Exploration of Employment Options

Pathways that exist may or may not be suitable for some students or adults based on their existing skill set. Expansion of skills to suit individual needs is of high priority within Occupational Therapy sessions when there is a gap or discrepancy in learning skills with some tasks or environments as compared to others. Long term options for providing enough income to allow you to live independently need to be balanced with the health and wellbeing of a job that is based on a stable base of skills that supports efficiency in a workplace as well as exploration of new skills as needed or desired. Career paths chosen around activities may or may not have sufficient detail to provide stable employment or enough income to cope with fluctuations of eg. project based employment. Occupational Therapy analyses the details of the skills and interests to look at what areas can and need to be expanded to provide greater options and safety with future workplace settings based on individual health needs. The gaps in the current systems, whether that be due to a lack of awareness of actual skill level or lack of resources in the employment options surrounding them geographically can force individuals into employment options that do meet the goals of active employment and provision of an income, worklife routine etc, but they do not meet the complete skill set of what that individual is and was capable of completing. Hugely detailed activity and environment analysis is necessary to create pathways for learning to expand the skills of students when they are in the early years of high school and even from upper primary school. Students with significant discrepancies in their learning skills and in what they can demonstrate as tangible products of their learning / time spent on designated or set tasks frequently require extensive support for many years before finishing high school. Opportunities to practice and become more independent in the depth required to cope with not just getting ‘a’ job, but to be able to cope with industry demands where the expectations change as new technologies are developed or as products or interactional demands change with a different level of expectation on what is appropriate or acceptable work place behaviour.

When nothing is available to solve a problem by immediate access what do you do? Do you create your own job or do you look at what skill are necessary and wait longer to get into an industry that you want to by doing more preparatory work? Or do you decide to move, is there a better location that has more jobs available than the area that you live in? Or do you discuss with industry associations and professional bodies e.g. OT Association, NDIS about options to better support what is needed.