Monday, December 20, 2010

Six Months

As of last Monday, I started a program.

My post on the Sunday prior to that mentions 'tomorrow is the start of the rest of my life.' I also very vaguely hinted at it throughout my other recent posts.

I was at my usual appointment with my job developer two weeks ago. Since having no luck throughout the summer in finding employment, and having lack of direction of where I want to go, what secondary education I want to pursue, what perfect career in life I want to choose, in September I started the job search program at a place called Causeway - a centre that deals with people having hard time finding employment as well as offers programs for success in certain life skills and housing. Mostly it's for people who have a disadvantage or disability and so can't find employment very easily, and are not in good financial states either. Some people verge on being homeless, at least the older ones. But it can also be a place for people who have certain barriers and need help, advice and encouragement in finding employment, like myself.

Throughout October to early December I'd have a weekly appointment with a job developer who would help me strategically find ways to get work. Once we walked around Barrhaven handing out resumes, and I even had a job interview (Tim Horton's seems to have been the singular employer I've had multiple interviews with this year). The problem was my lack of any job experience, likely stemming from the fact I should have jumped on getting some sort of job when I was a bit younger, like sixteen.

Out of it, I got a beautiful-looking resume as well as someone to talk to, in a way. Although, I shouldn't have been nearly as talkative on certain issues as I was, going through an unbelievably tough emotional issue at the time, it was alright. The problem was that by December we were still mindlessly dealing with resumes and cover letters, handing them out online and in person, and I hadn't gotten so far as a job interview at Tim Horton's.

Another problem was that other than the appointments and certain times where I did hand out resumes, I was still sitting at home by myself, boiling in excessive thought and wonder and sadness and obsession over emotional problems. Had I had something to do I wouldn't nearly have had so much worried focus on those problems. The result was my infinite pondering and conclusion I had real time to think about.

Two weeks ago, I began yet another appointment when my developer began to talk about this program - "solutions for youth,' she called it. Six months. Paid program (I'm paid minimum wage to participate). Learn about career ideas. Takes place within the building, every day. Figure out what I want to do. Learn things about what I'm perfect for. Be with other people.
That appealed to me like crazy.
Apparently they had an opening, and they were looking for more girls, but I was a perfect candidate - I was unsure about things, still hadn't found a job, didn't know where to go or where to begin.
A day later and I had filled that opening that most people are put on a wait-list for.

I knew that if I did this, not only was I paid but I had somewhere to go every day, something to keep my mind focused on, I had other people I could see and socialize with, and I could figure out my current insecurities and ponderings. I could get some sort of direction.

I knew that the program was for and appealed to youth - people aged 15 to 30 - that had a disadvantage or disability. When I started on Monday, there were two girls and six other boys. One had a disability caused by  a stroke, another that was three years younger than me had had trouble with the authorities a few times. Others seemed like they were like me - unsure about where to go next, and jobless.

Most people around me have been extremely pleased and happy for me, even if I'm in a program where I'm surrounded by delinquents or disabled people, which isn't a bad thing, just not something you'd normally find me apart of. I'm not used to that, being in a program.

The first day was a bit boring and I felt out of place and weird being there, around those people in that part of Ottawa, doing paperwork, but it got better throughout the week. I communicated with people a lot quicker than I thought I would, that's for sure. I've learnt a few very interesting things about myself, one of which prompted me to write about the whole astrology thing on here. That idea came from the fact that when I figured out my biggest values one day during the program (one of the exercises), I was surprised at the uncanny similarities.

Another cool thing is that it's six months long, so I'm occupied for the rest of Winter and Spring. I can save up money (and I can and have bought Christmas presents). I've made a few acquaintances as well as potentially a friend, a guy who, as mentioned, had a stroke (and yet he's only six years older than me). The guy on probation probably has the most talkative and likable personality. I won't name them here, but the disabled guy has at one point recommended I go into a career of teaching at a university, all from his awe at my large amounts of random information.
I will say that for the first time ever, there's two Justins. Never had to be identified by name and last initial before (other than when I sign off on these posts). It's kind of funny.

It's not only figuring out the perfect career, it's also managing things like budgets and nutrition and well-being, though I don't feel I'm perfectly in dire need of that; I'm not someone who doesn't know how to live at all. But it would be helpful nonetheless.

I'll be writing posts in the future about certain things I've figured out and things I've come across and learnt, particularly about myself which I didn't know I'd do. It's pretty interesting, and I hope it gets even more fun. The hours in a day go by quickly.

Justin C.

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