John is a client who was referred from Vocational Rehabilitation. Despite having numerous jobs in the past, he hadn’t experienced anything that had inspired him. When he came to Work Opportunities Unlimited through VR for job exploration, he did not have much of a direction. We began by identifying several areas of interest to him through job exploration. We worked with his VR counselor on a plan to pursue something in the art field, but it was very broad. John wanted to do some curating or travelling exhibit job shadows. Once we visited a few museums and talked to some curators, he decided that this was not the field for him. Then, we switched gears and moved to computer courses and pc classes. John took one class, and realized that it was not for him so we began again. I sat with John for long hours to think about his hobbies and interests. He said that he always enjoyed writing, and so he took a one-day class through adult education in writing. He loved this class, however the prospects of finding a job in writing were few.
At this time, we began talking to local newspapers and Maine magazines in Portland and Brunswick. Several magazines and newspapers responded, but the local Times Record in Brunswick was very quick to respond. John and his Work Opportunities representative went to the Times Record for a meeting with the editor, which was followed by a job shadow with the city editor shortly afterwards. The editor was very helpful and was like a mentor to John, giving advice and suggestions. John is now on his third article for the newspaper, and each of the two articles that he has had printed in the paper already were on page 2 of the first section of the paper! The VR counselor was thrilled that John was able to become gainfully employed as a freelance writer for the paper.