True Stories: Kristie Mears – Loving work

When I was 18, I wanted to try something new and have a bit of an adventure. So I moved to Queensland and entered a business administration traineeship. It happened to be for an organisation who supported people with disability to find work.

The traineeship was meant to take me a year to complete, but I managed to do it in just six months. This freed up a lot of my time at work, so I ended up supporting employment case managers. I loved the work and it inspired me to pursue a career working with people with disability.

Upon my return to NSW, I became an Employment Consultant at Mai-Wel LabourForce Solutions. The main part of my role is to assist job seekers who have a disability or mental health challenge to find work.

This might mean organising vocational courses and training for them, supporting them through job readiness programs, establishing work experience for them, developing a resume, organising transport, teaching interviewing skills, and reducing any barriers they may have to gaining employment.

Each day starts off with a 30 minute meeting with my colleagues where we discuss available jobs and what job seekers might suit these roles. Afterwards I follow up on the actions that arose during the meeting, which generally involves sending emails and making phone calls.

The rest of my day is usually spent with job seekers, discussing progress updates, skills development, taking them to their interviews, and supporting them in their work experience appointments.

The most rewarding part of my role is seeing job seekers achieve – and this is different for each person. For one it might be overcoming social anxiety and phobias, for another it might be being able to look at someone when their speaking, making a friend, or it could be getting a client into a course, and helping them find a job.

The hardest part of my role is trying to motivate job seekers who don’t want to change. I try to do that by helping them discover that they can find work in a vocation they love. Doing something you love makes all the difference at work – I speak from experience!

Kristie Mears
Employment Consultant, Mai-Wel LabourForce Solutions, EDS3
The Mai-Wel Group

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