Maintaining Employment Interview 2: A Café Owner’s Perspective for Youth and Adults Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Anyone else obsessed with fish tacos? I’m pretty sure I could eat one every day, particularly one topped with diced red onion and cilantro. Though I don’t love to cook, I’m a foodie at heart. My love of fish tacos brought me to a fresh food and smoothie café this week. Commence my second maintaining-employment mission.

I sought the business owner and asked him, “What are the qualities of an employee that will ensure he or she maintains employment? He was eager to provide his opinion.

Josh, the business owner, stated integrity as the most important maintaining-employment quality. He said an employee who steals money from the cash register or otherwise shortchanges the company cannot maintain employment at his worksite, and I’m guessing the employee would leave with a very poor reference. Bottom line: If you are not trustworthy, you are not keeping your job and it would become difficult to find employment elsewhere.

Punctuality was Josh’s second main most valuable quality in which he associates with maintaining employment. Being on time for work helps the workplace operate smoothly and demonstrates respect for your boss, your coworkers’ time, and your position. Additionally, punctuality demonstrates good time-management skills, and a strong work ethic sounds like the makings of a leader.

Josh concluded with strong social skills as the third most valuable quality for maintaining employment. He desires to keep and advance employees who are not only trustworthy and punctual, but who are also pleasant, engaging, and who interact well with others. Strong social skills include eye contact, good manners, smiling at customers, a positive attitude, reciprocal conversations with coworkers, and good hygiene.

Those who are sighted generally learn social skills by observing positive and negative social behavior, while those who are blind or visually impaired may need instruction and honest feedback in learning and improving specific social behaviors. Put yourself out there and ask a trusted mentor and friend how your social skills can be improved. This lesson goes for blind, visually impaired, and sighted individuals. For the record, and I’ve asked and received very beneficial feedback (minimally painful with a lifetime of paybacks).

If you desire to maintain employment, and I sure hope you do, you must be valuable to your business or company. According to Josh, the owner of a successful café, a valuable employee demonstrates integrity, punctuality, and strong social skills.

If you are a professional working with youth who are blind or visually impaired, consider using CareerConnect’s pertinent lesson plan series, Leadership Training and instruction in Social Skills. APH CareerConnect is a great resource for professionals and youth or adults who are blind or visually impaired. Follow these tips and you might be serving up a nice cup of long-term employment.