Fed Up Being Unemployed


Okay let’s start with the premise that you’re fed up. I mean you’ve grown so frustrated with trying to get a meaningful job that pays well that it’s left you confused on how to succeed and bitter. It seems no matter what you tried in the past, no matter who you applied to for a job, in the end the result was the same; you’re not wanted.

Seems to me that hearing the message, “Just keep trying” rings kind of hollow. How many times can you be expected to keep at it hoping for a better result? So you give up. Then after having packed it in you start feeling that it’s worth it to try again. Why? Usually it’s because the life you’ve got at the moment isn’t the one you want for yourself; you deserve better and you’re motivated to try again until you ultimately succeed or you give up once more.

Maybe you’d be open to hearing a few words of encouragement? If so, I’d like to offer you some. I suppose the first thing I’d like to say is that it is a good sign that you aren’t content to keep living the way your are now. That feeling that you want more is the seed of Hope that’s buried deep in your core. ‘Hope’ my dear reader, is at the core of so many people’s thoughts who push off from some known shore for the great journey’s they embark on. Hope is what causes them to leave the safe and known for the uncertainty and yet-to-be discovered.

Now keeping with that image of some adventurer embarking on a journey; the early stages of a journey involve traveling through the norm. The sailor who sets to some unknown land far away first has to get beyond the waters that are well chartered. The hiker deviating from some known path had to first hike what they knew to get to the point where they chose something previously passed up on.

It’s the same with you and your job search. You rely on what you know when it comes to looking for a job until you come across some better way of going about it. This makes absolute sense. However, just like the hiker and the explorer decided at some point to do something they’d never before done, it also stands to reason that you should do something you’ve never done if you expect the results to be more satisfying than you’ve experienced. Going about looking for a meaningful job the way you’ve gone about it in the past is likely to end with similar results; results you don’t want to experience again.

It’s important to realize that you’re not at fault or to blame for going about things the way you are; even if you later realize a number of mistakes you are made. After all, until someone introduces a better way, a more effective way of getting you where you want to be, the only way you’d have succeeded entirely on your own is through trial and error, until you lucked out on whatever works. That seems pretty high risk and could take a long time.

So it seems like you have a choice to make; do things the way you’ve always done them assuming this is how everybody goes about looking for work or, open yourself up to getting help and direction from someone who knows a better way. That ‘better way’ by the way, is likely going to involve some effort on your part in two ways. One, you have to pause long enough to be open to learning the new way and two you have to be willing to give it a shot and carry out what you learn.

Keep something in mind will you? When you’re learning something new you will likely feel the urge to just get going and apply, apply, apply! But throwing your résumé around everywhere hasn’t worked to this point has it? Pausing to learn, being taught something new isn’t  everybody’s idea of a good time. You might be the kind of person that finds sitting down and being taught how to go about looking for work in 2017 is really pushing your limits. Do it anyhow. Seriously; you want a different result don’t you? Sure you do. This is the price you pay for success.

Look you deserve a decent job. You probably aren’t going to end up running some major corporation or discovering the cure for Cancer. That you want to improve your lot in Life however, do something you find personally meaningful and make a future that’s better than the present is commendable. And if I may add, you’re worth it; we all are.

You should seriously think then about reaching out for help. Where to start though? Check in with just about any Social Services organization in your local community. If you’re not in the right place, a few phone calls will likely get you pointed in the right direction. Best news is that the help you need is likely free. Sit down with open ears and a good attitude and do something you haven’t done yet; give yourself over to their expertise. If it works, great. If the chemistry doesn’t work, try someone else.

When you decide to improve things and then act, you’re already becoming the successful person you envision.

 

 

Social Supports Work


If you never need to make use of the services provided in your community for financial assistance, mental health counselling, employment coaching, childcare, subsidized housing etc. congratulations. You’ve been fortunate enough to have your needs met both as a child and into your teens, and once in a position to make decisions about your own destiny, apparently you continue to make good ones.

For many however, the circumstances they were born into differed and the supports they had growing up which shaped their thinking and ability to make knowledgeable, positive decisions just wasn’t in place. When you sit down and listen to people tell their tales and hear first-hand their life stories, you come to appreciate the ongoing struggle that they face on not only a daily basis, but on an hourly basis.

Sometimes I admit that I sit and wonder why someone I’m listening to can’t see the situation as I do. If they’d only do what I’d do in the same situation the problem would soon be resolved; a barrier removed. Yet the choice they decide on is one which I can predict with a high degree of accuracy is not going to resolve the problem whatsoever and may even escalate things, compounding the initial challenge with additional issues. Oh if only everyone were as clever as me!

Of course I’ve become wiser over the years listening to people and taking what they say, massaging the information I receive and returning it back to them to make their own decisions and perhaps build on resolving this one issue so they can work on others. What I’m giving is perspective, an objective opinion, options, talking about foreseeable consequences and resisting the urge to tell people what to do. It’s tempting of course! Better however to ask people in the end what they plan on doing; after all, if they make a good decision it’s theirs to feel good about and if they make a decision that turns out bad, it’s their learning opportunity.

Let’s face it, sometimes, “Life” happens. You know, the things that happen to us all that we couldn’t have predicted but have to respond to in some way. Make no mistake, these things do happen to us all. So why is it then that when unexpected and unpleasant things happen, not all of us respond in healthy, productive ways? In other words, why do some people make better decisions than others when faced with the same events?

It goes back to the 2nd paragraph; right from the time we were born and well into our teens, some of us didn’t get the good parenting, mentoring, leadership, guidance, support, direction, teaching and support that is so crucial to developing the skills needed later in life when we have to make our own decisions. You might think that having such a setback might excuse someone’s poor choices as a youngster but as they move into adulthood the lack of good building blocks early in life can’t be used as excuses any longer.

The reality is that the circumstances in which many adults are in now are directly proportional to the circumstances of their upbringing. A family living in poverty – and I take the liberty of painting with a very broad brush here – has economic restrictions. A lack of financial resources limits opportunities for their children to participate in activities where children can socialize at the same level with other children from affluent or middle-class environments. They fall behind. They get less support in learning basic life skills; money management, goal setting, they find out less about education and employment opportunities which hinge on higher learning.

Now as adults, I admire the sheer resilience many of those receiving social supports have. Somehow through it all there remains for most a desire to improve not only themselves but the lives of their children. They still have hope. They may not use cover letters, those resumes might have spelling and grammatical errors, but they don’t give up or give in. They keep trying. They will only stop trying as it turns out if they keep getting told they can’t, they never will, it’s hopeless, they are a failure. Hear it often enough and they’ll believe it. So why can’t the opposite be equally true?

Hang on second…is that it? Is that a simple starting place? Is the key to surround a person who’s had nothing but poor mentoring and a lack of supports with positive, helpful, inspired and empowering people? How long would it take to see results? Months? Years? Never? I don’t believe it would be never, but it might take a long time. Then again, not everyone has the same problems, the same degree of difficulty nor the same number of issues.

Granted there will be those who despite all efforts will always need social supports and financial aid. While they need supports in place, unfortunately there is an extremely small chance of them becoming self-sufficient. There are also those at the other end who will pull themselves up with or without needing much help as they have the skills. However, in the middle are the vast majority of folks receiving some kind of support and if they get it they progress, and if they don’t they regress.

Want to make a difference? Become a mentor and/or helper or back those who are.

Those Drawn To Social Services And Other Professions


Name any profession that you have even a rudimentary understanding of what the people in that job actually do, and there’s a good chance you can accurately come up with the personality traits and basic skills that you’d find in many of the people in that profession.

For example, Firefighters likely have excellent stamina, a high level of physical fitness; a genuine concern for educating people on how to safeguard themselves against injuries or death caused by fire. Fashion Designers likely share creativity; a flair for fashion in general, and enjoy clothing others perhaps with colour, affordability, trends or materials foremost in mind.

Those drawn to Social Services work are no different. There are common traits and qualities that dominate those who you find in the profession. Let me amend that statement. There are common traits and qualities that dominate those WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL in the profession. For the field of Social Services is just like all other professions in that you’ll find similar qualities amongst most of the workers but you’ll always find a small percentage who don’t align with the majority.

What becomes magnified and of tremendous importance is that the few in the field who don’t represent the majority, ply their trade and go about their work all the while interacting with fragile, vulnerable people who can ill afford to be served by people who would appear to be, ‘in it’ for the wrong reasons.

While most people drawn to social service work have the very best of intentions to serve and assist the vulnerable, you may just find others with different agendas. Yes some in the field are in because they want a 9-5 job, maybe the benefits that go with it, maybe it’s something they can do that isn’t too taxing on the body or the mind. Depending on the employer, you might also see some in it for the money, the benefits, the stability and protection of a unionized body behind them.

Some of my colleagues in the field but with different employers in different areas or countries will laugh out loud at that last paragraph about being in it for the money. I can tell you though, in some jurisdictions Social Workers and Social Services staff are paid quite well; just as in all professions there are some who are paid better than others.

It is hoped – at least by me – that those who are drawn to the field of Social Services are the compassionate ones; the ones who you and I ourselves would like to see sitting across from us in our own moments of need. We’d like someone empathetic to our needs with an open mind and receptive ear. We’d like to be believed after being heard, and we’d like a responsive person who can and will work with us to improve our situation whatever it is.

What we’d rather not experience I feel it is reasonable to state is a person who is going through the motions, detached from their job, abrasive, disinterested in their work and who forgets that there are people affected by their actions or lack thereof. Ironic isn’t it that some people would be in the field of serving others yet go about their day almost seeming to complain about the people who make their job so frustrating by being so needy!

What I don’t think we in the field have to have as a pre-requisite is having lived the lives of those we serve and support. It isn’t essential to have been homeless yourself; to have had an addiction to cocaine or be a recovering alcoholic. I don’t think having spent time in jail makes you more qualified to help ex-cons than someone else who hasn’t been in the correctional system.

What we all do need I believe is tolerance, patience, empathy, understanding; a willingness to listen without prejudice and judgement, condemnation or preconceived attitudes. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that the ex-con, recovering addict or alcoholic are not the best people to assist those they serve because they revert to their own experiences and sometimes in doing so fail to hear the unique experience of the person in front of them. Someone with no personal experience to shape their opinion will be listening in the conscious moment hearing the person they hope to help as they tell their story.

Sure it’s nice to think that we in the field can make a difference; that we can influence others for good, help support people who want to make positive changes in their lives. Honestly though, and as someone who has been in the field for some time, you’ll be disappointed in the setbacks some of those you have high hopes for experience. You might feel let down, or that you let them down. You might feel frustrated that someone didn’t follow through on your plan of action; that they were weak and succumbed to temptation and had a number of false starts.

You are human. It’s most important to be there. If people always call you first when they are the most needy, rejoice in that because your name came to their mind as the one person who is most likely to give them what they need in their moment of greatest need; what a privilege.

Talk to people in the profession you’re drawn to and see if you personally ‘fit’. Now that’s good advice.

For Us In Social Services


Social Services Workers; we’re supposedly the compassionate ones right? We are the ones who are drawn in life to work with the marginalized people in our communities. It is we, who work with troubled youth, the abused, homeless, abandoned, illiterate, physically and mentally challenged. Yes we were drawn here by the desire to care for others, to advocate on their behalf, to guide and support; to lend a hand to the vulnerable.

We’re nowhere near perfect I fear however. No, some of who are the very epitome of everything we value most in the good work we do, are ourselves looking for answers and workable solutions sometimes within our own families. We may have estranged relationships with those we should be closest to. We might have ongoing and escalating battles with our children, parents, siblings or members of our spouse’s families. We are in the end, human beings ourselves coping and dealing as best we can with what life brings our way on a daily basis.

I’m sure that in the middle of the family arguments we have been in for example, we’ve engaged in the process with the same passion, energy and conviction that anyone and everyone else do. It is only after the heat of the moments pass that we step back and reflect on what we might have done differently had we applied the same excellent advice we share with those we work on behalf of in our professional lives. Ah but it seems different at the time doesn’t it?

You’ll see excellent Social Services Workers who are divorced, separated, stressed, anxious, depressed, isolated, poor and chemically dependent. You’ll see among our number the wealthy, introverted, assertive, shy, lonely, both the beautiful and the quite ordinary; the disabled, tattooed and yes even the convicted. We are a collective group in society who goes about doing the work we do looking and acting for the most part human.

We don’t wear capes and have super human powers that make us recognizable heroes on comic book covers. Yet nonetheless there are those out there who admire us and see us as their real life heroes notwithstanding. Some among us do save lives, but not from fiery infernos, evil scientists and arch villains. Hold on check that; there are scientists creating and distributing chemicals that put those we work with at risk of dying, and sometimes we do get people moved into better basic housing that reduces the risk of being killed in some dubious shelter where there are no fire alarms or sprinklers. So maybe we do save people from fiery infernos just waiting to happen.

Yes if you were to assemble all us Social Service Workers in a large room and you looked among us, you’d find a pretty healthy cross-section of the general populations we serve. We’d look pretty ordinary, like the crowd you might see in an underground waiting to board a subway. We’re decidedly nondescript. We’ve no badge that identifies us like a Police Officer, nor a coat of distinction that you’d point to like the Concierge at a Hotel. We are in the end, just a collection of citizens, representative of the people in the communities we work in.

Mistakes we make by the truckload too. Just because we fall prey to the occasional bad choice or poor decision shouldn’t be taken as the personal justification others might cite for ignoring the sage advice we implore them to take. We make so many decisions over the course of a day that it is ridiculous to assume all those decisions will be the right ones. Why on earth would we suspect that we are impervious to error? We actually embrace these moments however; embrace I say because we intuitively know that it is our mistakes that are our greatest opportunities for learning and therefore growth. Some of the wisest among us are the biggest foul ups out there!

Our critics – and there are many of them – point to our very mistakes and say, “How can you claim to be this fabulous Social Services Worker when your own life is littered with mistakes, your personal life is a testament to your inability to make the proper big decisions etc.?” It’s true too; we’re human. We error and we do it often. Hopefully we learn and don’t repeat those mistakes but even in this we find we are human too.

We interact daily with people who sometimes are literally hanging on to a fragment of their sanity; balancing that fine line between living and carrying on versus ending it all and leaving their struggles behind them. The advice, help, suggestions and prompts we give after listening to their individual struggles that torment their souls is always well-intended to help. Still, we’ll lose a significant number of those we work with; some will move, others will succeed, some will just disappear and some will die. Irrespective of the titles we hold, the organizations we work in or the geographic locations in which we find ourselves, we will be fresh and ready with each sunrise to repeat our good work and give it our best again.

So why do we do it? We do it for the very reason we began it of course; we are the compassionate ones. We are the givers; our rewards don’t come with medals, huge salaries and bonuses but with the occasional, “Thanks for keeping it real.”

Thank YOU.

Thank You My Peers; This One’s For You


I want to pass on my sincere thank you to you, my colleagues who work on a daily basis advocating for those who are on social assistance. This article is specifically directed to you; as it’s all about you and the great work you do. If you like what you read, share it –not necessarily on the net; maybe with your co-workers who might miss it otherwise. Share it with your family if they wonder what it is you really do all day; your kids if you suspect they don’t have a clue about the impact you have and the tremendously important work you do.

What this isn’t is a self-serving post slapping us on the back broadcasting, “How great we are!” for anybody to hear. You know as well as I do however in the value of receiving encouragement and acknowledgement.  We dole that out all day long! So allow me to extend my 900 words of thanks and for a few moments this day, allow yourself to just read and be acknowledged.

Don’t you love those ‘light bulb’ scenarios where you see that exact moment on the face of someone you are working with who suddenly grasps what it is you’re sharing? Of course you do! It is precisely because of your intervention that they suddenly ‘get it’; ‘it’ being something that helps them move forward. Because of you, they not only know something intellectually, they understand it and own it when that moment happens; learning just transferred from you to them. Well done!

These are pretty great people we work with and for aren’t they? They have the survival skills to get by on what amounts to less than minimum wage in many jurisdictions. While many people in the general population wouldn’t remotely consider working for less than half the minimum wage; you and I know that the people we serve have no choice but to accept less than half those wages. Not only do some in society begrudge them this meagre amount to live on, those same people expect social assistance recipients to smile, be in good health, get around and look for work, get an education – but not if they can get off assistance without it of course – and keep themselves dressed and groomed smartly. Best they are thankful and don’t have a poor attitude or show discouragement either.

We however are the sensitive ones; the compassionate ones. We aren’t just bleeding hearts. We are wise enough to know holding other people in judgement for how they live their lives and the choices they make is wrong. We’ve come to understand that these social assistance recipients are… well… people. We know how intrinsically essential we become in their lives because they tell us don’t they? Not all of them of course, but many do express their gratitude and thanks. They know we are in positions of power and can help move them forward or make things more difficult. The best of us, – you of course – take that responsibility on each day with each person you interact with and sometimes we do it so naturally we think it’s no big thing. It’s huge!

We are their role models; we may be the sole person in their lives who treats them with respect and dignity. We may be the lone person who actually sees something of value in them and most importantly believes in them. I don’t exaggerate. We know how fragile some of these people are, growing up in broken homes and enduring abusive relationships. We have to walk that fine line between caring enough to be helpful and not over-caring to the point where we suffer compassion fatigue and burn out.

How many decisions do you make in a day? Now how many of those decisions impact directly on someone whose situation is so fragile that holding their assistance or releasing it means the difference between being housed or on the street? We know only a fraction of how stressful it must surely be to constantly live fraught with the worry of whether or not the cheque will arrive in time to pay the rent.

You do tremendously important work and are in a noble profession. You are simultaneously a source of finance, a figure of authority, role model, teacher, mentor, advisor, guide and helper. And sometimes – in the moments when you’ve got a pile of work on your desk and numerous phone calls to return, there you are just listening on your end of the phone to someone who just needs your ear. Frustrating at times? Absolutely when there’s so much to do and a computer system that demands your attention. But you do it nonetheless.

You and I, we’re pretty fortunate to be in such a position. Were it you and I on the other side of the table needing help and being ignorant of all the help available, we’d be so grateful to have an empathetic and caring person to help us.

A humble and sincere thank you wherever you work on this globe of ours when you toil on behalf of those who often don’t have a voice of their own; or rather their voices speak but are not heard. You are doing great work and the impact you’re having is cumulative; you may not see the progress at first, but its building. Think of how many lives you make better every day!

Our Responsibility When Meeting Clients


Yesterday I wrote a piece encouraging anyone who is a client to make the very most of the meetings they have with others who are in a position to help. In short, the message was one pleading for clients to make the very most of those opportunities.

So it now makes sense to turn to the role you and I play if you are one of those who host those meetings. As professionals meeting with clients, there is an inherent risk we run in sliding into poor habits due to the many we serve. So let’s look at the part we play and how we might go about those face-to-face encounters.

First of all, it’s usually we who drive the meeting isn’t it? I mean we might have requirements to meet with clients within designated timeframes. Whether it’s to update a file, satisfy some legislative or company requirement, we send out letters or make phone calls so we can ‘update the file’. What we should never forget or take for granted however is that, ‘the file’ exists because there is a person or people the file represents.

When we drive the agenda we might have the same pre-set questions ready at our disposal in order to garner the information required so we can update the electronic field in the computer software. We may have a template which designed to ensure we don’t forget or miss something, and this data collection allows the organization to then fulfill its requirements. On that front, it makes sense and all is good.

However, that person sitting in front of us is a unique individual. We may be tempted to evaluate them as similar or exactly the same as any number of other clients we have, but that one person has a unique background that has brought them to sit before us today. So whether it’s employment counselling, marital or grief counselling, financial advice, real estate transactions or any other kind of 1:1 meeting, that person is unique and worthy of being treated with respect and dignity.

So how to best show respect and dignity then is the question. It starts I believe in seeing this meeting as a two-way exchange; a conversation. Aside from our own agenda, shouldn’t we ask what’s on their mind? Is there anything they’d like to ask, share or clarify? Recognizing the other person has their own issues and needs and then paying attention and actively listening to them makes investing in the meeting and its outcome worthwhile.

Now I personally know of some people who are exceptionally good and unfortunately others who are exceptionally poor at hosting productive, meaningful meetings. The worst is the person who has all the forms pre-filled for the client to sign before even getting the clients input, sees the client as an intrusion in their day, and ushers them in and back out as quick as possible in order to join their teammates on an extended break.

Now ironically, some clients would love this kind of meeting. In and out quickly, not needing to be hauled back in (as they see it) for months, and by signing the forms they continue to benefit in some way without any real inconvenience to their daily life. I’ve met with such clients whose files I’d assumed in the past, and the first thing they found odd but good was that I actually sat there and talked with them instead of to them. They were initially suspicious, thinking I was pretending to care in order to find something to seize on. How relieved they were to find I used what they shared to suggest action plans that would help them. But isn’t that our job?

I’ve seen some really fabulous examples of conducting productive meetings too. Even now in my present job, I’ve got co-workers, (some I can overhear as they meet) who really invest themselves in the well-being of the client. The meetings are not rushed, the client is given 100% of the person’s attention, and the dialogue flows back and forth instead of one-way only. When the client leaves, they more often than not follow through with the plans agreed on, as there is more ownership and buy-in to a shared plan versus a plan they didn’t help develop being thrust on them.

So I believe that you – and I – need every now and then to remind ourselves that the people we see and assist are not only entitled to our full attention and our respect, but if it must be said, they are the very reason we even have the jobs we love in the first place.

For me personally, I imagine myself in their position, (as best I can) and try to give the service to them I’d want and hope for were I in their chair. That client might not even know what they should ask, or what funds or programs they might be eligible for. That’s my job – your job – to empower them with information and support which they can use to propel themselves forward.

Sometimes just listening to a person talk who senses they can trust you reveals all kinds of information which is then extremely helpful in addressing barriers and challenges.

It’s a great privilege to serve others, especially when we have the knowledge and the ability to do so. I applaud you if you are in such a position and thank you for doing so!

 

Thoughts On Employment Counselling


I love my job. I find great satisfaction in the work I do primarily because I’m in this wonderful position to make a tangible and real difference for good in the lives of others.

The nature of my job and the population I serve brings me into contact with people who are on social assistance, almost all of whom are unemployed. Most of these people share characteristics beyond a lack of financial resources. They may have low self-esteem because they didn’t plan on ever being where they are, and with that is a loss of dignity and personal pride.

They may be experiencing anxiety, certainly stress, increasing moments of depression and mental exhaustion. All of the above makes them fragile and vulnerable. So it takes real compassion and empathy to work day in and day out with all these various people you come into contact with. At least it does if you want to conduct yourself with the highest possible standards of service excellence.

Here’s a dilemma though. Do you think it best to look at those you help as clients and participants or people first and foremost? It’s easier to see them as clients. Clients come and go and there will be more to replace them when they move on. It’s a conscious decision if you say things like, “Hey one of my clients got a job!” This would reflect to others that you see the individual as a client in a professional client-counsellor relationship.

However, suppose you work with the view that these are people you are helping. Seriously, you then say things like, “John got a job!” It’s a subtle thing but it shows how you see the person rather than the client.

Make no mistake, people on assistance who are out of work have plenty of experiences where they are treated like clients. They are numbered on documents, they hear staff talking about clients, they even sit on the other side of desks in most situations, physically separating them as a client from the staff person. It’s you over there and me over here; we’re different. You are unemployed, I’m here to help you – and that implies that we have some power the client does not, and sharing what we know will move you to independence – like us.

When you see the individual as a person first and foremost however, things change both physically and emotionally. The ‘client’ becomes a person and they’ll value you and your help more because you see them this way. Two days ago at a meeting I asked a woman what if anything, I had done for her over a two-week period. She said without hesitation that the single biggest thing I did for her was treat her as a person, and that only myself and one other person had ever done that. That’s what she was most impacted by.

And when meeting, instead of people sitting on the other side of a desk, my office set up puts us face to face without that barrier between us. The desk is off to one side. “You care about me as a person and want ME to succeed, and I need that right now”. Make no mistake, people are good at reading us just as we are good at reading them. If you are really invested in people and treat them with dignity and respect it shows. If you feel you’re just doing your job and these are all interchangeable clients that come and go without seeing them as individuals that will show too.

The downside for me honestly becomes two things in seeing those I help as people first and client second – and make no mistake I know they are ‘clients’. First, when they are successful at gaining their independence from social assistance, our relationship typically ends. When you connect with people, especially people you’ve come to know (knowing their vulnerabilities, hopes and dreams) it can be sad personally if you’ve really connected. Oh your happy of course in sharing in their success, but it means you’ll soon lose contact with THE PERSON as well as the client.

The second thing which can be the downside of seeing the person first and foremost is that if you have high standards of service, the biggest fear you can have is in not doing enough to help. “What more can I do to help Mary sitting in front of me/” So now it’s me the Employment Counsellor Kelly sitting down with Mary the person I am honoured and humbled to be in a position to help.

Some touch us more than others; human nature. When they succeed, we love the success they’ve achieved, we feel happiness in being a small part in that success. But make no mistake, there is a bittersweet moment where you know this person that’s touched you in a unique way will soon be exiting not just social services, but your life with it. It’s only natural and logical. Your relationship was built after all on that client/professional basis.

Feeling touched in this way though does one very important thing; it serves to remind you that you’re still invested in people first and foremost as you should be in this profession. And at this moment, one such client has me grateful for allowing me to help her on her journey to financial independence. How grateful I am to have shared this brief time with her.