Stepping into the world of Social Work

Observations after my first full week

I just finished my first full week with my new employer, and I have to admit it has been a mixed bag.

The positive:

  • I’ve been assigned a very nice group of clients to support, some of whom are doing very well at their job and are well-integrated into their workplaces. Most of them welcome my visits, so long as I don’t step on their toes.
  • The clients are at only 3 locations – three employers who happened to have hired more than one of our clients. This makes things easy for me in terms of scheduling. Two of the locations are in areas of the Valley I’m not so familiar with, but I can cope with that.
  • The employers are all great to my clients and seem to appreciate my support.
  • I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent being trained by the job developer (who was filling in as a coach until they hired more coaches). He’s a decent fellow who really cares about the clients.
  • The hours my clients work seem to make a nice Monday-Friday schedule for me, something I have never had happen to me before!

The troubling:

  • As was true of my previous employer, I actually have clients who make more money than I do per hour! While I admit these folks have been at their job for years, it’s a crime that a professional position (job coaching typically requires experience or a BA) pays so little. Sadly, I’ve even seen agencies hire administrative assistants and receptionists for more than they pay their direct support staff!
  • It appears as if my current agency has had some problems in the past with coaches who were acting improperly in terms of reporting working/coaching hours. As I’ve dealt with this in the past at a previous employer, I know it happens. Unfortunately, to combat it and increase accountability, some supervisors add things to the paperwork that really aren’t effective, but look good. I’m starting to see some things that were added to paperwork in the name of “accountability” that will get on my nerves after a while.
  • My direct supervisor is unfortunately away for an unspecified period of time for a family emergency. This might be unavoidable, but it doesn’t help…

All in all, my gut tells me that this is exactly what I wanted it to be – a job I can simply “deal with” for a year or a year and a half.

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