Rita was new to Victoria’s Gippsland region when she first met her Jobfind Employment Consultant, Ramon, in July 2022. Just 11 months later, she has a new qualification, a new career in care, and best of all, a “huge sense of purpose again.”
Starting from a low point
Rita says that two years ago, she was at a “pretty low part” of her life. She had been unemployed for four years and was hampered by mental health challenges.
COVID-19 further destabilised her; she moved interstate, and began to rely on friends for food and home security. Once a fitness instructor, Rita found herself eons away from her former life and didn’t have the self-motivation to pull herself up.
But meeting her employment consultant, Ramon, at Jobfind Warragul, proved to be a turning point.
Addressing essential needs first
Ramon quickly realised that before Rita could secure a job, she needed secure housing and better health. So he referred her to Jobfind’s allied health service, Healthfind, for complementary life skills and mental health support, as well as the government’s free Head to Health service in her local area.
Meanwhile, the pair continued to build their connection, finding common ground in their appreciation of fitness. Soon, Rita started improving her fitness by working out at the gym, fuelling her motivation to help other people build stronger and more independent lives.
Together, Rita and Ramon started career planning by mapping her previous work history, transferable skills and interests towards a career in helping people.
Building the pathway to employment
With renewed focus towards a career in care, Rita enrolled in a Certificate III in Individual Support in November 2022.
She was managing the hybrid learning program so well that she also took on volunteer work with St Vincent de Paul Society.
“Rita is very capable. The study and volunteer work helped to build up Rita’s confidence and capacity to take her next step into employment,” says Ramon.
As Rita completed a study placement with a local aged care service she asked Ramon to help her secure a role with the company, even though they weren’t hiring.
“Rita was ready to take charge of her life again and we were glad we could support her,” explains Ramon, who also accessed the government’s Employment Fund to assist Rita to buy work clothes and complete her necessary police checks.
With Ramon’s assistance, Rita updated her resume, wrote a great cover letter that expressed how keen she was to work with the company, and then asked the manager for a job.
To everyone’s delight, Rita was offered a job as a personal care assistant in the aged care facility!
Three months on and Rita is doing great. She’s working, going to the gym regularly and has gained her open car licence.
Ramon continues to support Rita with ongoing support: “Her motivation just keeps climbing. She’s really happy in herself,” says Ramon.
Rita said: “Thanks to the patience and understanding support I received from Ray, I’m now a person taking back control of my life. Also allowing myself to reconnect back into the community has given me a huge sense of purpose in my life again.”
Well done, Rita, keep climbing!