Work Connect helps Ann back to work.


I had come to Action Mental Health through the Work Connect programme after being out of work for over a year due to ill health and personal circumstances. Previously I had been with the same employer for a long time and I was worried that the job market had changed so much since I last looked for work.
I met regularly with my Employment Officer and we worked on putting together an updated CV and focussing on my job goals. I had help with looking for jobs and completing both written and online application forms. I found the programme very helpful and the regular contact with my Employment Officer helped keep me motivated in applying for jobs. When I started to get interviews I was guided through the interview process and offered supported before and after the interviews. My confidence grew as I felt my performance improved with each interview. I was delighted after my third interview to be offered a job as a Sales Advisor for a health and beauty retailer in my local shopping centre.
Before starting the job I was anxious about how I would cope with going back to work after my break in employment. I was able to talk over concerns about getting the hours I wanted and completing paperwork with my Employment Officer. I was nervous about starting the job, meeting new people and dealing with customers but after a few weeks I felt less anxious and was settling into the role. I’ve been getting to grips with the job over the past five months and feel I have learnt a lot of new things such as increased knowledge about the various products and offers and how to operate a till.
I knew the on-going support was there through Work Connect and I had someone to talk through any concerns with and received a lot of encouragement which helped me in the first few months of the job.
I really enjoy being back to work and have developed a good working relationship with everyone in the team and I feel confident about approaching my manager for assistance if I need it. The part-time hours really suit me and as well as the financial benefits, it’s got me out of the house and interacting with different people. I’m learning how to cope with things and develop a better work-life balance. I’m better able to separate my work and home life and teaching myself how to not take concerns or worries about work home with me.
Overall my life is more balanced and my personal circumstances have improved and I am positively looking towards the future.