Brigitte pays it forward and helps 137 people find work in one year
Brigitte has always loved to work and worked to live. The last ten years of her working career had seen Brigitte help her dad run his business. When that sadly shut down, Brigitte found herself unemployed for the first time in 20 years.
With no job prospects on the horizon, Brigitte soon became highly anxious and was diagnosed with depression.
“It was a massive shock for me to be going from always working to barely being able to make ends meet. I found it extremely difficult to find work. I applied for 100 jobs and was willing to take on anything, from stacking shelves, administrative tasks to managerial roles given my background.
At the time my husband also lost his job. My anxiety had peaked at this stage and I found myself with an ambulance visiting me weekly. We went from two fruitful incomes to two incomes from Centrelink. In fact, it was through Centrelink that I came to know WISE Employment,” Brigitte explained.
In 2014, Brigitte first learned about the services that WISE provided for job seekers living with anxiety. She was immediately assigned to a team member and began to revisit her strengths, aspirations and potential. It wasn’t until Brigitte began to partake in the job seeker group sessions, that she realised her natural ability in helping others find work. So, she decided to check out the careers section on the WISE website and applied for a role instantly.
Brigitte applied for an Employment Consultant role for Disability Employment Services. Part of the recruitment process involved visiting a Talent Centre where a number of candidates were provided with numerous tasks to test their capabilities and how they worked autonomously and as a team. Brigitte received a call that week with a job offer to work in Richmond. Sadly she had to turn it down due to the long commute and location. She made a lasting impression and so it wasn’t long before another WISE representative, Nick, Area Manager made contact.
“My first impression of Brigitte was that she had a strong admin background as well as over-the-phone customer service, which is what we were after at that time. She has since developed into a great Consultant and currently working in a Business Manager role, being exposed to leadership and management as part of her development.
One of her greatest attributes is her empathy and determination. Brigitte knows her caseload really well and has a very strong rapport with clients, she is very relatable. Her activity to continuously get results month in month out regardless of circumstance is also commendable,” explained Nick.
Following her appointment at the Narre Warren WISE office, where Brigitte was responsible for managing all incoming calls for all of Victoria, she soon found out that a WISE employee undertaking the role of an Employment Consultant wanted to take on more of an administrative role. Nick, knowing Brigitte’s desire to work in that very role, asked whether she would be open to a job swap. Three months later Brigitte finally landed her ideal role as an Employment Consultant for the jobactive department in Cranbourne.
Brigitte has now been working with WISE Employment for three years, and last year received an award for the number one consultant in Australia. In 2018, Brigitte placed 137 job seekers in sustainable employment.
Brigitte believes her openness and approachability has served her well.
“I get to know my clients on a more personal level as I tell them about my personal story and that I used to sit in the chair that they’re currently sitting on. My clients know that I can empathise with them and that I did suffer from anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression used to take control of me – I am now glad to say that I take control of it. I think my work has had a lot to do with that and for that I thank WISE for seeing the potential in me to grow in the company,” said Brigitte.