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Steven's story

A true understanding of skills and attributes leads to a fulfilling role

Steven first came to see Ingeus in October 2010. Two months previously he had completed his training as a cleaner in the construction industry. Following completion of this, Steven had categorically decided that he did not want to continue in this trade but he was unable to articulate specifically why.

It quickly became clear to Steven’s Ingeus advisor that he was at a crossroads vocationally and was confused as to his path forward. It also became evident that interpersonally he struggled – both in communication and interpretation of non-verbal cues from others. Put simply, he was a person who sought a lot of attention and would strike up conversations frequently but not allow people to get on with their work or other activities when they needed to. Even direct requests to finish the conversation were ignored by Steven. This also caused conflict in group training sessions with the other U25 clients as they wanted to focus on the task at hand and hence they reacted negatively towards him.

Verena, Steven’s advisor, decided to help him tackle his vocational and communication difficulties on several levels. Verena had many private conversations with Steven and they worked on communications training intensively to enable him to determine how to pick up on cues from others and use communication appropriately. He was also taught how to listen, a useful skill in all relationships – whether personal or professional.

Verena and her other Ingeus colleagues also helped Steven gain clarity on his career path. It was felt that Steven was a very happy, chatty type of person who genuinely liked people and that because cleaning was essentially a solitary profession it had not been a good fit for him. So, Verena and Steven discussed possible jobs that involved a lot of people contact and it was decided that retail was an avenue he would like to pursue. Steven was sent on a retail training course and Verena continued honing his communication skills.

Following successful completion of his training, Steven and Verena wrote several applications for apprenticeships in retail. Steven was invited to interview and was able to draw on the intensive interview coaching he had received. To his delight, Steven successfully secured an apprenticeship and following his completion of such has been working in a high end retail store in Berlin's Friedrichstrasse - one of Berlin's shopping streets for well-heeled customers.

It was felt that Steven was a very happy, chatty type of person who genuinely liked people and that because cleaning was essentially a solitary profession it had not been a good fit for him.”