I’ve been part of Ticket to Work for nearly two years and have not returned to full or part time work - and it’s partially my fault. The major mistake was not going back to school, as my first case manager suggested. The other was wanting to go back to work less than a year after having two major surgeries, 16 blood transfusions, and six rounds of “heavy dose” chemo for uterine cancer (which was originally diagnosed as ovarian - and has a lower survival rate).
After giving the second case manager, Carol, the heave-ho, I went online instead of going through the directory that TTW sends out. The office is always friendly but I figured it was time to think outside the box. By entering “ticket to work” and “California”, I got some interesting results.
One place not far from me couldn’t decide whether they still offered the service...I’m still waiting for them to get back to me. Another in Tulare requested my information and never confirmed receiving the documents. So one consistent name in my search comes up and I decide to go there.
I tell the truth as to why I want to leave my current EN as well as my career goals, the primary being to work at home. Unfortunately, only the State rehab agencies can sign off on returning to school or job training.
After meeting with about three different people, I get a case manager who’s not only new but claims to have experience in job placement and preparation (a Master’s). While the first few weekly meetings were okay, it began to feel redundant after a while.
Firstly, I was inundated with resources. Some helpful but others were generic and best for someone who either never worked or hadn’t worked in two decades. Then there was a form to fill out prior to every meeting. Not to mention, Samantha* really had no leads or a real idea as to how I should market myself.
One day, I got a call from a higher-up, Bill*. It seemed like I was always in contact with the case manager and I wasn’t looking forward to filling out more paperwork or being congenial with someone with no work-at-home leads. However, the phone meeting was refreshing.