Latest articles

Excellent results from IPS job coaching The regional IPS pilot of HUS Psychiatry and Uusimaa… Read more
The Teamleader supports and encourages Employment Specialists The responsibility of an IPS team leader is… Read more
Correct actions are wrong unless they are timely When a person returns, after a long… Read more
An employment specialist will get down to business, build networks and meet new actors who… Read more

An employment specialist will get down to business, build networks and meet new actors who provide opportunities.

Kirsi Holm, who works as an IPS employment specialist in the HUS team, completed a nursing degree as an adult after a long career as an entrepreneur, and before that, as an information secretary. After having worked in a ward in Kellokoski for several years, she says that she had already been waiting for a job to combine all her expertise and experience. “I liked my former job, but when I read the call for applications for the IPS project, it sounded perfect: now this was the kind of thing I wanted to participate in! I like networking, marketing and communications. My work as an IPS employment specialist, despite the challenges of the project work, fulfils me better than I could have believed when I applied for it,” Kirsi says. She continues and laughs a little: “If someone thinks that people get referred to us and we then do some job coaching, they’d be wrong!”

Networking is an important part of an employment specialist’s work. The quality criteria guide employment specialists to offer comprehensive services and to network with employers as well as with other parties that promote the employment of the coachees. Kirsi explains that an IPS employment specialist brings together parties operating around the coachee unlike any other actor. “For example, an IPS employment specialist is in contact with the treating party, the pension insurance company, the TE Office or the local government pilot, the trade union, Kela, the housing unit, the day unit, the family members, and the former employers,” Kirsi lists. “The package is enormous,” she continues and states that networking requires a lot of initiative and independence.

From the perspective of an individual coachee, networking of the employment specialist is important to avoid overlapping work, and to ensure that the rehabilitation and service plans of different parties aim at employment, and that the launch of the IPS job coaching is visible. At the moment, the fact is that communications do not always work out. “In our team of employment specialists, we have noticed that people do not always remember to invite us to attend meetings with the coachees where the rehabilitation plan is updated. In this case, job coaching will not usually be reflected in the plan either.”

From the perspective of an IPS employment specialist, Kirsi states that networking is important in terms of disseminating information about the IPS, and also in terms of expanding one’s own understanding. “There are many options, paths, and services that we don’t know about. You will not notice them until you meet someone to talk to and ask about them. New perspectives and ideas will appear when you get down to business.” Among employers, Kirsi wants to spread awareness of both precise work ability and IPS job coaching. “Sometimes you notice that the understanding is still in its infancy. Surprisingly many employers wonder if someone should be hired part-time for applied tasks.”

Co-worker’s support and perspectives are an important part of IPS job coaching. Cooperation could be developed further: “It would be a good idea to build more systematic networks with a co-worker,” says Kirsi. Meetings with employment specialists from other organisations could open up new employment opportunities for everyone. As a result of networking, the enormous need for information and employment support has also been made clear to Kirsi. In the future, there should be several IPS employment specialists in different services where it is possible to implement down-to-earth job coaching. From the perspective of her own organisation, Kirsi states: “The healing aspect of IPS is an important counterbalance to the treatment focus of psychiatry.”

In the article series ‘Life as an employment specialist’, you can follow the experiences of our employment specialists in their everyday work.