IL Workers Compensation – What Is Long Haul Covid Worth?

Hundreds of millions of Americans have gotten Covid since February of 2020.  The perception of a lot of people out there is that while sadly it has killed around a million people, most people get sick and then better after a couple of days or weeks or have no symptoms at all.  The reality is that millions of people are dealing with long-haul Covid symptoms.

Long haul Covid symptoms can alter your life.  These problems include:

  • Lost of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Continuous fevers
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety

For some people, these symptoms last for months and begin to fade away. For others, they haven’t gone away and doctors aren’t sure if they ever will.

While Covid is everywhere, if you worked in a setting where it’s more likely than not that you got infected from your job, you might be able to bring a workers’ compensation claim. We are seeing a lot of nurses, hospital workers, factory workers, and others who are having trouble recovering.  A recent caller to my office has been off work since September with long-haul symptoms that have changed her from a happy-go-lucky person to someone who has trouble getting out of bed. She used to run marathons and now gets fatigued while grocery shopping.  She is having trouble remembering things and is suffering from depression.

She wanted to know if she could have a workers’ compensation case and while she didn’t ask what that is worth, we’ve been asked that many times by others.  Like all Illinois work accidents, the value depends on the case facts.

In this instance, there is no way to know what the case will be worth. Currently, the focus should be on getting her paid for her time off of work and making sure that she gets the medical care that she needs at no cost to her.  She was around Covid patients all day on the job, so a very credible argument can be made that she is entitled to work comp benefits. And since she’s been off since September, she should be retroactively paid for her time off work. So while we don’t know what the case is worth right now, it does appear that she’s owed tens of thousands of dollars right now along with ongoing payments going forward.

Ultimately the value of this case or any other depends on what recovery is made and can she get back to work? Nobody knows if there will be a treatment that can make long-haul symptoms go away or if this is how life is going to be forever. But eventually, a doctor will state if it’s likely she will ever recover or not, and brain scans and other tests can determine if she has permanent organ damage.

When you can’t perform any work, you are considered to be permanently and totally disabled. You can continue to receive weekly benefits for life or pursue a settlement that would be a larger lump sum, but end the weekly benefits.  How much you’d get would depend on what your wages are and what your life expectancy is along with your need for future medical care. So a 35-year-old who can never work again would likely get more than a 50-year-old who made a similar amount.  While I can’t give exact dollar figures to you, it’s usually somewhere in six figures.

You also would likely be entitled to a significant sum for future medical care which also could be in the six figures.  If they don’t want to provide that to you, you may be better off not settling your case and keeping your medical rights open.

There are two important things to know about the value of these cases.

1. Insurance companies don’t just give money away. Some will try to get you to settle before you should in order to save money on your weekly benefits and medical needs. Others will come up with bogus defenses. I can promise you that you’ll almost always get more money with an attorney than without.  It would be a terrible idea to not have representation when you have a significant injury. Beyond the money, a lawyer increases your chances of the best medical care.

2. If you can’t return to work for at least a year, you are eligible for social security disability benefits.  Those payments get reduced in part by your workers compensation checks. When settling the case, it’s very important that your lawyer use what is known as spread language. Basically, even though you will get a one-time, big lump sum payment, the contract will be written in a way so your social security doesn’t get eliminated or reduced more than it should.

We have helped hundreds of injured Illinois workers suffering from Covid related problems. If you’d like to speak to an attorney for free about this, please contact us any time at 312-346-5578. Our team of attorneys helps everywhere in Illinois.

When You Are Hurt At Work But Don’t Pursue Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Most people who get injured at work have a process that goes like this:

1. Have an injury on the job.

2. Report it to your boss who files a claim with their work comp insurance.

3. Get medical care paid for by the work comp insurance.

And the case goes on from there based on what the injury is and how it happened.  Some people we talk to have an injury at work and report it to their boss, but it stops there. Sometimes the boss guilts them into not making a formal claim. Other times people for various reasons choose to use their own insurance. The question we get from workers who do this is, is it too late to do anything?

The answer depends on when you were hurt and other things. For example, we recently got a call from a worker who was injured last spring.  It was a clear-cut injury where he was hit by a forklift. His boss saw it and he filled out an accident report. Because he’s downstate at a plant where the employer makes you feel like shit if you pursue work comp, he had everything paid for by his group insurance. Now around a year later he has a torn labrum and can no longer do the job he did when he got injured. He wanted to know if it was too late or not to pursue work comp.

He has three things going for him that will make it likely that he can get help from a lawyer. First off, he’s within the three-year time limit for filing a case (note that there are some exceptions that can extend this time limit). Second, he not only reported the accident to his employer, but he documented it.  There will be no fighting this case for a failure to notify the employer within 45 days of the accident that occurred.

The third thing in his favor is that when he went to his doctor, he was honest and told him that he hurt himself on the job and gave a description that matches the accident report. Some people make a huge mistake and lie to their doctors because their boss wants them to or because they think it will help them get their group insurance to pay for it. This creates a great defense for the work comp insurance company.  It can be overcome, but it can also kill the case potentially.

So for this worker, it’s not too late. He did make some mistakes and is at risk of his group insurance going after him for reimbursement of bills that they shouldn’t have paid, but the work comp case can probably sort it out. He also missed out on some payments for being off work, but the good news is that retroactively we can likely obtain those benefits for him.

Others that we talk to don’t pursue work comp at first because they don’t think they are badly injured or “aren’t the suing type.” For those that don’t think they are badly injured, that doesn’t change what the first three steps should be.  If you are hurt and report it, if it leads to medical treatment, work comp should pay for it. You shouldn’t pay anything out of pocket even if the injury is minor. And then if it progresses into something bigger, you already have a case going.

As for the not suing type people, there are two things to know. Despite perceptions, very few people like to sue a lot and most lawyers I know (and certainly the ones I work with on cases) avoid people who seem to make a career out of bringing cases.  Second, workers compensation claims, even when you have a lawyer, are not lawsuits. They are claims for benefits that you are entitled to under the law. Just like applying for social security disability or health insurance payments isn’t a lawsuit, neither is filing for workers compensation benefits.

My advice to people who are hurt at work and not sure what they want to do is just to follow the first three steps from the beginning of this post. If you report the claim and are honest with your doctor, you will best protect yourself.  And if you delayed in pursuing a case, but now want to know your options or if it’s too late, the best thing you can do is talk to a lawyer. If you want to speak with an attorney for free and in confidence, you can contact us any time at 888-705-1766.  We help with work injuries everywhere in Illinois.

IL Work Comp – Getting A DRG Stimulator Device Approved

One indisputable fact about medical care is that unless it’s an emergency situation, you will start with more conservative medical care before getting more expensive medical care. The simplest example would be if you hurt your shoulder. Before surgery would get approved, you’d be asked to rehabilitate yourself through physical therapy. If that fails then it’s likely that a surgery would be a reasonable next step.

Another indisputable fact is that the more rare or expensive a medical procedure is, the more likely you are to face resistance from the work comp insurance company. But don’t give up hope.

This was the case of a first-grade teacher in Bloomingdale who had a fall in her classroom which resulted in a terrible break to her elbow and eventually surgery.  Her recovery wasn’t great and she had to have two more surgeries. Luckily for her, those procedures were approved and paid for.

As time went on she had continuing pain in her elbow and was eventually diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, also known as CRPS or RSD. She had a lot more treatment including medication, epidural injections, and even a spinal cord stimulator.  None of that solved her problem, unfortunately.

CRPS can go from one body part to another. It’s really vicious. As that’s what happened to this teacher, her doctor recommended replacing the spinal cord stimulator with a DRG or Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation device.  It’s used to deal with chronic pain.

The doctor testified it was the newest product in the field of spinal stimulation. Because it’s new, that made it rare, and as a result, the insurance company denied approval for it. Under Illinois law, medical payments must be approved if they are reasonable. Insurance companies have won cases in the past by arguing that proposed treatment is either experimental or not medically acceptable.

A DRG works by placing electrodes along the nerve root instead of on the spinal cord itself. Her treating doctor testified that this procedure had better results in reducing pain in CRPS patients.  Because her pain had gotten worse and not stabilized, the Arbitrator found that it was reasonable for her to replace the spinal cord stimulator with this newer device that appears to be better suited for treating the problems that she has.  It was apparently persuasive to the Arbitrator that the treating doctor felt that this device gave her the best chance of returning to work as it could relieve a significant portion of her symptoms.

The big takeaway is that while something like healing crystals will never get approved, if you’ve tried other things without success and your doctor is credible, getting newer procedures approved isn’t impossible and might even be likely.

These are rarer but tougher cases that certainly require a lawyer. Nothing is more important than your health and you don’t want to miss out on needed treatment. If you’d like a free, confidential consultation with an attorney, please contact us any time.

Bonus tip.  When injuries are this serious, we see a lot of insurance companies trying to get you to settle your case before you are healthy. Never do this. Once your case is settled you typically lose your rights to medical care paid for by them and would also lose your weekly benefits. The settlement money will be there when you are ready. Don’t let them frustrate you into doing something that isn’t in your best interests.

Union Steward Wins Case For Injuries As A Union Steward

We love helping union workers in Illinois.  They are usually hard-working people and when their cases are denied, it’s very often without good reason so we are able to help a lot of them.

Union stewards, especially ones that care about their job, can be a huge support resource for their members. Most, but not all union stewards actually have jobs on top of their union duties. And while you’d think that the steward job is separate employment, that’s not necessarily the truth.

In an interesting recent case, a State of Illinois worker at a mental health center had double duty as a vice president and steward of her local union.  Pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the State, a union representative is allowed reasonable time off with pay during work hours to attend grievance and labor-management meetings.

On the day she got hurt, she was asked to come to a nearby building for a disciplinary hearing for another member.  When she sat down in a chair in that building, it broke and caused her to fall backwards into a brick wall.

While she lost her trial, she won on appeal because the Arbitrator clearly got it wrong. She was hurt while assisting another employee of the State while on State property. Her doing so was not only expressly authorized under the collective bargaining agreement, it benefited the State because those types of meetings help avoid problems between the workers and management.  Her case was also strengthened by her testimony that she was often called to help mediate disputes that came up.

When an employer benefits from the actions of a worker, typically injuries sustained while the worker is doing those things will be covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.  The activity isn’t as important as the fact that it helps the employer’s interests.

Odds are that you aren’t a union steward and won’t get hurt working as one.  So why did I write this post? It actually applies to a lot of employees who normally do one thing for their work but get asked to do something else and get injured. If you are doing it with the permission of your employer, your benefits should be covered. If doing so helps the employer, your benefits should be covered.  In most cases, if your actions are reasonable and foreseeable, your benefits should be covered.

Bottom line is that if you sustain an injury and are told you don’t have a case because you weren’t during your normal job activities, don’t take their word for it. Call us or any other experienced attorney for a free consultation to see if you actually have a case.

IL Work Comp – It’s OK To Be Scared

One thing about Illinois workers’ compensation cases that I don’t think outsiders get is that these cases are real life.  If you’ve worked a labor job your whole life and now at 50 you have a major injury, you will feel like your life is on the line. That’s a normal feeling.  If you are in debilitating pain, you start to think about holding kids or grandkids, missing out on activities you like to do, and how your life might change. Those are normal feelings too.

If your spouse is the only person in the family with an income and you have a sick child or are worried about losing your house, that’s a normal feeling. If you see a change in your spouse and it makes you sad, that’s a normal feeling.

Above all else, it’s OK to be scared if you have any of these feelings. Your injury or your partner’s injury is your life.  A work injury, especially a serious one, can blow up your life. And it can only be made worse by an insurance company that is looking for a way to avoid paying you benefits. These are scary things to many people. Those are very valid feelings.

I can’t tell you not to be scared or worried.  What I can tell you is that a good lawyer can be a real support system to help alleviate your fears. Sometimes a simple explanation of how the law works, what your alternatives are, and what resources are out there for you can make a world of difference.  At least once a week, I hear from someone after a consultation about Illinois work comp laws something like, “Wow, I feel better. Nobody has explained it to me that clearly before.”  That type of comment is the best part of my job.

That doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen or that every case is a winner. But what it does mean is that the law is favorable to injured workers with legitimate cases who are credible. So I can’t tell you not to be scared or not to be worried. This is your life. I can’t tell someone who is one missed payment from eviction or foreclosure not to be freaking out. What I can hopefully do is help you understand what’s realistic and what’s not. Help you understand what a likely path is for your case and how we can minimize any concerns you have. We can tell you about past clients in similar situations and how they got out of it better than expected.

So if you’d like to speak with an experienced attorney for free, with no commitment and in confidence, call us any time at 312-346-5578.  And if you have any of the feelings I described, please know that these are valid thoughts and that we understand this is your life and make sure you work with an attorney who gets that too.

Illinois Work Comp – What Is A Broken Femur Worth?

A broken leg from a work-related accident can be a terrible injury. There’s typically no worse break than if you fracture your femur.

The femur bone, also known as the thigh bone, is the largest bone in the body and the only one in the upper leg.  At the top, it’s connected to your pelvis through your hip joint. At the bottom, it’s connected to your tibia and patella, better known as the shinbone and knee cap.

The good news is that the femur doesn’t break a lot. That’s because it requires a pretty significant event for it to break. Common causes of work-related thigh bone fractures include:

  • Car accidents
  • Getting hit by a forklift in a warehouse
  • A fall from a big height off a ladder or other device
  • A weakened bone that has a lot of stress put on it from something like excessive jumping

While the break can happen anywhere on the bone, it most commonly occurs toward the top and impacts the hip. These are serious injuries and almost always require surgery with a recovery time of between four to six months. If there are several breaks in the bone, which is not uncommon, it’s likely that the surgeon will put in plates and screws to help the bone heal.  In some cases, you might also need “external fixation” which are bars and screws outside the body to help the bone heal better and faster.

The good news is that most people do recover from this surgery and within six weeks after surgery, your doctor should have a good indication as to how the surgery went.

The big question we get is what is a broken leg like this worth?  The answer depends on a few things including:

1. The treatment you receive. How did the surgery go? Will you need another?

2. The recovery that you make. Are you back to your old job? Do you need permanent restrictions?

3. What were you earning at the time of the accident and what can you earn now?

4. Your age.

5. Are there any defenses to the claim that the insurance company might have such as you failing a drug test, engaging in horseplay, or accidents outside the workplace.

6. Was someone who doesn’t work at your company at fault for the accident and is there a lawsuit pending against them?

In other words, every case is different so the range of what these cases can be worth will be different from person to person. Most people who get these injuries work in labor jobs that pay fairly well. As a result, most cases are worth somewhere in the mid to high five figures on the low end to up to $400,000 or so on the high end depending on your recovery.  There is also the issue of having what is called a Medicare Set Aside to compensate you for future care you might need. If you have hardware inside your body, there’s a good chance it will have to come out someday.  That costs money and it’s compensation that should be given to you if that need is anticipated.

While not every Illinois work injury requires a lawyer, a broken femur injury is so serious that it would be a terrible idea not to have representation. It can literally be the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars even when the 20% attorney fee is added. On top of that, if there are any delays in your care, you need action right away, and having a lawyer in place can speed up the process for you.

If you have any questions or would like help with a case, please contact us at any time at 312-346-5578.  We have a state-wide network of attorneys who do nothing but serious work injury cases and have a track record of success. All calls are free and confidential.

Can My Lawyer Send Me To An IME?

I’m happy to answer any Illinois workers’ compensation for free. There truly is no such thing as a dumb question. I love talking to anyone, but especially enjoy it when people ask me things I rarely hear or in this case, something I’ve never been asked before. Here’s what the question was:

My worker’s compensation lawyer scheduled me an IME is the good or bad?

Typically an IME or independent medical examination is a one-time medical exam that is requested by the employer or their insurance company.  It’s meant to assess what your injury is, if it’s work-related, what treatment you need, and do you need to be off of work. Often those exams last less than three minutes and many of the doctors involved are hired guns who make six or seven figures a year from these exams.

Injured workers can have their own IME to get an opinion that their injury is work-related or that they need certain treatment, etc., but it rarely happens for a few reasons:

1. You have to pay for it out of your own pocket. Your lawyer will front the expenses, but it comes out of your settlement in the end.

2. Your treating doctor who sees you regularly is a much more credible person to offer an opinion on your care.

3. Any IME that your lawyer chooses for you is likely going to be seen as a hired gun without credibility.

4. If the treating doctor says something not in your favor, the IME report your lawyer gets is not likely going to be worth that much.

The only time I can think of that this really would make sense is if your doctor is out of the state or country making their testimony harder to get (although I’ve traveled for depositions many times) or if they are the type of doctor who refuses to offer any medical opinion about workers comp because they don’t want to be involved in legal matters. In other words, this is really rare.  Maybe you’d do this if the treating doctor tells you verbally that they won’t give you a favorable report, but it would sure look suspicious.

My concern, if your lawyer wanted to do this, would be that he’s trying to do his buddy (who refers him clients) a favor or something like that. When I was a younger lawyer and a defense attorney, I saw what I would describe as sleazy attorneys using the same doctor on every case to offer up reports at the end of the case. Often, it wasn’t needed as they had an opinion from the treating doctor already. So in essence, in my opinion, they stole a few hundred dollars from their clients and gave them to a doctor who referred them a lot of cases. There was one doctor who was notorious for these reports and he ended up getting arrested for health care fraud. Other doctors were retired from seeing patients and only generated these reports. None of this is in the best interests of the injured worker which should be all that matters.

Odds are that this won’t happen in your case, but if it does you should simply ask your lawyer why they aren’t getting a medical report from your treating doctor instead.  Maybe there’s a good reason for it. Maybe, but I tend to doubt it.

Chronic Pain And Illinois Workers Compensation

We are experienced work injury attorneys who since 2001 have helped tens of thousands of injured Illinois workers. If you would like to speak with a lawyer for free, fill out our contact form or call us at 888-705-1766.

Chronic pain is pain that a person experiences on a daily or weekly basis for at least a few months (and may continue for years) after a work injury or after surgery for the work injury. Chronic pain is a serious health condition that disrupts a person’s ability to work and makes it difficult for them to manage tasks at home. It can lead to financial strains and problems in a person’s relationships. In short, chronic pain adversely impacts a person’s quality of life.  Unfortunately, it affects thousands of injured Illinois workers every year.

Symptoms of Chronic Pain 

Regardless of how you were injured at work, you may be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms of chronic pain:

  • Burning pain
  • Throbbing pain
  • Stinging feeling along the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
  • Skin discoloration

Chronic pain often leads to complications beyond physical symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fear, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping.

Treatment of Chronic Pain

Finding effective treatment for your chronic pain is critical, and so is balancing pain relief with your safety. However, there is not a “one size fits all” approach to treatment. The approach to helping someone with their chronic lower back pain may not offer any relief for another person’s osteoarthritis. Your diagnosis, body and genetics, and history all play a role. Finding the best pain therapies can be a long process.  Sometimes the treatment will be medication. Other times devices like pain pumps can help solve the problem. And for others, it’s weight loss or continuous physical therapy.  It could even mean modifications to your house to make getting around easier.  Every case needs to be looked at on its own.

Workers’ Compensation and Chronic Pain

If you are experiencing chronic pain as a result of a workplace injury or illness, we recommend you do the following to receive benefits under the workers’ compensation system.

  • See a doctor if you haven’t already. Be sure to explain exactly where and how you were injured at work.
  • Notify your employer of the injury. You can email your supervisor or human resources, or both.
  • Complete a workers’ compensation claim using the forms provided by your employer.
  • Consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate this workers’ compensation process and be your advocate. It may be challenging to prove that chronic pain is indeed a result of a work injury or illness. Insurance companies may try to limit or deny you compensation. Having an experienced and reputable attorney in your corner almost always ensures a better result than going it alone.

Our goal as work injury lawyers is to help you get the best result possible.  For most people that doesn’t just mean a large financial settlement, but making sure that you get the medical care you want and need to improve your health and give you back a quality of life.  If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers for free and in confidence, we are happy to talk to you at any time and will do our best to help you.

Nerve Damage And Illinois Workers Compensation Claims

Nerve damage from an injury at work can lead to devastating outcomes. A person suffering from nerve damage may not be able to complete all of their job duties or may not be able to work, period. They may suffer from chronic pain. Even daily activities at home may become difficult or impossible.  It’s a very serious situation that injured workers in Illinois must both understand and have treated by an appropriate doctor ASAP.

If you have this serious of a work related injury, it’s really important to get an attorney in your corner who knows this medicine and can protect you. If at any point the insurance company delays your care it can cause permanent, life altering problems. So you must have a lawyer ready to go before they improperly cut off your benefits.  If you want help with a case or just have questions, please call us any time at 312-346-5578 to speak with a lawyer.

The following is basic information about nerve damage that you should know.

Nerves and Their Functions 

There are three main types of nerves in the body:

  1. Sensory nerves send information to the brain about our environment. We feel pressure, vibration, touch, and temperature through our sensory nerves.
  2. Motor nerves send information to our muscles that control our voluntary movements. Running, driving, and lifting are examples of voluntary movements.
  3. Automatic nerves control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of our body, including our heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, respiration, and urination.

Nerve damage is any kind of minor or severe injury that impacts nerve fibers in any area of the body.

Common Causes of Work-Related Nerve Injuries 

There are hundreds of injury scenarios that can lead to nerve injuries, but here are some of the more common ones:

  • Machinery accident
  • Electrocution
  • Repetitive motion
  • Vehicular accident (forklift, car, delivery truck)
  • Falls from a ladder or scaffolding
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Overexertion
  • Slip and fall
  • Workplace assault
  • Accidents in which part of the body is crushed or compressed

Resulting Nerve Injuries 

Some of the common nerve injuries that result from those work events/accidents include:

  • Partial or full paralysis
  • Herniated disc, sciatica, and other back and spinal injuries
  • Torn rotator cuff and other shoulder injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand and wrist injuries
  • Facial nerve damage including Bell’s Palsy

Symptoms of Nerve Damage 

How do you know if you have nerve damage? The symptoms of nerve damage depend on how severe the injury was and what part of the body was injured. Here are some signs of nerve damage:

  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Tingling or “pins and needles” sensation
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of movement
  • Weakness

Treatment of Nerve Injuries 

Your doctor may assess your nerve injury by conducting tests to see how well the nerve is conducting electrical signals. These tests are called electromyography and nerve conduction velocity tests (EMG). You may need to see a neurologist for additional testing.

Just as there are a variety of nerve injuries, there are a variety of treatments.

Prescription medications such as gabapentin can treat painful tingling and other symptoms related to numbness in the hands. For inflammation in the facial nerve (Bell’s palsy), steroids or antiviral meds may be prescribed.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy or occupational therapy to improve nerve function and regain strength that you may have lost.

More severe injuries may require surgery performed by a neurosurgeon with the goal being to restore function to the affected body part. Some surgeries, like those to address carpal tunnel syndrome, may be performed in a doctor’s office with local numbing medications. More complex surgeries would be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia.

For longer term problems, you might need pain management treatment which in some cases could include a nerve block or a pain pump that will provide numbing medicine when the situation really flares up.

Once again, if there’s anything we can do for you, we are happy to talk to you for free any time.

Transferable Skills And Illinois Workers Comp Vocational Rehabilitation

We are Illinois work injury attorneys with over 25 years of experience. Contact us any time to speak with a lawyer for free to discuss your case or just ask questions.

For some injured workers in Illinois, they will finish their medical care and have permanent restrictions that their employer can not accommodate.  For those people, they likely will need vocational rehabilitation which is a process where you get assistance in looking for work within your restrictions.

As part of that process, a vocational rehabilitation counselor will do an analysis of what “transferable skills” you have.  This helps determine what jobs you can do, where you can be placed, and how much you can earn.

So what does this all mean and who decides what skills you have?

Skills are capabilities that you have or knowledge you possess based on your education, experience, or training.  These are things that people, in general, everyday life do not have.

For example, knowing how to perform plumbing repairs is a skill.  Playing the piano is a skill.  Knowing how to do accounting work for a business is a skill.  Fixing a car as a mechanic is a skill.

As part of this process, a vocational counselor will get to know you and determine what skills you possess based on the life you’ve lived and the work that you’ve done. They will then determine which of these skills could be transferred to a new job.

Perhaps you worked as a heavy-duty laborer, but you have such knowledge of how the job needs to get done that you can work as a foreman for another company.  Maybe you were a foreman in a heavy-duty setting, but your work experience shows problem-solving skills and you would be a great candidate to be an office manager for a company.  Maybe you’ve been a big part of a team environment and shown that you can adapt to new environments. Some workers might not recognize that they have computer skills that could work in many different settings, especially if you also have good communication skills.

A vocational counselor, which can and should be chosen by you, is trained to look beyond the surface of what you used to do in your old job and what you can do in a new job.  This is especially great for workers who have ten or more years left in their work life and want to get in a new, good-paying job. Some of the other skills you might possess that you might not be thinking about include:

  • Analytical reasoning
  • Leadership
  • Listening
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking

And in some cases, possession of these skills might show that you’d be a good candidate to be sent back to school to get some more skills that work well with your character traits.

A change in career can be challenging or even scary, especially if you’ve been out of work for a while. A good voc counselor will treat you as an individual, provide emotional support and come up with a custom plan for you.  If you have any questions about this process or want guidance on which vocational counselor would be great to guide you through this process, please contact us any time. We help everywhere in Illinois.