Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Working On The Dream



What's the purpose of this book?
Working on the Dream: A Guide to Career Planning and Job Success is a self-administered, step-by-step career planning guide for people with mental health disabilities in their pursuit of meaningful employment. This publication not only gives a practical guide to understanding the ADA and how this landmark legislation impacts employability, but will help people identify job preferences, marketable talents, and employment barriers through structured planning activities. Most importantly, this book encourages people to implement plans to realize their career goals.
Why the need for a self-directed guide to career planning?
People with disabilities need to learn how to take charge of their job futures. The authors believe that by becoming more actively involved in choosing a career path, identifying specific personal goals, organizing community service plans, developing partnerships with employers and service providers, and learning techniques of self-management and advocacy, people can be more successful in their chosen careers.
How can this book help the reader in planning his or her career?
Working on the Dream guides the reader through important career planning issues and poses major questions he or she will need to answer to secure, keep, and succeed at the job of his or her choice. Questions are specific to job interests, skills, talents, education, training, wage needs, transportation options, disability barriers, communication skills, and other employment-related factors. The goal of this particular exercise is to help the reader write a career plan that can serve as a useful blueprint.The book also features detailed instructions and samples to help the reader put together an effective resume as well as cover letters and other correspondence with employers. Working on the Dream offers suggestions about creative problem-solving and provides real-life examples about how others have successfully removed obstacles on their path to job success. Case studies demonstrate how people have successfully arranged job accommodations with their employers and have developed creative solutions which reduce the effects of their mental illness symptoms in the workplace.
How is the book tailored to people with mental health disabilities?
This publication provides practical insights about how mental illness symptoms can be managed effectively in the workplace through careful personal assessment, creative planning, and arranging for essential job supports.Although Working on the Dream is intended for use by people with mental health disabilities, they are encouraged to talk to vocational rehabilitation counselors, mental health professionals, therapists, employers, and family members about their job goals and employment search. Some may choose to develop and follow career plans independently; others may choose to seek assistance from a service agency. Regardless, the basic premise of this publication is that each person needs to become actively involved in determining the amount and type of support needed to choose, find, and keep a job in the community.
How can Working on the Dream be used?
Working On The Dream is now in its third printing and has been proven to be an effective career planning tool. Our readers have used the book in many ways, including:
  • People with serious mental illnesses have used it to take ownership of their vocational futures, direct those who help them, and plan their own careers.
  • Community rehabilitation and mental health professionals have used it with consumers of their services to encourage their pursuit of productive employment.
  • Residential service providers have used Working on the Dream to assist residents begin vocational planning before they move out into more independent living arrangements.
  • Mental health professionals (psychologists, therapists, case managers, social workers) have used the book as a guide to focus on career planning and help their clients find meaningful employment.
  • Working on the Dream has also been used as a course textbook by several colleges as well as a staff training tool by supported employment and mental health treatment organizations that work with people who have serious mental illnesses to help launch effective job placement strategies and promote greater self-sufficiency.

Who should purchase Working on the Dream?

This book is written in the first person for people who have mental health disabilities who want to work and need encouragement to enter or reenter the work world. Social workers, rehab counselors, job placement specialists, supported employment professionals, job coaches, mental health day treatment professionals, referring agents and others who assist in these efforts may also find the publication to be a helpful guide. Working on the Dream is available for $15 plus $3 each for postage and handling. Please make checks payable to Rise, Inc. MAIL TO: Book OrdersRise, Inc.8406 Sunset Road N.E., Spring Lake Park, Minnesota 55432. Or contact Beth DePoint at bdepoint@rise.org or by phone: 763-783-2822.

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