Best Buddies Jobs: RJ & TCC
“We had no idea what to expect and we were blown away.” That’s what Kim Miller, the Director of Human Resources at TCC headquarters in Carmel, Indiana said in a recent conversation about hiring a participant from the Best Buddies Jobs program.
Kim went on to explain how the HR team has changed since RJ came on board in September. “He is a breath of fresh air for our team. He is good for us. RJ challenges all of us to become better leaders. Two of our younger members of the team have gained invaluable experience in working with RJ which will benefit their careers.”
“RJ adds a new dynamic to our meetings and challenges us to think outside the box and consider options that we might not have considered without his input. Having RJ on the team has definitely added value.”
A typical work day for RJ starts with a bicycle commute to the office. RJ splits his time between the file room, the front desk, and his own desk. Tasks include adding paperwork to employee files, pulling inactive files, sorting mail, and preparing greeting cards to send to employees.
The benefits of RJ working at TCC extend far beyond the workplace. RJ’s mom Jodi quickly expresses the confidence that RJ now has in his everyday life. She is delighted that his social interactions have increased. “In the past while riding his bike on the Monon Trail, or while in the grocery store he would rarely interact with others. Now, RJ stops to have conversations is often referred to as outgoing. He will venture out on his own for dinner or watch sporting events at restaurants instead of staying at home.” Jodi credits his co-workers for the new social skills. Shared greetings and discussions about the weather have been replaced with meaningful conversations with co-workers.
Sometimes RJ is stressed over work as he wants to always do the right thing and does not like to make mistakes. His co-workers are impressed with his work ethic to always do his best. His supervisor Kim Miller wishes all of the employees had his level of self-awareness about job performance and drive for excellence. She went on to say that “His work ethic is out of this world.” RJ’s co-worker David Keay also added that RJ is a good co-worker. He greets me and everyone every day and his work helps my job.”
To first-time job seekers or those changing careers, RJ recommends being “open to new ideas and not afraid to try new things.” RJ joined TCC as the Human Resources Assistant after a twelve-year career at a grocery store. The idea of working in an office was intimidating, but RJ quickly adapted to his new environment finding it relaxed and a cool place to work.
The work culture at TCC is one that is built on doing good. TCC’s CEO Scott Morehead literally wrote the book on it, “The Culture of Good.” At TCC they treat their employees and customers with respect. They seek involvement in their community and work to introduce local organizations to their employees. As part of living the TCC mission, RJ joined with members of the HR team to volunteer at Second Helpings to serve a meal to individuals who were homeless. He enjoyed the opportunity to work on a project with his co-workers and help others.
When asked to name the best thing about his job, RJ could not think of just one thing. His list includes, “The friendly atmosphere. Everyone is my age. The HR team–they include me. They invite me to meetings. They are so nice. They are supportive of my work. They are always open to questions.”
When interviewing all of the contributors to this article there was a common theme which was this phrase stated by RJ, Jodi, Kim, and David, “Be open to change.” These four words speak volumes.
Are you open to change? If you are an employer, a parent, or a person with IDD and want to learn more about Best Buddies Jobs, please contact Natalie Seibert or Kim Harvey or call the Best Buddies office at (317) 436-8440.