Being made redundant from employment at any stage of your career can be harrowing. For 64-year-old Jeni, after 10 years with the same employer, it was completely devastating.
The talented cook from Shepparton in regional Victoria was suddenly let go in 2017 which had a dire effect on her mental wellbeing and slowly eroded her self-esteem.
Then, in 2019, Jeni suffered a debilitating fall in which she broke her hip, and as a result, was on strong pain killers for more than six months. Jeni also takes medication for heart complications, all of which added to her anxiety and lack of confidence.
When Jeni was referred to the atWork Australia Shepparton office, she still required a walking stick to aid her mobility. She was introduced to Job Coach, Brad who knew their first steps would be to grow her confidence within herself.
“Jeni told me that she gets nervous at the thought of approaching employers and doing paid employment after three years out of work,” says Brad
Jeni also felt her age would impact her options of finding work but Brad set out to show her that there are no barriers to employment.
Firstly, they worked through what Jeni felt she could do, and what she felt would be beyond her capabilities. They talked both short and long-term goals and discussed how important exercise was for the muscles supporting her hip, and also Jeni’s mental health.
Brad’s experience as a Job Coach has given him various employment contacts and having worked with Jeni on building her confidence, felt she was ready for her next step – in retail.
Brad approached Sabac on High, a local retailer who is always open to partnering with atWork Australia.
Owned by John and Chris Wilcox, the Shepparton shop has been around for over 10 years and were happy to give Jeni a go.
John says he appreciates the wage subsidies which are of great assistance to small business, particularly during the recent pandemic. Plus, he has always been happy with other clients provided by atWork Australia.
Jeni was overwhelmed, excited and very happy to hear she had the position with Sabac on High.
Brad says, “Jeni was so happy that I never gave up on her and that I encouraged her to try new things. She was so grateful that I was open and honest with her in our conversations.”
As for Jeni, she says “I feel like I am getting back to being myself again and that life has improved 100%.”