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Discovering my Strengths at Daily Work

By Trisha Nelson

In·tern: a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience.
Synonyms: trainee, apprentice, probationer, student, novice, beginner

Daily Work relies heavily on the help of volunteers and interns. The turnaround for those individuals is so quick, it’s amazing that it functions so well. Coming in to Daily Work, I was not sure what to prepare for. I was scared to meet with job seekers, and I was afraid of not knowing what to do or what to expect. Fast forward to now (just three months into my internship), and I am participating in not only helping a fellow intern learn, but also helping train a new wave of volunteers in starting their Daily Work journey.

How does someone get so far in the process of an internship in such a short amount of time? The quick and short answer: TRUST.

Daily Work has a very short time with interns. In the span of about nine months (a school year), interns learn processes and procedures, navigate social work supervision, (the mentoring process used to develop their skills, knowledge, and ethical practice), and understand the steps involved in effectively assisting job seekers. The strategy at Daily Work is to provide a comprehensive training program and gently “push” interns into the world of assisting job seekers, whether they feel ready or not, and then be there for them with guidance and support.

When my internship started, I was unsure about my skills, not only as a social work intern, but also as a job counselor. I did not believe I had much experience in writing resumes or even knowing how to talk to people or what to say to them. Throughout the process, Daily Work provided me with resources to better my skills as a resume writer and suggested talking points for my conservations with job seekers. But most surprising to me was the opportunity to teach new volunteers, which is helping me understand that I know way more than I thought.

As a student, the last thing typically on your mind is teaching (unless that’s the field you’re going into). You can imagine my surprise when I was asked to help train a new crew of volunteers. Not only did I feel unprepared due to how long I’ve been here, but also due to my perfectionist mind. What if I said the wrong thing, or forgot to tell them about some important detail? Of course, I was pushed by Daily Work again. In the training sessions with volunteers, I’ve given insight and answered questions, but I have also learned from the volunteers. Through the process of teaching others, I have learned new things; the most important among them is that my observations, insights and feedback are valuable, effective, and on target.

It amazes me how much Daily Work can do with so little. It provides a place for job seekers to find the help they need to obtain better jobs and provides an opportunity for people like me to learn and grow. Whether it’s the interns and volunteers exchanging ideas and knowledge, or job seekers sharing their experiences and wisdom; Daily Work is the perfect place to learn how other people work, discover the beauty of other cultures, and realize how much we can learn from each other.

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