County resources help employee find the right job

Sometimes you get a second chance. When Sean Porter started his career at King County, he had a completely different job. For the first eight months, things went well. But then the pressures grew – along with the workplace distractions.  

It was soon discovered that Sean had a very treatable medical condition. After working with a trusted supervisor, along with Disability Services, he was able to locate a new job as a Maintenance Planner Scheduler/Transit Administrative Specialist II at Rail. Though it’s never easy to switch jobs, he credits the help of his manager for being open and supportive about what was needed.  

In addition to his manager, the assistance of Transit and King County’s Disability Services team was extremely helpful when he had questions about handling organization, expectations and priorities at the new job. At first, there were frequent check-ins and assistance.  

Through communication about what would help him perform his job, and a little creativity from everyone involved, Sean has now been working successfully in his current job for over six years. He feels he has found a good fit, with a great team and a great boss.  

But sometimes it takes a while to find a job you like that fits with what you need.  

Sean has some words of advice for anyone who may be struggling or wondering what to do next. “It’s better to make the first move and get started on the road to healing than to wait until things get out of hand,” he says. “There is no shame in admitting that we need help.”  

He points to Employee Assistance Program/Making Life Easier as a good first step if you are not sure what to do.  

Employees who have a medical condition may need to explore different reasonable accommodations to perform their current job, or in some cases may end up working in a completely different job through a process called Reassignment Services.  

If Disability Services is required as part of the process, you’ll find “a wealth of warmth, support and knowledge to guide you,” he says. And if you realize that you need to be in a different position that fits better for you, make sure you do your best. This helps everyone, including the taxpayers, he says. “Doing your best will make it easier to find something else if this position turns out not to be your dream job.”