The Feeling that Makes it Worthwhile...
When I started my internship as a case manager, my role as an intern became more apparent: Help people with barriers find work. The first jobseeker I was paired with was Teshome Argu, an immigrant from Ethiopia. When Teshome first came to Daily Work, he was working as an airplane cleaner at the airport. As you may have heard in the news recently, many of the airport jobs do not pay very well. Teshome’s goal was to find a second job to help make ends meet. He was very adamant that he wanted only to apply for custodial work and I was a little worried that only seeking one type of job would make it harder for him to reach his goal.
As I feared, many weeks went by and we were having limited success. Teshome had a couple of interviews that didn’t work out and he was even offered a good position, but it ended up being too far away to be manageable with his other job and family obligations. Throughout this time, Teshome and I would discuss the benefits of networking for new jobs and I would often mention other types of work that I thought might be a good fit for him.
At this time I knew the process of looking for work was getting a little tiring for him, because juggling a family, working full-time, and looking for another job would make anyone feel frustrated and tired. But this time when I said, “Teshome, let’s look at some other jobs, today,” he finally said “yes!”
Just a few weeks later, Teshome came into his next appointment with a huge smile on his face. When I asked “How are you?” He responded, “I got a job!” We were both pretty excited. I could feel myself light up and with a big smile on my face I said “Congratulations” and shook his hand. He beamed back at me and said “Thank You.”
I then learned that Teshome learned about his new position through a friend (networking!) and that his new job is as a wheelchair assistant (not custodial!) at the airport. Teshome was excited because he had found a second job that he could balance with his work schedule and family. Before he left for the day we talked about his long-term goals and how Daily Work could help him again. His dream is to get one, better paying job and go back to school in one or two years.
We then took a picture together because through this experience we had formed a bond and I wanted to capture it. Over the course of three months, Teshome worked very hard by never missing his meetings at Daily Work, always coming on time, and at the same time juggling his full-time job and the needs of his family. I am so happy for him. The feeling we both had made it worthwhile.
By AJ Anderson, Social Work Intern and Augsburg College Class of 2015