Darrin Lowery is 34 years old and lives with Bipolar Disorder. Darrin was first referred to atWork Australia’s Disability Employment Services (DES) program at the Salisbury, South Australia office, in January 2015. He brought with him previous work experience however he was struggling to maintain work and had a history of staying in a job for less than 12 months at a time.
Darrin struggled with managing the symptoms associated with his Bipolar Disorder, regularly experiencing periods of depression with increased anxiety, social phobia, very low motivation, confidence and self-esteem. Darrin’s financial situation didn’t help either, effecting his accommodation and overall outlook on life. Aside from finding it very difficult to maintain a routine, Darrin found it extremely challenging to engage consistently with his atWork Australia Job Coach as he was often exhausted or unwell.
Darrin also found it difficult to participate in job interviews and would avoid attending them whenever he could. Darrin did want to get better and did want to be able to manage his mental health effectively, so that he could find a good job. Together with his Job Coach and the atWork Australia team, Darrin participated in both internal and external programs to try to improve his mental health. Darrin also began exploring voluntary work, to increase his candidacy for jobs. Darrin did leave the DES program for 6 months and joined another government program, however, due to his mental health condition, he returned to atWork Australia in early 2018.
During 2018 Darrin worked extremely hard with his Job Coach Joanne (pictured) to better to manage his mental health, and to improve his confidence. Darrin also maintained his volunteering activities with the Salvation Army, helping him to realise his own potential. “Darrin realised he has a lot more to offer than he previously recognised. I witnessed his self-belief and confidence grow exponentially,” said Joanne.
As a volunteer, Darrin moved from working out the back where he was sorting donations, to customer service within the store. The team saw Darrin’s great customer services skills and in September 2018 Darrin was interviewed and offered a work trial in sales and marketing, raising funds for charity organisations.
Part of the interview process involved Darrin having to learn a script prior to his work trial. Unfortunately, on the day of the trial, Darrin was not overly confident and was sent home early from the work trial, and not invited back. Darrin discussed his lack of confidence with the atWork Australia team and together they explored the reasons behind why Darrin thought he would not be successful, determining together that he may well have self-sabotaged his trial. Darrin was determined to try again though, and with the help of his Job Coach Joanna, he secured a second trial. He mastered his script ready for his second trial, and it was a positive outcome – Darrin’s employer was extremely impressed with Darrin’s performance and vast improvement displayed on his second trial. Darrin was offered the job.
Darrin has not looked back since and continues to go from strength to strength. He now recognises his great capacity to contribute effectively, to support and encourage others and to continually improve both personally and professionally.
“Darrin quickly and steadily moved into a leadership position after 8 weeks of employment, where he is now exceeding KPIs most weeks, is training new staff and has been chosen to work on road trips travelling around Australia. It’s a remarkable transformation and outcome,” Joanne said.
Darrin also cannot believe how things have turned around, “My family and friends cannot believe the change in me. One of my cousins commented that I finally have my life together,” Darrin said. “I sometimes look back at how I doubted I could last one week in this job, let alone the number of months I have been working now – with a promotion and all.”
Here at atWork Australia, we continue to motivate our clients and come up with new strategies and initiatives to ensure our clients get where they need, and deserve to be. Let us help you too, Call us on 1300 080 856 or enquire online today.