Employment key to unlocking Gerry’s confidence
In his first ever job, Gerry has discovered that being employed means much more than just a steady income. Since starting work at his local McDonald’s in Port Lincoln, SA, Gerry’s motivation and confidence has skyrocketed which has seen him progress from working on the restaurant floor to serving customers directly over the counter.
Gerry has a number of health complications, and was worried that he’d never have enough confidence for a job in hospitality. This is certainly not the case.
‘Working has been a huge confidence booster. It’s given me confidence I never thought I’d have,’ says Gerry. ‘Now I’m more active and motivated, and I don’t feel down all the time.’
This change in Gerry’s spirits is something Nadine from WISE Employment Port Lincoln has also recognised. Nadine worked closely with Gerry to help him gain employment and in less than a year in the role, she’s noticed a huge shift in Gerry’s maturity and self-esteem.
‘Through conversations I’ve had with Gerry and even his family, I’ve seen that he’s really developed his sense of self-worth, not only within the workplace but his community too,’ says Nadine.
Gerry’s employer, Tony, has made similar observations, commenting ‘Gerry is not afraid to give things a go; he’s shown initiative to learn over and above what’s required of him and this is evident in his work.’
For Tony, Gerry is proof that employers need to give people with a disability the opportunity to prove they’re capable at becoming a productive part of the workforce.
‘The initial hesitation for employers when it comes to hiring people with a disability, is that it’ll become too much work – to be honest that was mine at the start. But when you see someone successfully integrate into the workforce, it makes it all worthwhile,’ says Tony.
In a couple of months Gerry will mark his one-year anniversary working at McDonald’s Port Lincoln and in the space of just twelve months, his transformation is telling.
‘I thought working would be boring, but I love it. It’s given me a purpose and a role in my community’, says Gerry.