would be involved?

It may be ideal to facilitate work experience opportunities for your family member first. Gaining experience in an area would provide insights in what area your family member may enjoy and build their competencies.

Would they require an assistant or support person who has experience to guide them through the role initially?

Is there a TAFE course or community college course they could enrol in?

Could they volunteer?

Could they start doing roles at home to assist with the desired work role?

Do you know someone who has experience in this area who could provide guidance?

Choose a work role that would best match your family member’s interests and passions. The process below could be done when forging a work role for someone.

Example: Gardener

Where does this role take place?

Botanical gardens, parks, homes, garden centres, floral shops

What people would be involved in this area?

Gardeners, botanic enthusiasts, florists

What equipment is needed for a gardener and what gear do they usually wear?

Apron, smart/casual clothes, uniform, closed in shoes

What do gardeners do in their leisure time? This could assist with what training could help prepare them for the role.

Tending to a garden, visiting garden shows, reading about the topic, attend garden workshops

Why is a work role important?

There are many benefits people get out of having a work role, such as;

  • Forging relationships with coworkers and having a deeper level of engagement with others
  • Learning and development from others
  • Gaining confidence
  • Contributing to society

How can my family member be supported?

Once options and ideas have been brain stormed, this can be a time to think about what supports are involved in order for your family member to kick start their working career. Think about the tasks they can do and then also what is possible with the right supports.

If your family member is still at school this would be a discussion with the year advisor and the career advisor. If your family member is no longer at school you could consider using your own funds or existing flexible funds your family member may have to hire a support person to provide assistance in contacting work places. You may even have a friend or acquaintance you could ask who may help with searching/enquiring.

Explore avenues to get some advice and support

Career counsellors or advisors can also be an option to consider.

Once your family member has a work role

Once your family member has obtained a work role, you could consider accessing your own funds or existing flexible funding to hire a support person to assist the workplace. They could check up on the work place to see how the structure of the role is going, address any support needs required and perhaps assist with any on the job training required that may consistently come up. Offering support to a work place can provide assurance that if extra guidance is needed someone can be contacted to provide that help. Depending on the work place this arrangement could be as structured as a formal employment service, read more on Supports available for employment page, to a family member or friend of the person with disability who has the capacity to provide assistance and advice about how to best support the person employed.

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