Louise’s Promising Career Start
Our Mental Health Employment Officer Chloe has written the following case study about Louise, a promising young lady who has managed to start her career in a field she’s passionate about!
Louise was referred to Enable by the Community Intervention Pathway in January 2021. She had graduated from University with a Mathematics degree the previous year. During her degree, Louise also worked in the care industry and enjoyed her role a lot. However, Louise had to leave her previous role due to becoming unwell. Louise moved back in with family after University and was finding that her depression and anxiety were making finding work more difficult. Although Louise was nervous about starting a new job, she believed this would help her in her recovery, and wanted to get back into the care industry as this is what she is most passionate about.
The main barriers that Louise faced in terms of finding employment were:
Confidence – On her bad days, Louise felt that she wouldn’t be able to do any of the roles we discussed and felt anxious about applying. Louise was scared of the unknown and meeting new people and these were barriers we had to overcome together.
Lockdown – The world had been put on hold due to COVID-19 so finding employment was difficult during this time and Louise was feeling nervous about the pandemic.
Preparing for Employment
One of the first things we arranged was an appointment with our adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau to discuss how Louise’s benefits would be affected by starting work. Louise was then able to make an informed decision of how many hours she wanted to work.
We worked on Louise’s confidence through building a positive CV, having lots of discussions around her previous roles and what worked well in those, talking about her skills and qualities and discussing a positive future and enabling her to see that she is capable and will thrive in work.
Louise wanted her employer to be aware of her mental health as her previous employers had been, and this meant she had more support from them. We discussed disclosure in preparation for contacting employers and applying for jobs.
As Louise was passionate about working in care, I researched local care companies and made contact with a range of employers. After introducing Louise, I was asked to send her CV across as there were a number of vacancies for domiciliary care roles.
Louise was invited to an interview and offered the job with an immediate start following training. Louise felt happy about this and was looking forward to starting her new job. However, Louise found the training process stressful and became very anxious about starting due to things happening very quickly. This led to her being unable to begin her new role.
Following this experience, we discussed what went wrong and reflected on it to ensure that we do things differently next time round so Louise feels more comfortable. We agreed to discuss her mental health and support she may need from the very beginning so that things can be taken slowly from the offset.
Offer of Employment
We found another employer who was supportive from the get-go and they invited Louise in for an interview, which I went along to as well. Louise did really well in the interview and was offered a job as a Domiciliary Care Assistant, which boosted her confidence a lot. We ensured the next steps were clearly set out and explained to reduce any anxieties. I kept in touch with the employer every step of the way as well. Louise took part in training successfully and went on to complete her induction, in which the manager spoke about progression opportunities due to being so impressed by her!
Louise and I built an in-work support plan which I shared with the employer. This plan highlighted any possible triggers or early warning signs, and potential adjustments or support needs for Louise to ensure she can stay safe, happy and healthy in work. The employer has been extremely supportive and is really happy to have Louise as part of the care team. Louise has come so far since I began working with her and seeing the change in her since starting work has been amazing.
‘I’m really enjoying being back in work and socialising as it’s a good way to get to know people.’
Louise’s manager said that her performance was ‘absolutely perfect’ when asked how she was getting on.
Well done Louise, you have a bright future ahead of you!