FINDING A JOB
With support from the trainers and my family, I was able to find stable employment in an F&B-related job at a local hotel.
During the programme, I went through role-playing sessions and job interviews to prepare me to enter the working world.
The interviews were guided, which meant that staff members from Inclus sat in during my arranged job interviews with potential employers. Inclus is a social enterprise that empowers persons with special needs through gainful employment and independence.
They guided me on how to better express myself and also explained what the contract terms meant so that I could better understand the job I was applying for.
Without them, it would be an uphill task as I do not think I can easily pass a job interview on my own.
At my new job, my main tasks include polishing cutlery, setting up and cleaning the seating area. I really enjoy my work!
I met managers and colleagues who are really patient with me, as I settle into my new routines and tasks.
Aside from putting the hard skills I learnt into work, I also learnt how to better communicate with my colleagues.
When I need some advice on how to perform better at work, I am thankful that I can still approach my job coach from Inclus.
Over the past few months of working, I learnt that F&B services in general can be very dynamic, and there are a lot of changes to adapt to.
One thing I am still working on is to be more flexible and be able to adapt to changes in my work schedule, as well as being more attentive and careful.
Looking back, I think what made a difference was the fact that there are many opportunities for persons with special needs to learn and grow.
In the past, I would usually say no to new things.
But now, I will at least try, and I encourage others to do the same. There is a place for people with special needs in our society, it just takes some work to get there.
I can see that my parents were happy for me when I secured a job, and I am so blessed and thankful for their love and support for me for the past 19 years.
Now, I want to become more independent, so that I can take better care of myself and give my parents more assurance for my future.
ABOUT THE AUTHORClarissa Ng, 19, works in the F&B industry, after graduating from the YMCA-Inclus Train and Place Series, a vocational programme launched in 2022 to train youth with special needs.