Pearl’s Inspiring Work at Home Ticket to Work Success Story!
Pearl was born with a natural, athletic ability and an outgoing personality. When choosing a career path as an adult, she was attracted to military life due to its strict physical regime. Following her service to the United States Army, she chose working in the sales field because it provided consistent opportunities for her to work with the public.
“No one expects to become disabled,” the military veteran relates. “I was working in the remodeling industry selling cabinets when it happened to me. In 2010, I was moving sample cabinet doors and broke a little bone in my thumb. The surgery for my thumb shocked my body, and everything froze up. I couldn’t move my neck, hands, or arms. I had 20 surgeries thereafter to help my joints move.”
Pearl picked up a flyer about My Employment Options (MEO) and the free federal Ticket to Work Program at the Veterans Administration and followed up with an application. She accepted her first job following her disability through MEO but didn’t care for it. To her delight, when she shared her feelings about the job with her MEO job counselor (Ethel), her counselor explained that she would help her find a different job that was a better fit. Ethel said, “If you are unhappy, this job is not for you.”
Now working outside the public, Pearl notes, “I was never one to sit in front of a computer. In my past jobs, I worked daily with the public in outside sales. I cannot do that any longer. Surprisingly, I like my current Work at Home job handling travel for executives. It is kind of fun.” Pearl’s current Work at Home employer has been very accommodating about letting her come back to work after surgery and went the extra mile by purchasing a stand-up desk which helps take the physical strain off her body.
During her tenure with this company, Pearl was rear-ended in a car accident and re-injured her back. “My company has been really good to me and very kind,” she relates. “They sent me a computer and set it up so my work would not be interrupted during my healing process and I could continue to work my 15 hours per week.”
My Employment Options’ employees, Teresa and Ethel, have both been supportive to Pearl who reports, “They ask about my needs and desires. They tell me if there is something I can’t handle, that is okay. It takes a while to fully realize and accept that you can’t do many of the things you used to do before you became disabled. Disability is not my fault. It just happened.” Pearl is discovering her abilities and focusing on what she can do rather than lamenting about her limitations.
Before her disability, Pearl would run in the morning and then physically work the rest of the day. Even though she cannot run today, she can do something! Regular exercise helps her move and stay in shape, which is now possible with her street strider.
Pearl has also struggled with depression since her disability. She has found her MEO job counselor to be a good listener and a great encouragement during those times. “I am so glad we clicked!” she exclaims. “I am very happy with My Employment Options. Their service and my job have made a huge impact on my quality of life!”
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