In July 2020, Shepparton client Byron met with atWork Australia Job Coach Brad with a view to gaining employment. Byron is living with Asperger’s Syndrome, which had triggered bouts of depression and anxiety, a common outcome of this neurodiverse condition. As a result of these concerns, Byron had little employment history although, he had studied and also participated in several volunteer projects.
For example, Byron is a member of the Rotary Club and assisted with the Shepparton Show, where his duties were to build barbecue huts and playgrounds as well as fundraising for different organisations in his community.
Byron’s biggest challenge to gaining a paid job, was finding an employer who was willing to give him an opportunity and who also understood the needs of someone living with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Asperger’s Syndrome affects the way that individuals process information, and in Byron’s case, it is essential that employers speak to him in a clear and concise manner so to not cause confusion or misunderstanding.
Like many in the time of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Byron was not confident that employers would take him on, not least because of his condition but due to the high competition for employment.
However, with the aid of Job Coach Brad, Byron was able to construct a resume based on the skills that he had gained as a volunteer.
He was also supplied with work related clothing and paid work trials that allowed him the opportunity to prove himself and his work ethic to the employer.
Job Coach Brad reached out to many employers in the community and facilitated work meetings to support him in effectively communicating his skills and goals.
Brad observed that Byron was punctual, would always attend appointments and was responsive in answering his phone. Brad remarked, “Byron was very positive and wanted to give any job a go. Byron wanted to work”.
With this work ethic, it was no surprise that Byron landed a job, he was offered the role of Linen and Floor Production Labourer. He expressed excitement at the opportunity to try a different field to what he was used to. Byron said that he wanted to impress the employer by demonstrating his skills.
Byron takes pride in the work that he’s done for his community, and he hopes to make a difference in his life and others around him.
Byron said, “Finding work that is suitable for me is like finding the third side of a coin. There are jobs out there but finding a job suitable for me and my needs is hard to come by. Once found, it then becomes fantastic”