Job coaching is an initiative in the US (and nowadays also in other countries), to help the people with intellectual disabilities to have a real job, working with other normally intelligent colleagues. Job coaching is done by professionally trained individuals, who know how to deal with disabled people and how to prepare them for a real life situations.
There has been plenty of discussion if job coaching is effective or not, and if it has any sense at all. In this era of budget cuts, people are questioning the effectiveness of everything paid by government, aren’t they? However, the study showed that job coaching is effective, and disabled people who undertook it are doing much better in the job interviews and also while performing their working tasks later.
How does such a job coaching look like?
Usually a coach simulates with the trainee various situation that can happen on the workplace. Starting from taking basic orders and coming on time, continuing with some very easy tasks, up to things that happen on a workplace but are not work related. (like informal chit chat with the colleagues, going on lunch, etc.)
Job coaching is usually focused on some general scenarios, which with little differentiations happen in every workplace all around the world. Disabled person is so prepared for the situation and can use his newly gained knowledge in practically any job.
In some advanced stages of job coaching, coach practices with the trainee also the interview. He is aware of the fact that interview with intellectually disabled people is done differently, and follows this in the process of job coaching. Trainee is so being prepared for actual questions and challenges he will face in his job search.
The most important ability while both doing and undertaking job coaching is patience. Intellectually disabled people are learning a different way as people with average intelligence are. They are learning purely by repetition. Each exercise has to be repeated at least ten times, and then ten times again, until the trainee creates a habit of appropriate behavior in the situation.
Job coaching is not a profession for everyone… If you thought about career in this area, well, rather consider your decision twice before you go for it.
It’s more the mission than a profession, and if you do not have patience with people less clever than you are, this job is not for you. On the other hand, if you love to help the others, like to work with children and would not mind work that is little repetitive, then job coaching can be a career that will bring you the so needed meaningful purpose into your life.