For anyone who has spent an extended period of time being unemployed, the concept of looking for a job can be somewhat daunting, if not difficult. This may be for various reasons such as such as financial, emotional, physical, or such as being a single parent and struggling to find places to care for the children whilst we are working. ALS helps people to not only seek employment, but also helps in in the more practical ways of seeking employment. Some people may also need help to create a good CV. Some people may also need help with preparing themselves for an interview, both emotionally and visually. ALS helps people look for employment that is realistic and practical to their needs. After all there is little point looking for a job or even applying for a job that you know you cannot get to or even do due to a disability, financial difficulties, family difficulties, or emotional difficulties.
Business planning support
At some point or another most of us thought about starting our own business. But for various reasons have never progressed past the idea stage. ALS helps people to go it alone by providing support from the initial business planning stage to learning about the financial side of the business including bookkeeping, advertising, sourcing finances, swot analysis what if analysis, Even looking at what your competitors charge and learning about their customer feedback and market. ALS also helps people create simple and low-cost websites. ALS also provides (phone/online) support for up to 6 months after the client’s final session at no extra cost.
Many people who have been unemployed for an extended period of time will often develop various emotional, physical and phobia problems. These will then have a direct and damaging effect on their wellbeing. In turn often making the idea of working a complete nightmare. Some people will develop acrophobia (fear of open spaces) and as a result will find going outside almost impossible. While other people will develop a fear of other people. Then there is the other difficulties such as depression, anxiety, thoughts of self harming. The list is vast to say the least.
I work on a face to face basis in the clients home, or wherever they feel happier. Over a pre decided amount of sessions I will work with my client to overcome their difficulties so they can reach a point where they feel they can cope. I do not rush or push my clients and although my customer (the bill payer) may have purchased a set amount of time from me. I am very flexible with the client. By this I mean that I do not clock watch. If I am with my client a little longer than agreed, so be it. I am a strong believer that "if a job is worth doing". And I will not suddenly ask the customer to pay more than what was agreed initally.
When someone faces unemployment due to job loss retirement, health reasons, new addition to the family and so on. There is a period of time when their outgoings exceed their income. This normally starts off in a small way is such as making small cutbacks but over time these cutbacks progress into such things as paying the minimum payment by credit card, obtaining more credit or loans, using the overdraft, borrowing. Then from this we can often find ourselves having to start selling some belongings, falling into mortgage rent and council tax arrears, and even winding up homeless.
There is also a medical and emotional implication to these problems because when we struggle with debts homelessness and lack of employment we also begin to develop depression anxiety loss of self-esteem sometimes end up becoming quite reclusive and developing agoraphobia. ALS helps by looking at someone’s financial and emotional situation and working with them to clear debts, fines, arrears and even sometimes claw back some charges from credit cards and loan companies against debts they already owe. ALS also helps people manage their finances better by looking at where they can save money on utilities insurance phone bills TV bills food and many other aspects of financial living. Unlike debt management companies ALS can approach someone’s creditors directly and work to arrange a more manageable monthly payment on outstanding bills.
Assistive technology support
ALS works by supporting people on a face to face basis. This will normally be achieved over a pre-determined amount of hour’s that is broken down into 2hr sessions over a period of time. During the sessions, the trainer teaches the client how to use assistive software or any other software required. Ok, that is the basics, but anyone can teach another person to use a computer etc. What makes ALS stand out from the crowd is the way support is provided. For example, if a client has Dyslexia they will often also have Dyspraxia too. These can also present themselves as a lack of confidence and concentration. So simply instructing a client will have an adverse reaction making any training completely pointless. To provide good support the trainer needs to work alongside the client with a 2nd laptop and actually show the client how to use the software etc. This also means that the trainer can record and create a DVD for the client to use as a visual support program on their own computer at home.
The extra mile
Most training companies will provide support sessions and then cut the client off soon as the invoice is paid. Sadly, this is the way of many services today. ALS clients are never cut off. In fact ALS is still providing free phone/online support to clients from years ago. In addition to this, it is not uncommon for a trainer to pop in to a previous client that needs help in the same building after seeing another client. Again there is no additional charge made. It is simply a goodwill gesture to loyal customers.
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