Nicole could qualify as a world-class hurdler, such is her success in overcoming the barriers in her life since joining atWork Australia.

The 42-year-old, from south of Perth, has a learning disability, limiting her ability to apply for work and tap into the local jobs market. The stress and strain have led to anxiety and depression, further entrenching her joblessness.

But resilience is often about knowing when to ask for help, which Nicole did when she approached atWork Australia’s Mandurah office in October, with three years of unemployment under her belt. She didn’t know it at the time, but when Nicole was matched with Lauren, her new Job Coach, her whole life was about to change for the better.

Lauren says when she met Nicole, it was hard to get Nicole to open up about herself, Lauren managed to do this by connecting through a topic she’s passionate about – her pet rabbit.

“Since then it’s been really easy to communicate with Nicole,” Lauren says.

She quickly set to work, revamping Nicole’s résumé and working closely with her on effective interview techniques and building confidence. At the same time, Nicole was enrolled in atWork Australia’s Jobs Now program to give her a solid grounding in job search skills. The weekly group program helps job seekers with where to look for the right jobs, marketing yourself to potential employers, networking skills and more.

Lauren contacted many local employers about cleaning jobs. The breakthrough came when local company Bright Gleam gained a new cleaning contract in a residential complex and called back with an offer of work.

Nicole was so appreciative she came straight into the office to give Lauren a big hug and has since visited every week in her cleaning uniform, glowing with excitement and pride.

Nicole says she’s “finally proud of myself.”

“I’m not stressed for money anymore and was so happy last week when I was able to take my best friend out for lunch on the anniversary of her father’s death. This made me feel good to be there for my friend,” she says.

Her employer, Nadine, is enthusiastic in her praise of Nicole.

“She’s an amazing worker and the residents at her building absolutely love her and are constantly giving good feedback on her work. I couldn’t be happier with her, she has a long future with us,” she says.

Due to the confidence gained from her new job, Nicole has now enrolled in TAFE, studying for a Certificate III in English Skills, two days a week. She’s also working on a project that involves knitting scarves that are sold for $10, with all proceeds donated to local charities for homeless people and dog rescue.

Take the first step to get where you want to be. Call atWork Australia on 1300 080 856 or fill out an online enquiry today.