Living with Aspergers Syndrome, Jop had years of IT experience, however, difficulties communicating, and social anxiety left Jop unemployed.
In October 2019, Jop made contact with the Ballina office of atWork Australia, determined to get the help he needed to find work that he could sustain for the long term. Jop was matched with local Disability Job Coach, Bronwyn, who was ready to support Jop in overcoming his barriers to employment.
“I immediately sympathised with Jop because he was limited to work that didn’t expose him to social situations that made him anxious,” she said.
Bronwyn spent time with Jop identifying the kinds of barriers he was facing and then discussing ways to navigate around them. Jop expressed an interest in working in warehousing, which Bronwyn fully supported.
Bronwyn helped Jop to apply for and complete a Statement of Attainment in Logistics, a short course that he was able to complete quickly.
Jop then applied for a role as a local packer at a fruit farm. Bronwyn was able to negotiate a wage subsidy with the company, securing him the full-time position ahead of the competition. Jop was very appreciative of her efforts.
“Jop was the most excited I’ve ever seen him,” Bronwyn said.
“He’s a great example of how to stay focused on what changes you can make in your life and thinking creatively about what it is you want.”
As for Jop, he’s happy being employed again after a long eight months.
“Being back at work has helped me feel like my life is more organised and, in a routine,” he said.