Julie gets her first job in 17 years

Julie had been unemployed for 17 years and was a stay at home mum, so she has never actively looked for work before.

Why did Julie join Links to Work programme?

Julie had been unemployed for 17 years and was a stay at home mum, so she has never actively looked for work before, she certainly didn’t know where to begin - the job market was unknown to her.

Julie was a stay at home mum, who outside of this very important role, had been unemployed for 17 years. Julie hadn’t looked for work before and she didn’t know where to begin. That’s where we stepped in to help.

When Julie first joined our DWP ESF Links to Work programme she had a number of barriers preventing her from returning to work such as a criminal record for her partners role in fraud - she wasn’t a part of it but as the benefit was in joint names she was associated to it. She was also a victim of domestic abuse all of which had knocked her confidence and self-esteem. She lacked motivation and thought she was unemployable due to her criminal conviction and on top of this, she had never had a job interview.

How Links to Work helped 

Julie was introduced to Andy, an experienced personal adviser who worked closely with her – helping her overcome her barriers and got her to look at the positives focusing on the transferable skills she had gained from being a full-time mum. She was also introduced to our health and wellbeing adviser who was able to assess her health needs. Based on recommendation she attended a number of workshops to help with her confidence and motivation. It was also the right time for her to focus on her and look at what changes she could make to improve her own health and wellbeing, she was also given her coping strategies to deal with everyday challenges.

With the help and support from the team, Julie started to be in a better place and was keen to start looking forward to finding a job that would be suited to her skills and expressed an interest in care.

Julie was first introduced to Shilpa, employer services consultant during a triage meeting. On her first meeting, Shilpa knew just by speaking to her that she had a caring personality and the right attitude for work. Shilpa was keen to boost Julie’s self-esteem and give her something positive to focus on such as getting her a job interview – to give her a sense of achievement. The introduction was perfect timing as Shilpa had just organised a Job Fair at Age UK in Leicester with employers attending from different work areas. She had also reached out to some of her old contacts within the care sector to invite any potential employers who had live vacancies - Dane View Care Home being one of them.

Shilpa supported Julie to complete an application form for a health care assistant at Dane View Care Home prior to the event, but on speaking to Rebecca, the care home manager – she said that she wouldn’t be able to interview her due to her criminal conviction. With Shilpa having a good working relationship with Rebecca she advised her to put her criminal conviction to one side and to speak to Julie in person first before dismissing her. Shilpa thought if she could just get Julie an interview then it would give her some real-life experience as she has never attended an interview during her lifetime. On this recommendation, Rebecca invited Julie for an interview the following morning which only gave the team limited time to prepare Julie for an interview.

Shilpa had to work fast to make sure that Julie felt prepared and confident in the interview – she focused on what to expect and the type of questions she’ll be likely to be asked.

The following day after the interview Shilpa received a phone call from the care home manager, Rebecca who was blown away by Julie’s attitude and personality and was offered the job with immediate effect.

Getting the job

In October 2019, Julie started her first ever job as a health care assistant at Dane View Care Home, and has since proved to be an asset to the company she has shown dedication and commitment, taking on every shift they have given her.

Julies hard work and determination has paid off as she’s recently completed a Medication course and has taken major steps towards completing a Leadership award as she is now working towards a senior care role.

Rebecca, Home Care Manager said: “I am super proud of this lady after not working for 17 years, she is a true inspiration to people”.

Julie has managed to turn her life around. She has bought herself a car, booked her first family holiday with her children and made the decision to end a relationship that has been holding her back from becoming the woman she is today.

She is a different person to when she first walked through our doors – she has taken the time to work on herself physically and emotionally and she now approaches the future with a positive attitude and a bounce in her step. She has her spark back which comes across in her personality.