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Small steps make big strides as Thomas finds his first job

4 minute read

22-year-old Thomas had never held a job before and lacked the confidence to take his driving test, a step that would greatly improve his ability to find and keep a job. These factors, combined with his struggles with anxiety and depression, made it difficult to know where to start his job search journey.

Thomas began Asuria’s Workforce Australia - Transition to Work Program in July 2022 and was introduced to his Youth Mentor, Maria, in our Ballarat office. He shared his goal of finding his first job and a keen interest in computers and dreamed of working in the IT field, which helped to guide Maria toward suitable job opportunities for Thomas.

After hearing Thomas’s story and his mental health struggles, Maria encouraged him to connect with Asuria’s Wellbeing Services. He began seeing Wellbeing Mentor Tayla, where he made steady progress in building his confidence and learning to manage his anxiety and depression.

Before coming to Asuria, Thomas was afraid of failure and did not believe in his ability to pass his driver’s license, despite his passion to do so. Realising how interested Thomas was in gaining his license, and the freedom it would allow him in pursuing jobs, they worked together to prepare for and book Thomas’s Learner Driver test.

Although Thomas did not pass on his first attempt, Maria encouraged him to keep trying, so he rebooked his next test, where he passed with flying colours. Through Asuria, he started taking driving lessons with Marianne at Learn to Drive Ballarat, building up his driving skills. He now drives every day with his father and is working towards reaching his license when Marianne deems him ready.

After overcoming some of his biggest hurdles, Thomas felt ready to take on the world and started looking for employment. With Maria’s help, he found and submitted an online application for a night shift maintenance position at McDonald’s in Wendouree. Thomas believed he could handle the work, and it was easy for him to get there now by driving. He was supported in buying appropriate clothing for the interview and spent time in interview coaching with Maria to prepare him and keep his spirits high.

After a very successful interview, Thomas was offered a role as a night maintenance crew member at McDonald’s Wendouree, which he eagerly accepted. Asuria supplied comfortable shoes for him to wear at work and maintained contact with Thomas’ new employer to keep him on track.

Looking back at his journey, Thomas says, “When I came to Asuria, I didn’t want to work. I did the bare minimum to get by. But as things went on, my Mentor Maria showed me that despite my fears, there were jobs that were suitable for me. Now I am happily employed at McDonald’s, a place I never thought I would enjoy working for, but here we are!”

Happy to have been part of Thomas’ journey, Maria says, “When I first met with Thomas in the Transition to Work program, he was a young man who had never worked and was very stuck in his life. Since gaining employment with our assistance, Thomas has grown in confidence and is enjoying both working and being able to save for his trip of a lifetime. I am thrilled and full of pride that he is working hard, setting achievable goals and is now on his path. I wish him every success in the future.”

If, like Thomas, you’re looking for support to help you reach your work or study goals, click here to learn more about Asuria’s Workforce Australia – Transition to Work Services. 

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