Due to some mental health problems he experienced last year, Isaac Walski was fearful about not being able to find employment while preparing to return to work this spring.
After collaborating with the Northwestern Mental Health Center (NWMHC) in Crookston on developing some coping skills and working through his obstacles, he was referred to ODC IPS in March to further his progress and ready him to enter the workforce once again.
With a background in factory work, Isaac was convinced it was a field to which he wanted to return. A preliminary job search turned up only customer service positions, which were not ideal matches for Isaac’s strengths. However, after spending time with an IPS employment specialist researching and discovering what he enjoys in a job, it was decided that they would try a different route with employment.
Stating that he likes to be active and outdoors, an employment opportunity arose with Greenway Lawn Spraying, a local company that specializes in comprehensive lawn care. This was a position that played to Isaac’s skills and preferences – a perfect match!
After five weeks on the job, Isaac says the best part of his job is the accomplishment he feels after a day of helping customers make their property look its best. His coworkers easily make him feel like a part of the team, and his employer says Isaac has really helped bring team morale up – adding that he inspires others with the way he has been able to overcome his past and keep moving forward.
The most difficult challenge Isaac has experienced so far was the first day he spent working out of town by himself. Overcoming his nervousness, he realized he had a job to do and just got it done.
Apart from building his confidence, Isaac says the most important things he has learned from his job so far include not being afraid to ask questions, and that a little common sense goes a long way.
Isaac is thankful for the roles that both the NWMHC and ODC played in supporting him as he worked through the difficulties of the past year and making the process of finding a job less stressful as he readied himself for a successful return to the workforce. He now feels he is on the right track for independence.
We appreciate you sharing your story with us, Isaac!