Renae came to atWork Australia at a crossroads in her life. Born profoundly deaf, she experiences a barrier to employment, yet is a highly motivated person, ready and willing to work.
Renae’s passion for photography had seen her already establish her own newborn baby photography business, but she was struggling to get a consistent income. She knew she needed a regular income and wasn’t sure how to go about getting one.
Renae met her atWork Australia Disability Employment Services Job Coach, Nicole, at our Wanneroo office and they quickly formed a connection. At their initial meetings, Renae was feeling down and had low confidence. She had a closed mind about the possibility of any employment opportunities, other from photography.
Determined to support Renae to get the most out of life and achieve her goals, Nicole knew that it was important for Renae to keep the photography business running but also gain additional income to support herself.
Each fortnight, Nicole and Renae would meet, discussing self-improvement, motivation tools, resume preparation, interview techniques and, of course, exploring possible employment options.
Through consistent mentoring and coaching, it didn’t take Renae long to come out of her shell and she started to change her outlook on what the future may hold.
After a couple of months, and through several conversations with both Nicole and a close friend, Renae discovered that her personal experience caring for a close family member could lead to a new career. She decided to apply for positions as a personal carer.
Renae confidently put herself forward for a causal role as a personal carer at Multiple Sclerosis Western Australia, providing one-on-one support for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Renae was successful in gaining this meaningful role.
“Renae was able to take the things that we discussed on board and pushed herself right outside her comfort zone. She has a new role that she is really good at. What’s more, it is also a role that has increased her confidence and pride and allowed her to be defined by her abilities rather than her disability,” said Nicole.
One of the job requirements of a carer is cooking, and even though Renae had never been a great cook, she didn’t let this get in the way, improving her skills in the kitchen by practising cooking at home. atWork Australia also put Renae in contact with JobAccess, a service that assists people with disability with workplace modifications, funded by the Australian Government. Renae was provided with a special aid – a hearing adaptor for the phone. Nothing was going to stop Renae from being successful in her new role!
Renae has now been in this new position for 10 weeks and is loving every single minute of it. The future is looking bright for Renae, with her newfound passion as a personal carer, as well as continuing to build her photography business.
“My Job Coach Nicole has helped me immensely by helping me think outside the square in terms of my employable skills and abilities. With this assistance, it’s given me the confidence I needed to apply for and secure a job in a field I never even thought was possible,” said Renae.