What I’ve Learned While Working at Good Foot Delivery
I was thrilled to start working at Good Foot Delivery. I had worked in administration before and had previous experience working with the neuro-diverse community. Something told me I knew I was going to like it here, but what I hadn’t expected was that I had just entered a workplace with the most caring and close-knit team of individuals. Individuals in the sense that we are each our own person, but more importantly, individuals as in people who are a part of society, who actively seek out their right to opportunity. Good Foot has offered that opportunity, and a space for everyone to work together as a team, to those who may not have received it elsewhere. I continually learn, share and grow alongside my neuro-diverse coworkers, as do they, and for that, I am forever grateful.
One thing that was evident right away, was that there are no differences here, instead, there are capabilities. My experience at Good Foot has emphasized further how crucial and important – how valuable – opportunity is, because everyone is capable of doing in their own way. If anything, the only difference here is that my coworkers are given a chance to succeed.
Meaningful employment provides my colleagues with a sense of purpose, allows them to show their potential (and so often exceeding it), and opens doors to new possibilities. It has been incredible to see the number of colleagues entering into their very own living spaces for the first time. I’ve seen my coworkers reach personal care goals, gain secondary forms of employment, showcase their artistic talents and thrive in exciting new job placements (thanks to our In, Up & Out program). New experiences and triumphs are happening all the time and we celebrate each one. This clearly speaks to the empowerment one feels and the confidence one gains from being a part of the working world. The independence and resourcefulness that develops within the workplace is astounding from day to day.
Building strong character along the way, I see my co-workers learn new problem-solving strategies while making effective decisions. I’ve learned from them to speak up if something isn’t working. I have gained the understanding that adapting can take some time and that is okay. Change can be hard for everyone, but it can strongly affect the neuro-diverse community. As an ever-evolving organization we often implement changes that require adjustment. While my colleagues acknowledge that changes can be hard, they continue to thrive while adapting. Being adaptable and resilient when things may not go as planned is definitely something I have learned while working here. Transparency and honesty are also highly valued amongst our staff and I have learned to be as open and forthright as I can be. Keeping things direct and straightforward is beneficial and helps in all aspects of communication.
Along with the pride that is manifested from everyone’s hard work, the staff here at Good Foot take pride in the strong bonds that are continually being built both within Good Foot and the community. Colleagues, customers, recipients, fellow transit users – we hear stories every day that highlight how connected we are within this community. The connections that are developed within the team, despite being virtual for now, are of great social value and feel down right special. It feels good to support each other, especially over the last year while surviving isolation and the innumerable lockdowns. Together we have learned how to bring our personalities, our fun and games, our feelings, our questions, ourselves, online and I don’t know about anyone else, but from that, I feel so much closer and less isolated.
My neurodiverse coworkers have taught me countless things of great value. I’ve learned how to work hard and take pride in my work. I’ve learned to advocate for myself and how advocacy of others is crucial. I’ve learned to break down barriers, overcome obstacles or change my route while getting there. I’ve learned even more about the importance of accommodation and how the smallest accomodations can provide immeasurable opportunities.
But most importantly, I’ve learned what it means to have a family at work.
A family of supporters, a family of encouragement, a family of belonging.
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