A Founder's Journey - Paula Vieillet, CEO & Founder at My Employment Options
Paula Vieillet, the CEO and Founder of My Employment Options (MEO), was once faced with evaluating Maria, a housekeeper in a hotel, who had lost the use of one arm, to see if this individual was able to go back to their job. Marie was able to perform most of the essential job functions but was not able to make the beds. Leaning on the resources JAN the Job Accommodation Network, Paula learned there is a special tool that helps one-armed housekeepers hold down the sheet corners and Marie went back to her job!
Paula is very familiar with working with people who have a disability in their employment journey as she lives with an invisible disability herself. “I think most people have some type of physical, emotional, or intellectual challenge which impacts their ability to work and I am no exception. While I have a history of depression, anxiety, and show symptoms of ADD, I have always been able to accommodate myself in the workplace. The types of jobs that are most suitable for me have some flexibility in work hours. I like to exercise in the morning and work in the afternoon and evening. A job with a variety of job duties allows me to be productive, even if I am having trouble concentrating.” She founded MEO in 1993 as a sideline to her work as a Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE), primarily evaluating persons with worker’s compensation injuries for retraining and job placement options. “Job placement has always been my forte! I love helping people understand how their strengths fit into the workplace and the type of job which would be the most suitable for their skills, as well as be able to accommodate their disability.” The free federal Ticket to Work Program was introduced in 2002 to help reduce the risk for those on SSDI or SSI benefits, who want to work, but not risk their benefits. The program helps thousands of people every year nationwide return to the workforce in Work at Home or Onsite jobs.
“This program sounded like it could help a lot of people and I was willing to give this new job placement program a try! In the first year with the free federal Ticket to Work Program, I was successful in helping 16 people get back to work, and from there, we have grown to help hundreds of people get back to work every year. It is truly amazing!”
Paula and her team at My Employment Options (MEO) specialize in Work at Home employment and have for over 10 years, and their services are free to employers which is a win-win! A remote company since 2006, they provide consulting services for those employers who are new to remote work by sorting out virtual issues and answer common questions. Hiring remote workers can help companies save money, overhead costs, and it has been shown that many employees are more productive at home.
A person’s disability revolves around their ability to accommodate themselves in the workplace. A good vocational assessment will help identify helpful accommodations that can make working successful. “Employing a diverse workforce can strengthen a company by helping them understand their customers with disabilities and comply with federal initiatives. As far as hiring specifically, I have the same advice for companies whether they are hiring someone with a disability or without a disability. Employers need to make sure that the person has the skills and ability to do the job and is a good fit for their work culture.
Since the COVID pandemic began, there has been an entirely new willingness of employers to allow people to work virtually. This means that there is a plethora of industries and job diversity now available. “There has never been a better time to find a job than now! Jobseekers can benefit from vocational assistance when trying to figure out what type of job to look for and also receive encouragement and feedback during the job search process. Not everyone is eligible for our free SSD/SSI beneficiary services, and not everyone can afford a vocational counselor, so I wrote the workbook called Employment Options: The Ultimate Resource for Job Seekers with Disabilities and Other Challenges. This workbook offers examples of career change resumes, tips on how to answer illegal questions in interviews, and much more. It can be especially helpful for people who may be having trouble getting hired such as seniors, felons, those furloughed, and many others who might need help with career change resumes or have other challenges.”
Paula has always been an entrepreneur with a passion for helping others. She started her first business in her teens driving an ice cream truck bringing smiles to everyone and now she brings meaningful employment to talent with disabilities and employers looking to find diverse talent.
“My Employment Options is one of the original authorized Ticket to Work Employment Networks! I feel it is the best government program out there and I am very passionate about the program as it changes lives every day!”
Thanks to Paula and MEO, talented employees with disabilities like Marie can continue to work and perform just as well as those without disabilities.
About Paula Vieillet: Paula is the CEO and Founder of My Employment Options. She is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and presenter.
About My Employment Options: For over 2 decades, My Employment Options has been helping SSDI and SSI beneficiaries across 47 States find suitable employment through the federal Ticket to Work Program. This program, which is free and voluntary, provides key benefit protection and incentives for beneficiaries trying to return to work. Free client services include personal job counselors who offer one-to-one job counseling and a staff Certified Benefits Counselor (CWIC) to help with work-related SSA benefit questions. MyEmploymentOptions.com
Check out some of our client and job counselor success stories at MyEmploymentOptions.com