Despite having a huge amount of experience, I’d been unable to find a job for several years and had lost all confidence. I was very successful in my early career, and had rebuilt a freelance business after my breakdown, but this didn’t seem to count for anything in the Northern Ireland job market. I became a bit of a recluse, rarely left the house and generally felt useless.
Sonia (Employment Officer at AMH New Horizons Belfast) tapped into my love of crafts and got me volunteering at art groups, where I found myself not just useful, but valued. I found out what I was good at and learned new skills as well. From there I moved to a charity to support them with social media and their website, and after a few months they wanted to pay me for the work I was doing. They increased my hours and gave me a new role, but I wanted to get back to a job where I could do what I was really good at – public relations. I started applying for jobs again, and when my dream job came up at Alzheimer’s Society, I knew it matched my skills. It was a job share two days a week, which was exactly what I was looking for. Sonia and Chris coached me in interview skills and ran through a practice interview with me, which boosted my confidence immensely. When the real interview came round I was well prepared, felt confident and actually enjoyed it. I got the job and love it. I know if I need extra support the Workable programme is available to me. So far I haven’t needed it, but it’s great to know it is there if I do, and that I’ll have support from an organisation I already know and trust if I do need it.”