Living with an anxiety disorder, Curtis misused drugs and struggled to find work for more than two years. Luckily, through atWork Australia he got the help he needed.
Curtis, 24, was truly overwhelmed by the thought of choosing a career for himself. Staff from the Mandurah office of atWork Australia have worked steadily with Curtis over the past two years to try to boost his opinion of himself and chip away at his self-limiting beliefs. His Job Coach, Lauren says Curtis’ mental health had taken a toll on his confidence and motivation.
“Curtis had previously suffered from drug-induced psychosis so his mental health was very fragile, but to his credit, he consistently attended our appointments to get better and find work,” she says.
To begin with, Lauren and the rest of the atWork Australia team spent time with Curtis finding out what he enjoyed doing. With their support, he tried a number of different options, including an internship at a local barbershop, as well as windscreen repairs and installations, and painting and blasting.
But it can take time to find strategies to manage anxiety, especially those that work best for you, and Curtis was not yet in control of his mental health. He was very anxious at the idea of committing to a four-year apprenticeship, and the consequences if he didn’t end up liking his chosen field.
As a result, the team decided to try a different approach, and it worked. They felt Curtis would benefit more from taking small, progressive steps on the path towards employment. They enrolled him in counselling services and also Jobs Now sessions, which provide a space for job seekers to create a great resume, write cover letters, practise interviewing skills and meet up with other job seekers to share tips and support.
Curtis also confronted such tasks as goal setting, time management, and job searching including cold calling employers. A breakthrough then came when the employer engagement team contacted local bottle shops and secured Curtis an interview with Mandurah Cellars.
Curtis was then put through his paces with the Mandurah team, who conducted mock interviews and made sure he looked the part, buying him snappy new interview clothes. He was also given assistance with a fuel card to help him get around. After the interview, the team rang the employer for feedback and offered a wage subsidy.
The next day he was offered the job and was able to complete an online Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate at the atWork Australia office before beginning work shortly afterwards.
Lauren said he was “stoked” to finally find employment. “He’s turned his life around. It’s been great to watch his confidence grow, and I’m really proud of how far he’s come,” she says.
Curtis is equally pleased, “I’m looking forward to continuing employment to gain a better future for my family and me,” he says.