Yikes - Possible New Work Beginnings

Tuesday 15 January 2008

So I just got back from an information evening about becoming a community support worker for intellectually disabled adults. One of the things that was concerning me the most when I first got there was wondering how "institutionalised" the philosophy was going to be. You know, dear blogger, what a bugbear that kind of thinking is in my life ;) I find it difficult working for organisations or companies or any organised group of people, really, because they seem to just end up sucking the life out of their own bones and it drives me mad, gives me claustrophobia.

Well, I'm pleased to say that this organisation feels like a breath of fresh air. Their approach is very relational indeed (just with heaps of documentation). Their aim is not so much to be a carer as it is to be support worker, and with that approach they had us talking through scenarios about what the best approach would be to enable a client (I do hate that word) to live their life, while being a support to them. This necessarily involves a lot of creative thinking, a lot of thinking on your feet while also not allowing your inner control freak to take over and do stuff for them because it would be the easiest thing to do.

It sounds very exciting. But more than that, it scares me. Although I have been long interested in working with intellectually disabled adults, it feels very daunting. Of course, all of the things that make me feel scared all ultimately have some kind of root in fear of me doing the wrong thing, of feeling like an idiot. It's all about me, me, me, me, me and how goddamn boring that is :) But their induction process seems pretty good. Their training seems really good. They employ about 60 support workers and they seem to have a pretty good retention rate and a lot of happy people.

So if I'm successful to be interviewed, I will enter into that process, which I think is a rather long one. But I kinda felt at home there, you know? I think this would be a pretty specialised job. I'm not sure if I'm up for it, but I'm willing to give it a whirl.

I think. I'm scared. Scared. Scared. Scared. Scared. I'm scared.

Edit: I just got a call from them today (Wednesday). As these five positions they're offering are relief positions, the majority of shifts they're offering are sleepover positions. Fantastic money. And you get paid for sleeping. What could be better, right? Well, the only fly in the sunscreen is that the end of the shift is in the morning, from 7am to 10am. In the past, I may have just thrown myself in anyway, because I really am interested in this work. Problem is, my body clock just ain't gonna cut those hours. I am 37 years old and I am still a night owl. I have spent years trying to fit myself into "normal" work hours. It doesn't work for me.

And so maybe this position isn't going to work for me either. Which is a shame, huh. But you just gotta know your limitations. And early morning starts are a non-negotiable for me. I spent years feeling "lazy" and like there was something wrong with me. These days, I just think it's one of the quirks or chinks in my personality. It's just frustrating when it conflicts with something you want. But you live and learn, I suppose, bloggers, don't you? Thank God for a philosophical attitude :)

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