When it comes to taking a new direction in life, the journey can often present various challenges, barriers and detours along the way.
For Ala, who grew up in Iran and had over a decade of extensive employment experience at numerous organisations up her sleeve, she had aspirations for a new life abroad. She also took further initative, by gaining a qualification in English Translation before she moved to Australia over five years ago, which was all very exciting for her at the time.
“I had family who was already living here, and they had told me about how great things were in Australia," says Ala.
At first, Ala found it challenging to secure a sustainable job and realised that she potentially lacked local experience. She became frustrated, which led her to believe that she was doing something wrong. She admits that it was hard to stay hopeful but remained persistent.
“I was unemployed for more than two years; I did lots of volunteer jobs. For one whole year, I volunteered without pay.
“It’s just that you doubt yourself. Maybe there’s something wrong with me? Maybe I’m not good enough? Maybe I don’t have the necessary skills,” said Ala.
With the support of her husband, they researched extensively for local employment support options. Through an online search, they discovered PeoplePlus in Melbourne who was delivering the Jobs Victoria program.
Ala contacted our team to learn more about how our services could help her further for her job search — and scheduled in a meeting with our Project Manager. Together they went through her background and her resume, which included practicing for interview questions. They also worked to address several potential barriers which, included limited working experience here in Australia, to ensure Ala was job ready.
To work towards her immediate career goal of working in customer service, Ala was encouraged to enrol in a Certificate III in Customer Engagement. The expected duties included working with multiple communication channels, providing excellent customer service, and working in a team environment by providing support.
Her persistence in accessing available employment support and services enhanced not only her employability skills but also increased her confidence – which made an immediate impression on the PeoplePlus team.
She was offered a casual position in the Melbourne office, supporting the team with administration and customer service and has recently commenced her new role as a full-time Training Coordinator based in Melbourne.
“They were so understanding and patient, and I’m so grateful to work for such a lovely place and lovely people,” says Ala.
In her role, Ala assists job seekers in preparing for work, listens to their stories and understands their struggle, as well as working on new and innovative training initiatives.
Her message to other job seekers is to remain positive and pursue the various employment support options which are readily available.
“Cry, get frustrated; there is nothing wrong with that! But don’t lose your hope.
“There is something out there, and there are always people who are ready to help you,” says Ala.