woman in a floral dress sitting in a wheelchair.

Stacy’s Story: Taking Control of Your Career Path

In Blog, Featured, Stories by Anna Gouker

Stacy, wearing a floral dress, sitting in a wheelchair.

Spotlight on Stacy

Finding the right career path is a unique journey for all of us. Most of us experience some wrong turns, obstacles, and lessons learned along the way. Just ask Stacy who I talked to about her experiences in growing her career.

Spotlight on Stacy

Stacy has determination – she knows what she needs, what she is good at, and is not afraid to share this information with her employer.  She did not start out that way.  Stacy is a young woman in her mid-twenties living in the Madison area. After graduating from Madison College in 2015 with an administrative professional degree, her goal was to work in a position part-time while getting settled into her role with the company. Over time, she intended to prove her loyalty to the company while showcasing her abilities and potential.

Stepping Stones…

Stacy’s first internship after graduation wasn’t what she’d hoped it would be, and the job did not work out. As Stacy remembers,“The experience was hard to move on from. I felt like I was a failure.” Following that position, she found herself nervous for her next opportunity. Since then, she has encountered others who have shown her that team comradery can develop.

Through the ups and downs Stacy has come to understand that receiving clear expectations from the employer creates a solid foundation for her to be able to do her work. This process requires both her and the employer to demonstrate clear communication. For Stacy, this means explaining the needs of her physical disability and telling the employer all of the qualities she has to offer. “I would be able to work about a five to six hour shift every day, just because of transportation and personal care needs,” says Stacy.  Knowing her abilities and limitations gives her a great advantage in being able to communicate to employers solutions for increasing her productivity and workplace success.  With small accommodations, Stacy is a great asset to the employer.  “I am a really hard worker and am always willing to do anything that anyone asks me to do.”

#TreatYourself…

For Stacy to keep up her disciplined work ethic, she maintains a balanced routine that allows her to enjoy her time off as well. During this cherished part of the day, she spends time with her dog, Tucker, hanging out with her family and friends, and watching videos on YouTube.

Moving Forward

Stacy is looking to the future with a positive outlook, knowing that she is more prepared for whatever life brings her. Finding the right job can be a lot of work, but every proactive step forward opens the door to unexpected possibilities. Since the time that I sat down with Stacy for this article, she has started a new job in her field. As she begins this next chapter, Stacy shared some tips for other job seekers: “I feel like having a positive attitude in an interview is a benefit, and be real honest about what you can and cannot do.  Also, smiling is a huge way to sell yourself in an interview.”

About the Author

Anna Gouker

Anna provides planning assistance in achieving and maintaining employment by connecting people to community resources, providing career exploration and counseling services. She is dedicated to assisting adults with disabilities in achieving their personal and professional goals. Anna holds a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison. Prior to joining the ERI team, Anna gained experience in counseling and developed an extensive knowledge in community resources. She interned at several local nonprofits including Chrysalis and Community Living Alliance. Her passion for disability advocacy led to her position on the Board of Directors at Disability Pride Madison. In her free time, Anna enjoys volunteering in the community and currently serves as Co-Vice Chair on the City of Madison Commission on People with Disabilities.

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