After 10 years out of work, Kalaranji, who lives with schizophrenia, lands role as bookkeeper

Kalaranji, who lives with schizophrenia, was out of work for 10 years before she reached out to WISE Employment Hornsby for support.

During that time, she applied for hundreds of jobs but was seeing a pattern of rejection. Kalaranji also found that 90% of employers never bothered to respond and inform her that she was unsuccessful, which is why she decided to connect with WISE Employment.

Kalaranji attributes the number of jobs she was rejected from to the stigma around her mental health and lack of skillset due to the amount of time she was out of work.

“Because I was out of the workforce for so long, I felt like my self-esteem had been affected, which was further impacting my mental health,” she said.

Kalaranji worked closely with her WISE Case Manager, Cherrie, to secure something that would excite her. Kalaranji had previous experience in bookkeeping, which led Cherrie to approach an accountancy firm, Smith & Young, for a voluntary position that would allow her to upskill and re-enter the workforce.

“Kalaranji was keen to get back to work, but felt she wasn’t quite ready. We contacted Smith & Young and they agreed to take her on two days a week in a voluntary capacity so that she could upskill in the right environment,” said Cherrie.

After one year with Smith & Young, WISE negotiated for the company to take her on in a paid capacity.

Brooke, owner of Smith & Young, said they were impressed by Kalaranji’s eagerness to continue to learn.

“We love working with Kalaranji. She pays attention to detail, she’s attentive and she’s very keen to learn, so we knew she’d be a great asset to the team,” said Brooke.

Kalaranji describes herself as someone who’s always looking to grow, build her skill set and learn something new each day.

“I’m really enjoying working with the team. I get to learn new skills and everyone is so nice and supportive,” she said.

Kalaranji continues to strive at Smith & Young, working hard to build on her experience and knowledge of the accounting field.

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