A fulfilling career in the disability sector is now a reality for Tracey after the mother-of-two secured a formal qualification and a new job.
But the transition from caregiver to paid employee has not been easy for Tracey, who initially felt overwhelmed by the prospect of finding work when she approached the Drysdale office of atWork Australia.
When she first met her Job Coach, Shareece, in late 2018, Tracey had spent almost no time in the paid workforce and had no formal qualifications.
“She’d been busy raising two beautiful daughters,” Shareece said.
“We needed to spend a lot of time identifying the employment goals that were right for her.”
At first they discussed finding work in the hospitality industry, looking at courses in commercial kitchens and vacancies in fast-food chains and supermarkets. But none of these roles appealed to Tracey, who realised the only thing she was passionate about was caring for her children.
They agreed that Tracey needed to build a career in an industry where she could help others. While anxious about returning to the unfamiliar role of student, Tracey enrolled in the Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). This qualification would allow her to give personalised support and empowerment to people living with disability.
While she studied, Shareece spent months providing Tracey with vocational counselling to boost her confidence and help her manage the stresses of studying and job hunting.
Six months later Tracey completed her course, an impressive achievement that brought her a sense of accomplishment. Shareece then helped her draft a résumé and cover letter so she could start applying for caring vacancies in the local area. The cost of first aid training and police and working with children checks were also funded by atWork Australia.
Tracey was soon granted her first-ever interview with a potential employer. Then, after practising interview techniques with Shareece, she walked away with a job offer.
“It’s been really rewarding to work with Tracey and see her create a meaningful career for herself,” Shareece said.