Jackie has struggled with mental health and social interaction throughout her life. She contacted Community Solutions’ Disability Employment Services (DES) with the hope of finding work.

At first, Jackie avoided attending face-to-face meetings due to her anxiety. She spent a lot of time hyping herself up to talk to her Recruitment Partner, Kristie. They spoke on the phone until Jackie felt like she could attend an in person appointment.

Kristie recalls the first time they met in-person, “I had no idea what she looked like, when I was walking through the waiting room, it was quite busy. I just looked at someone and said hello. Turns out it was Jackie.”

Building Jackie’s self-confidence

Kristie worked with Jackie to build her confidence and trust to meet face-to-face with people to manage her anxiety. This partnership was the start of a life-changing journey for Jackie.

Jackie said, “I felt comfortable and safe with her [Kristie]. She let me take my time, she didn’t push me too much. She was so patient with me.

Over time, Jackie became more confident attending in-person appointments. As part of preparing for a job interview, the pair worked together on Jackie’s resume, cover letter, and practice interview questions. This let Jackie know she had the confidence to attend job interviews.

Kristie arranged a job interview with a local business, Anything Environmental. Leading up to the interview, Jackie received support and encouragement through developing coping skills.

Kristie was there every step of the way, “I went to the job interview with her, I remember standing outside while she was waiting to go in. She asked me ‘what if I couldn’t do the job?’”

“I said ‘Jackie, just be yourself! You’re an amazing person. You’re not going for the CEO’s job!’ She laughed and relaxed.”

Jackie says that moment will always stay with her, “I will always remember that. I was very, very nervous. Kristie spoke to me and said all the right things and made me laugh. She made me put everything into perspective.”

Jackie was so pleased after the interview and felt she had a great connection with the interviewer. Then the good news arrived. Jackie was successful in obtaining the role. Jackie’s confidence was through the roof and her anxiety had reduced. “Having a job makes a world of difference. I have a job, I have a purpose, I have a future to look forward to,” Jackie said.

What’s next for Jackie?

Anything Environmental was recently nominated and awarded a People’s Choice award. During the award presentation, Jackie received a special mention.

“The owners of the business gave a speech, they thanked the three supervisors and me.”
“That blew me away. I’m so glad I’m still here today to make an effect on people. I am forever smiling; I want to share that happiness.”

Jackie says she’s going to keep going, “Why stop? Let’s just keep going. Keep moving forward. I am going to keep working hard and follow Kristie’s words – I deserve to be here.”

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