Christine finds fulfillment making a difference in other people’s lives
When Christine arrived at WISE Employment in March 2020, she was under immense physical and mental strain. Chronic pain and a debilitating spinal disorder were impacting not only her employment opportunities, but her personal life too.
Once a chatty and mobile hairdresser, multiple surgeries soon made everyday tasks difficult. Feelings of depression and anxiety set in and Christine was becoming increasingly unsure about the direction of her life.
Christine says she’d once described herself as a confident woman who inherited the ‘talking gene’ (something that came in handy during her hairdressing days!). But, when she first walked into WISE, she felt anything but confident.
“My physical and mental challenges made me put walls up. I was reluctant to be myself and speak freely because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. This started to make me feel like I didn’t know who I was anymore,” says Christine.
But little did she know, she was having a profound impact on those around her.
Christine’s WISE Employment Consultant, Mark Macdonald, says while he’s had the pleasure of supporting a lot of people through his work, he had a real soft spot for her from day one, and continues to be impressed by the transformations she’s made.
“When Christine walked into our office, she made the decision to make a change. While she was feeling hopeless in her personal life, she knew that a career move in the right direction could have an incredibly positive impact across the board.”
“She had goals, clear goals. She wanted to buy a new phone, smartwatch and purchase a new car – all things she’s managed to achieve across the past 18 months.”
Darryl Scaife and Mark worked with her closely to land a job at Foodworks – an accomplishment that proved to Christine she still had value to offer. But, growing physical limitations made this placement difficult, which soon started to negatively impact her mental health.
“Foodworks gave Christine the positive reinforcement she needed, but it wasn’t a sustainable fit for her needs. So, we tested the market across various organisations to get it right. We wanted to ensure the next job would satisfy her skillset, and work to her strengths and capabilities. Because this is key to feeling fulfilled not only in your job, but when you’re not at work too,” says Mark.
It was then Chistine secured casual employment at Komplete Care, helping people living with a disability and those within the aged care community. And it was here she began to really flourish, going above and beyond in her role and progressing to a permanent part-time position.
But this career move didn’t come without its challenges, and coping with death was one of them. Christine was the only point of contact for some of her clients, so understandably, she grew fond of them. Dealing with their passing wasn’t an easy feat and WISE Employment ensured Christine had the support she needed in managing this confronting part of her role.
Following her successful stint at Komplete Care, Christine is now an allied health worker at HenderCare – another disability service provider. And she says she loves the life it’s given her.
“Even though I’ve experienced my own issues, I feel fulfilled because I know I’m giving back to the community.”
“This job gives me purpose but it also gives me the things I’ve wanted to build a happy life. I love my new car, my kitchen splashback and the new floorboards I’ve put into my home. I’m halfway through my bathroom reno, and I couldn’t feel more empowered by the progress I’m making.
“I’m so thankful to Mark at WISE. No matter where I am or what job I’m doing, I know he’ll always be there to support me.”
Mark says he couldn’t be prouder. “Christine and I have been on a real journey together and I’m so genuinely impressed by all her achievements.”
“She is a real star.”