Name Surname:Ināra Korņeva
Background: In Accounting and Credit Technical School obtained an education as an economist, however, after that finished professional courses in Social work and social pedagogy which was the reason for Ināra to join the organization ‘Apeirons’.
Sector: Non-governmental or Third sector
Position: Employment's support agent/consultant
Even though she is an economist by education, Ināra has found her fulfilment in non-governmental sector - actively participating in ‘Apeirons’ - organization for people with disabilities and their friends. By providing support, help, advice and various consultations she helps people with disabilities to find a job.
I have finished Riga’s Accounting and Credit Technical School with distinction but despite the fact my career as an economist have been very short. After 15 years, in academy ‘Attīstība’ I finished professional courses in Social work and social pedagogy. Lecturers were from organization ‘Apeirons’ and in 2001 I joined ‘Apeirons’, and 2011 was the year we started to provide people in need with employment support service.
Now me and my colleague work as an employment support service agent! The idea was hers but I’m the one who brings all this to practice, meaning, I support people with disabilities when they are looking for a job. I help them to use internet, find job ads, I talk to them and tell them more about how to behave during a job interview – what is necessary to mention and what are the things which you shouldn’t say, etc.Even though my education says “economist”, I didn’t work for many years as I was raising my daughter who has special needs. After she grew up and became more independent, I undertook courses and became social work organizer. I did my internship in organization ‘Apeirons’ and they became my second home. I wasn’t really self-confident and approximately for 5 years I worked there as a volunteer when they asked me to join in a project as an assistant. That was the moment when I started to work more seriously, I also refreshed my knowledge in the field of economy and social area.Significantly, my first project in 2006 was about the employment of people with disabilities. Within the project we taught people how to write CV, we created additional videos which you could attach to CV, later these videos appeared in different channels, one of them was the webpage varcentrs.lv. Even though I was only a project’s assistant back then, personally it was a very special and significant project, because of the knowledge gained – now I can apply this knowledge in my daily work by helping people to look for a job.My own health status have left a significant impact on my work life, also, I was raising a child with a disability which meant that taking up a regular work with fixated hours wasn’t possible, therefore, I found that non-governmental sector may be the best choice for me. Also, I was tired of staying at home and being a housewife, although, since the independence of Latvia I have actively been participating in various non-governmental sector’s activities whose scope related to helping children with disabilities. But I’ve always wanted to realize myself within work. The biggest threat for now is the worsening of my health which is the reason why I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to fulfil myself in work – but I will work as much and as long as I can! The luck factor definitely was my family – my husband noticed that house life has become boring to me and encouraged me to go and study, as a result, in 2000 I started courses and obtained social work organizer specialty.I didn’t face any significant obstacles, everything happened quite slow and naturally. Everything in its right time. The luck factor definitely was my family – my husband noticed that house life has become boring to me and encouraged me to go and study, as a result, in 2000 I started courses and obtained social work organizer specialty. ‘Apeirons’ is the place where I feel understood and where I can prove my skills and abilities. It gave me the chance to continue to raise my child in that way which would never have happened if I worked in regular work or for example, in my first work – in a bank. My source of inspiration is ‘Apeirons’ colleagues, never ending improvement, new ideas, different projects, various challenges. Those are the people who gave the chance to be included in activities, always supported me and gave advice. I can say big thank you to Ņina Meņģele who is the soul of this organization, she supports all volunteers by giving them advice. Also, to Ivars Balodis – ‘Apeirons’ director whom we can approach any time – with any question and together we can solve problems, both professional and personal.
I’m a much better employee than I am a manager, however, when there are critical situations when there is no one to count on, I can also undertake management. I don’t find myself very creative, rather I like to follow more traditional and systematic paths, but similar as with managing – if there is a situation, I can also do things in a creative way. I’m good at recognizing and knowing the right methods for my work. I have no problem with communicating new information to others. Thanks to my work’s specifics, I’m able to listen and pay attention to other people problems. I’m good at and I enjoy making collaborations. I’m good at organizing and planning my work, I’m also analytical and systematic. Professional development of people I work with, is really important to me, I’m good at taking advices and appreciating their experience. In my work, ability to listen deeply to people’s stories and taking the most important parts from those stories are crucial, because through this story we can find a way how to help this person. I think that I have developed this skill successfully, by applying it daily in my work.
Do not sit at home, start with finding an organization which interests you, and find co-thinkers and peers. If you have an idea, then public sector is the place where you can learn how to write projects, have all the information necessary. It’s the place where you will get support and advice how you can start your project. If you don’t have ideas yet, then start to work as a volunteer, integrate into the working environment, gain knowledge and learn and the idea will come, or you will have the possibility to be part of other projects!