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Taking the Next Steps into Adulthood

For many adults with developmental disabilities, the transition to adulthood can feel overwhelming. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: everyone feels this way, not just those with an impairment.

Think about it for a moment; rather than attend school and living with your family, many young adults are moving out, starting their first job, or even getting married. You’ll be making your own decisions and this next phase of life can feel intimidating.

The secret to successful entry into adulthood is recognizing and implementing these three steps.

1. Do not be afraid to ask questions

Ask, ask, ask. As cliché as it may sound, there is no such thing as a dumb question. You would be surprised how many adults don’t know common answers such as:

  • What their medical copays are

  • What their bank charges for a monthly fee

  • What a “serpentine belt” is for their car

Whether visiting your doctor, finding a grocery store, opening your first checking account, or taking your car in for a tune up, before you commit to something be sure to ask plenty of questions.

By the way, a serpentine belt is a $30 part that should never cost over $300 to fix; We know of such an incident that could have saved the person a ton of money had they simply asked a few questions.

2. Know yourself

As a young adult, the person you are now is not the person you will be in 10 years. Your life experiences in your 20’s will shape your habits and expectations for many years to come.

But one of the biggest mistakes young people make is simply “going with the flow” and trying to fit in with their peers rather than pursue a future that will make them happy.

What makes you happy? What are somethings you are good at? Do you like to cook… maybe a career in food service would be up your alley. Is working on your car something you look forward to? Check out career opportunities with auto mechanics.

It’s easy to allow peer pressure to convince you to take a different path in life. Know yourself, what you enjoy, and set goals now.

3. Attitude is everything

You’ve probably seen more than a few of those motivational posters around, such as one with the words “Courage” below the picture of an eagle soaring high.

The truth is, there is a lot of wisdom in those posters. And simply put, your attitude will define your success.

Let’s talk about landing your first job. You may find it took 20 interviews before you received your first job offer. Guess what: this is normal! In fact, 20 interviews may be a low number when you consider many employers will bring you in for two or three interviews with different levels of management.

Don’t let this get you down or think it’s a result of a disability. The fact is, in today’s work environment employers are meticulous about the job interview process. It’s expensive to hire and train a new employee and they’re simply being cautious. Our Employment Services programs can help you gain skills, experience and make connections to open those doors to help you land that great new job!

You’ll face rejection — but everyone does. Just remember it’s completely up to you as to how you respond these kind of challenges.

Keep your head high. These next few years will be some of the most formative years of your adult life. Never forget to ask questions; Remember who you are and what you want out of life; Keep a positive attitude. Together, these steps will make the transition into adulthood much easier!

If you need help with employment services and getting the professional skills needed to help you land that dream job, contact our Employment Services Team by calling 419-221-0014, ext. 2869.

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