One universal truth about dream jobs is that there is no time limit to finding one. Olivette has been supported by Progress for over 10 years, and at 68 years old recently achieved her dream job of working at McDonald’s.
Working at McDonald’s may not seem like an extraordinary hurdle to cross, but for Olivette it was a dream, and took almost seven decades to achieve. As a teenager Olivette worked, but throughout adulthood she encountered various health challenges that limited her progress. Over time she began to need one-on-one support, and her interest in interacting with others became limited.
This continued for many years, until a sudden interest and motivation to work returned. Without explanation, Olivette’s desire to interact and be present was back. Through this newfound interest in work, Olivette tested the waters in several different roles. She briefly worked at Progress doing janitorial work, then subbed at SmART! Supplies for several months, helping to sort donations and stock shelves.
Although Olivette excelled in these roles, she wasn’t over the moon about either of them. She got along fine with staff and performed the duties well, but something was missing. Susan Hutchison, Co-Director of Day Programs sat down to have an in-depth conversation with Olivette about her work and her interests. During the conversation, Olivette shared that her dream job was to work at McDonald’s doing janitorial work.
Armed with this new information, staff helped Olivette complete six McDonald’s applications, and within two hours the phone was ringing with a location that wanted to set up an interview.
Olivette aced the interview and was immediately hired as a lobby attendant. As a lobby attendant, she keeps the tables and chairs clean, empties the trash, and washes the floors and windows. She is incredibly proud of her accomplishment, and for good reason. This particular McDonald’s is located next door to the regional corporate headquarters, and serves as the gold standard for restaurant operations. Corporate employees frequent the location often, and Olivette is responsible for keeping the dining area looking as polished and presentable as possible. Olivette understands the added responsibility of working at this location, and has gained immense confidence in being chosen for the role.
Her managers continue to praise Olivette for continual improvement. Even customer satisfaction surveys are filled with comments about what a positive addition Olivette is to the restaurant. She brings her smile and positive energy to work every day, and loves being a part of the team and meeting new people.
After achieving a dream job, it would be easy to rest on your laurels and simply enjoy it. Not Olivette. She’s already identified her next dream, which is to become a manager. Olivette has a unique spring in her step these days, one that is specific only to dream achievers. Although Olivette took the long road to get there, the message of her story is clear. It is never too late to find your dream job, regardless of age, ability or circumstance. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, be confident, and the dream is yours for the taking.
Lily Wojcik, PR & Events Manager, Progress