Brandon has a list of goals. He changes them all the time, but he says independence is a step process. Getting a job was at the top this year, but with his travel schedule we’ve discouraged it. He came to me one day and said, “Dad, it’s time I became a man and get a job like you!” I said, “need some help bud?” “No, I need to do this on my own. I may need help updating my resume,” and off he went. Brandon has always had a love for fashion, shopping and networking. He also loves wearing a uniform or a symbol to feel like he’s part of a team. His college career assessments always point to sales/marketing and the arts. Brandon put all these together and scoped out an ideal first job. Independently, he dressed up, with confidence, walked into Billabong, asked for the manager, filled out an application and was given a short meeting. She asked him to come back the following week for an official interview with the regional manager.
The manager hadn’t had the opportunity to engage in conversation with a differing ability candidate, so he asked Brandon to bring in my wife at the end of the interview. His desire was to hire Brandon, but unsure of how he could get around quota’s and willing to learn about accommodations. He was certain Brandon would fit in with the team and that he would love the fun environment. Immediately following the interview, I got a text and picture of the two managers and Brandon standing in front of the store shaking hands. HE WAS OFFICIALLY HIRED and my the picture captured, a milestone in all our lives. They were excited and welcomed him to their team! As he was leaving, the manager had one more question , “with or without a job coach?” Brandon smiled and said, “without a job coach please. I’ve got this!”. My wife said, “there’s always plan B!”
As parents, we discovered that maybe we had done something right allowing Brandon certain freedoms to grow and enjoy every experience through the years. He had gained confidence simply by being placed in situations where he had to advocate on his own behalf. What he has communicated to us both over time, is he wants to get a job so he can work toward his independence. Which means living on his own and eventually finding someone to share his life with. We are now on high alert that when he walks through the door one day and says, “I called the moving company and I found a place to live in Los Angeles or New York City”, the plan is already in motion. His road to independence is in full flight