It’s the end of the year! Everyone/website is recapping the ups and downs of the years and I thought it might be wise to reflect on my own year in being a “professional.”
1. Undocumented immigrant - The preferred term for what is politically known as “illegal alien” - also, obviously more humanizing. I find it ironic that I had to be reminded to use this phrase when one of the few things I have up on my wall at work is this.
2. Being creative - Each of my clients is so different from the next. Why they are my client, what their needs are, how independent they are, etc…. It should go without saying that using the same approach for each obviously won’t work for such a diverse group of individuals.
However, despite how many years of education one can have, this is where training isn’t all that helpful. Certainly I pulled from different things I have read and learned over the years, but I had to get creative with some of my clients. Make up a whole new way of addressing issues, asking questions, making plans. I’m proud of the different approaches I took and my supervisors who gave me encouragement and advice in the midst of frustration and confusion.
3. Client Goals - You can’t make your client want something for themselves. This could be a simple goal or a big one (like housing or say, sobriety) and probably seems self-evident but when you are in the nitty-gritty of work it just isn’t. After a colossal case manager disaster back in March, this hit me really hard. Certainly mental health, physical health and personality issues can really affect this and my perception of what one truly wants & is capable of. Regardless, I would say how I realized this and how it is has changed my approach to work has been the most significant thing I’ve learned all year.
To a new year, new lessons, new perspectives and new approaches. May I learn as much from those I work with as they may learn from me.