#MissionMonday - Jane

Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation referred Jane to the Goodwill Job Connection program. Sharon, Goodwill’s employment specialist, made an appointment to meet with Jane to discuss her employment goals. Jane had been in a variety of jobs, most of which involved clerical work, but had not been able to sustain employment for very long because of crippling anxiety and depression symptoms that medication was only marginally controlling. Additionally, Jane had physical issues that prohibited her from sitting or standing for long periods. Jane said that she wanted a part-time job but that it had to be one that was low-stress and did not require extensive sitting or standing.

Jane and Sharon worked together for several months on Jane’s job search. During that time, Jane went on several interviews. However, most of jobs seemed too stressful to Jane and she knew that it was not likely that she would be successful in those situations. One day, Jane told Sharon about one of her hobbies: she and her family loved to go bowling at the alley down the street from Jane’s apartment. Jane told Sharon how much fun it was and how she always felt more comfortable in the bowling alley. Sharon had an idea: perhaps Jane’s hobby could become her job!

Jane was hesitant about the idea at first. Although she had enjoyed her time spent at the bowling alley, she did not know if she could be successful working there. She was willing to give it a shot, though.

Sharon made contact with the general manager, who agreed to interview Jane. Upon meeting her, he immediately offered her a position at the front desk making sure customers had the right size bowling shoes. Jane explained her limitations and he agreed to work with her to address them.

Jane began working at her new job and things seemed to be going fairly well. However, Jane’s manager had to take a leave of absence. Jane had not talked with any of the assistant managers about her limitations and now her job was thrusting her into unfamiliar situations that made her feel anxious. Sharon encouraged Jane to speak with one of the assistant managers about her situation. The assistant manager was very understanding and, after their talk, things went back to normal.

Despite Jane’s ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression, she is still able to work. Her job at the bowling alley offers her a sense of security, a reasonable salary, some flexibility, and the opportunity to overcome her challenges. Jane continues to find satisfaction in going to work each day. She is glad she was able to connect with someone who could help her be creative about her vocational goals so she could work at a job that also works for her. It’s what we do …