Contributed by Gabriela Torres, Communications Assistant
Photos by: Maxine Tamoto, @prunecandy
After months of careful planning, the People of posAbilities recruitment and retention campaign is finally here! Developed in 2015, People of posAbilities borrows inspiration from Humans of New York and Six Word Stories, two popular blogs that tell stories about individuals with diverse and unique experiences. The people of posAbilities campaign mirrors this notion of storytelling. It captures the talent of team members across the agency and promotes multiple career opportunities in a competitive job market.
Much more than just a social media campaign, People of posAbilities celebrates the diverse skill sets of our team members while attracting prospective employees that will contribute to strengthening our team and advance our mission of person-centered thinking.
In the coming weeks expect to hear from Community Support Workers, Behaviour Consultants, Employment Specialists, Residential Services Facilitators, and more individuals who have shared their journeys with us. As you read other people’s one-of-a-kind stories let inspiration help you discover your own unique path. We hope you enjoy following this campaign!
Carrying out this campaign would not be possible without the talented team members working to make a difference in various sectors of our agency. Though featuring each and every one of our skilled employees would have been ideal, we selected a handful of ambassadors to reflect the diversity of our people and breadth of career paths.
From receptionists to caregivers to our CEO, this campaign highlights different positions that are equal in value, telling stories about individual’s challenges, successes, unique skillsets, and goals. While some hone their skills and discover their passion by moving along a leadership track, others choose to grow and serve by taking on new roles in different streams of service. Offering 40 programs, four streams of service and several new initiatives that foster greater inclusion, the career possibilities at posAbilities are virtually unlimited!
By honouring the ongoing commitment of our staff, we hope to continue the tradition of inclusion and help enrich the lives not only for persons served, but also for team members, prospective employees, and the greater community.
The People of posAbilities campaign begins with our CEO, Fernando Coelho, whose story starts at a reception desk. Though this journey of advancement is completely unique to Fernando, we want to illustrate that no two individual journeys are alike and that there are multiple ways of developing one’s career within the organization.
Through hard work and passion for social justice, Fernando advanced from an entry level position to CEO. Read below to get the full story.
In 1993, I applied for the part time Accounts Payable Clerk and Reception position at Mainstream Society, one of posAbilities’ founding organizations. I was new to Vancouver, and interested in making a transition into the not for profit world. I experienced a variety of roles as the association grew including a Bookkeeper, Financial Officer, Finance and Admin Manager, and Chief Operating Officer. In 2002, I halted my studies to become a Certified General Accountant, as I realized I was more interested in the general management of running an organization. In 2007, the Executive Director of the organization left and I was encouraged to apply by peers in the sector and the Board of Directors. The growth of the organization not only led me to opportunities to apply for new positions, but also allowed me to continue to upgrade my skills through educational opportunities. Regardless of our job titles, we all contribute to the vision of inclusive communities and enriched lives. I find that over and above having the appropriate technical skills, we want to hire people who have a connection to that vision. In terms of personal development, posAbilities has taught me patience. There’s a need for lots of input, reflection, and courageous conversations to take place. All of that leads one to making the best decision possible in pursuit of our vision. I chose the social care sector because they focused on social justice issues which I’ve always been passionate about since high school. A career in social care allows you to make a contribution to the quality of the fabric of your community. That allows me to come to work motivated every day, over the course of my 25 year career journey with posAbilities.