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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.