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Young Professionals find a job with the help of their buddy
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15 June 2021

Young Professionals find a job with the help of their buddy

How do you find a job when you have a physical or mental disability? At Zorg van de Zaak Foundation, we work on answering that question. Our cooperation with the foundation ‘Studeren en Werken op Maat’ (SWOM) fits in with our endeavour to help everyone find a job. We give financial support to the trainings for the buddies: young people who have found a job and would like to share their experience with young professionals who are looking for a job through SWOM. In 2020, the use of buddies helped 13 people find a job.

A new group of 26 buddies took part in three trainings organised by SWOM in 2020. Participants work as policy officers, project supporters or financial officers. Some wanted to see, through these trainings and working as a buddy, whether they would like to add coaching into their career.  28 young people were given guidance, 13 of whom found a job, partly thanks to the help of their buddy. Many conversations buddies had with the job seekers (young professionals) were aimed at finding work. Young people are rejected relatively often during application processes, which causes insecurities. Buddies have mainly worked on helping the young professionals expand their networks and hold on to a positive self-image. They were also stimulated to apply to different positions; in a different sector or with a very different content. The young professionals experienced the guidance as very helpful and sometimes confrontational. One of the participants found out, through the dialogues, that she is highly sensitive. The contact with the buddy helped her understand how she can use this characteristic to her advantage in her daily life.

The cover pandemic made it inevitable for SWOM to organise the trainings online. They managed to make the meetings as interactive as possible. Software (mentimeter) and forms of training were used that actively involved participants in the process. It soon became clear that an online training is less personal and as such, is experienced as less safe. The training was amended in a way that allowed participants to feel safe, and allowed for as much communication as possible.

In May, we interviewed Maya Aumaj. She recovered from a muscular disease, works for the Ministry of General Affairs and is active as a SWOM buddy.

Components of the buddy training

  1. Getting to work as a buddy! A buddy works as a volunteer to help young people. Protecting your boundaries and balancing work and private life are discussed first.
  2. How do you tell your story? Learning to share your experience. Reflecting on personal breakthroughs and lessons learned.
  3. How do you move someone?

Training in conversational techniques: listening, summarising, asking questions. All with the goal of helping young people take the next step.

In May, we interviewed Maya Aumaj. She recovered from a muscular disease, works for the Ministry of General Affairs and is active as a SWOM buddy. Bjorn is a buddy at SWOM; you can see his experiences here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmbAzWKkl7s