Planning Your Future

Transition-Planning-SignSome survivors of brain injury would like to start working again, but they worry nobody will hire them. I cannot change the economy or dictate the hiring practices of an organization, but I can point you in the right direction regardless of whether you are interested in working, volunteering, or attending school. Several years ago, I attended a lecture by John Hall, during which he stated, “Anybody will hire you if the value you offer is greater than the cost of employing you.” If you are not sure what your “value” is, or you want to enhance your value, you might consider working with a career coach (such as Heather Wieshlow or Greg Johnson), a job search strategist (such a Tim Tyrell-Smith), or you might consider one of the other options listed below:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Attending free webinars
  3. Joining free classes
  4. Reading journals, magazine, or books
  5. Participating in meetings of community organizations

Regardless of whether or not you choose to hire a career coach or job strategist, the most important goals of the transition process are to:

  1. Identify what you want to accomplish
  2. Plan a path to achieve a smooth transition
  3. Measure your progress while achieving the transition
  4. Commit to achieving the transition
  5. Dedicate the resources (time, effort, money, etc.) you need to complete the transition
  6. Remain flexible in case you need to modify your plan

Keep in mind what you want to do today may not be what you want to do tomorrow, and a good plan today may not be a good plan tomorrow. Volunteering, attending webinars, participating in classes, reading journals, as well as attending meetings of professional societies (Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Chamber of Commerce, etc.), community clubs (Rotary, Lions, etc.), and social groups (fishing, hiking, knitting, soccer, chess, etc.) may help in your current and future transitions.

Working with a Career Coach

Career coaches help people who have been laid-off, downsized, terminated, underemployed, not recently employed, and never employed. Coaches may help you identify realistic career choices, enhance current skills and develop weak skills, “sell” your skills on a resume or in an interview, and negotiate benefits.


A list of posted volunteer opportunities appears in many newspapers in a section titled Careers, Jobs, Life, Lifestyles, or Volunteer Opportunities. Many websites also identify posted opportunities to volunteer. In addition, you may find current postings for volunteer opportunities at schools, libraries, companies, and elsewhere.

Attending Free Webinars

Many schools, libraries, companies, and professional associations offer free weekly or monthly webinars. To keep the attention of viewers, webinars are usually less than 60 minutes, but I have attended a few webinars that are longer. Webinars that might interest you can be found online, and at libraries, schools, companies, and elsewhere.

Joining Free Classes

Believe it or not, some museums, colleges, universities, companies, and professional organizations offer free classes. Free offerings that might interest you can be found at the following sites, but there are many more classes you can find on the Internet.


Many professional organizations charge for their current journals, but offer older editions at a significantly discounted price or no cost. Some journals are available to students, unemployed readers, and senior citizens at a significantly discounted price or no cost. Current journals may be free at some college career centers or some local libraries.

Participating in Meetings

I attend too many meetings, but the meetings I attend interest me and they are free. Many companies host free meetings in the hope of attracting new customers. I attend the meetings to network and remain knowledgeable about current products and service offerings. I especially like attending meetings hosted by companies that provide products or services that might interest me or the readers of my blog.

Additional Resources

Searching the internet for resources can be overwhelming. You could easily find more than 100 million hits depending on which topic you are searching and which browser you are using. To simplify the search, I compiled a short list of resources that may answer some of your questions:


  1. If you want to transition from therapy to work, how might you begin?
  2. If you want to transition from therapy to volunteering, how might you begin?
  3. If you want to transition from therapy to school, how might you begin?

Thank you to all of the people who either directly or indirectly made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.


  1. Scott –

    This is such an important post. For those who think there are inherent challenges in job search, they are limited compared to the challenges your readers may face. You are an inspiration to me and I’m sure an inspiration to your readers.

    Thanks for everything you do to support this community.!


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