Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. - "Making life better"
An Indian-owned business

SLC logo



So, it is the end of the month and Mavis has not applied for three jobs a week, or three jobs a month. In fact, as her counselor, you even called over to the casino and found out there was a clerical job open. She still did not apply for it. When you ask her what happened, she responds that:

"I didn't have gas for my car on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I meant to go but they said the person was only in until noon and I did not wake up until 11 and by the time I got dressed it was past noon already. Thursday, my sister was sick and needed me to go to the IHS clinic with her. On Friday, well, my friend told me that they never talk to people about jobs on Friday because it is too close to the weekend."

One way to address this issue might be to arrange to have a purchase order at the local gas station so that Mavis could charge gas if she needed to go to a job interview. We think that would be a very short-sighted solution, since she did not get to the casino on the other four days when she did have gas. What Mavis needs is not a voucher for gas. It is a very large amount of assistance mastering soft skills. These include planning out what she will need in the morning to get to an appointment on time, being aware how early she needs to get up to make an appointment and asking the right person to get the correct information. In fact, the casino does interview people for jobs on Fridays.

The counselor may decide to work with Mavis one-on-one for counseling. As noted previously, the Spirit Lake Leadership training project offers resources to assist with training for soft skills and is available on-line for free. Other possibilities are job skills programs that focus on goal-setting, self-esteem, organizational skills. We believe it is extremely unfortunate that some TANF programs are discouraging programs like these in favor of interviews and resume writing. It has been our experience that clients like Mavis, unless they change their behavior substantially, rarely last more than a few months on a job, at most.

We'll discuss more about soft skills in the section on difficult clients. For now, let's see what other services VR can offer.


Next page, job analysis

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
Email us at: Info@SpiritLakeConsulting.com