Man and woman laughingFinding and maintaining employment can feel like a lonely journey, but you don't have to do it alone. Having a social network that supports you through each new chapter in life can make a positive difference in your progress. Learn more about social wellness for building support on your path to employment.

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Social Wellness Month: Building Support on Your Path to Work

Jul 15, 2021

Man and woman laughingIn recognition of Social Wellness month, we're looking at how social connections can support your career development.

So much of a person's employment journey, from applications to maintaining long-term employment, can feel like an independent and private experience. While no one can do a job for you, develop your professional skills, or achieve your career goals, you don't have to do all these things completely alone.

Having a support system of family, friends and professionals can be vital to helping you achieve your employment goals as well as maintaining good mental and emotional health during the highs and lows of job hunting and employment.

What is Social Support?

Social support is the result of developing and nurturing healthy relationships with others that you can rely on in a time of need to help you focus on the progress you've made and the long-term goals ahead of you.

Social support can take different forms including:

  • Emotional Support: These are actions that make someone else feel cared for. Actively listening to a person talk about their feelings, offering verbal or physical gestures of sympathy or sending notes of encouragement are all examples of emotional support.
  • Instrumental Support: This type of support includes physical actions such as completing housekeeping tasks, giving money or providing transportation.
  • Informational Support: This includes providing information that has a positive impact on a person's wellbeing, such as telling someone about a job opening, helping them grow a professional network or connecting them to programs that offer specialized support.

Getting social support and being a part of a social relationship not only helps you during times of change, but it also has positive benefits for your emotional, mental and physical health.

Growing Your Social Network in Your Community

Getting involved in your community through volunteering is a great way to connect with likeminded individuals who share your interests. These social connections can become part of your support system and may even become professional connections that help you network and find future employment opportunities.

If you are pursuing additional training or education to achieve your employment goals, classmates, fellow interns or apprentices can be great additions to your social circle. They may be facing similar challenges and can help you problem solve or show you just how much you've accomplished since the beginning of your training, educational program, internship or apprenticeship.

If in-person opportunities are not available in your immediate area, online communities can be as helpful to your social wellbeing as in-person relationships. These digital spaces can help you find others in similar situations or who have similar experiences to share encouragement and understanding.

How Ticket to Work Can Help

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary. If you're eligible, it connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or be successful while you are working.

The Ticket Program can connect you with service providers who offer a wide variety of employment services to support people with disabilities in all stages of their employment journey.

These service providers can be vital members of your social support network throughout your employment journey, from providing information on how working may affect your benefits to providing resume and job searching assistance.

Employment Networks (EN) are public and private organizations that provide supports like:

  • Career planning services, such as goal setting, job coaching and job development.
  • Job placement assistance services, such as active job search services; assistance completing job applications, developing resumes, improving interview skills, making employer contacts, analyzing job tasks, suggesting job restructuring and reasonable accommodations, and job retention counseling.
  • Ongoing post-employment support, such as regularly scheduled follow-ups and career advancement services.

State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agencies are organizations that provide people with disabilities with more intensive services they may need to prepare them for working with supports like:

  • Training
  • Education
  • Rehabilitation
  • Career Counseling
  • Job Placement Assistance
  • Benefits Counseling

These service providers can be important parts of your social support network, providing you with the informational support you need to confidently try to achieve your goals of sustained employment and financial independence.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Receive Ticket Program Texts

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

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  Opt in to receive information about the Ticket program via text. Text the word "TICKET" to 474747