“I start my story back at the beginning of 2020, having left my job due to my heightened anxieties and depression. I had no job to go to and it felt like a big, complex world to be looking for another job with these feelings.
“At the time, I’d signed up with my local Jobcentre and asked my advisor if I could be referred on to the Work and Health programme. After a minimal delay, my Employment Coach from Maximus introduced themselves to me and booked in my first telephone appointment.
“My Employment Coach, Angela, was kind, understanding and had a wealth of knowledge to help me on my journey back into employment. I had a weekly call from her, and I had support on how to write a CV, building confidence around my abilities and going back to the workplace. We identified the best roles from my previous experiences and skill set, went through interview practice, and Angela offered advice or guidance on anything that was a hurdle for me. Anytime I had an interview, she called beforehand to offer encouragement and good luck and followed up afterwards with advice.
“To help with my anxieties and depression, Angela directed me to a CBT self-referral service. The service did have a long waiting time but the help and advice I received was excellent.
“I started my part-time job within a few months. I was nervous about going back into the work environment, especially after lockdown and having been out of the workplace for a long time. Once I started my job, Angela kept in contact with me for a short chat once a week over the first couple of months, to ensure I could discuss any concerns. Within 5 months of starting my job I was successful in gaining a full-time position and promoted up to the next paygrade!
“The whole experience has helped me find work, enjoy work and flourish in work. I do still feel anxious, but I now have some skills to help me cope.”
In partnership with Maximus UK. The Work and Health programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund. Stock image and pseudonym used.