Thinking About Work


How will I know when my family member is ready for work?

There is no checklist that determines when someone is ready to work. Decisions about working can be illustrated in a framework developed by Prochaska about the stages of change.
The stages include:

  • Precontemplation – not considering change
  • Contemplation – thinking about the change
  • Preparation – preparing for the change
  • Action – making the change
  • Maintenance – keeping the change
  • Termination – concerns about the change are no longer an issue

A person can move back and forth through the stages. Understanding which stage of the process your family member is experiencing might be helpful. This is especially true when choosing vocational services.
Services are most helpful if they correspond to the person’s needs. That is, matching the stage of change with the service provided. For example, if your family member is in precontemplation and the program is designed for quick placement in a job (action), it may be that the person needs another service first.
During the stages of change there can be negative thinking or recurrence of symptoms. Yet, these setbacks can be overcome if anticipated and planned for. The important thing is for your family member to understand there will be bad days at any stage of the process.

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