Last week I was asked for ideas about how to succeed in a paid Peer Specialist job. These tactics could work well at any job.
- Set boundaries between you and your clients / coworkers.
- Create workday rituals—more on this in the next blog entry.
- Focus on having conversations with your clients.
- View the relationship as an equal partnership.
- “Practice what you preach” to clients.
- Expect to have setbacks.
- Act resilient after a setback—see my blog entry on using FORCE.
- Set career goals you want to achieve.
- Take walks with your clients should you be able to.
In the words of Pat Deegan Peer Advocate pioneer:
Recovery involves having “the dignity of risk” and “the right to fail.”
Too often peers can buy into the myth of self-stigma and its corollary feeling that we’re not good enough. This is an impossible standard that peers are held to that people who don’t have a mental health issue aren’t held to.
This thinking can be reinforced by outsiders or by ourselves.
I would say the two top tactics for any career are to set boundaries and to set job and career goals. The third tactic is creating daily rituals.