Katie had fantastic experience on her career history, particularly in managerial roles. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Katie was made redundant, she was back to the drawing board to get back to where she started.

“When I lost my job due to the pandemic, at first I was actually a little relieved to have some time off! It just felt like a bit of a holiday. But then, I started to get frustrated, because most of the time I wasn’t hearing back from any of my applications.

“The Jobcentre referred me to JETS where I met my Employment Advisor, Lucy. We talked almost every day and she really tried to cheer me up, because some days I just didn’t want to do it anymore, but she motivated me to keep going.

“We didn’t just talk about jobs; she sent me on training courses for my CV and cover letters and she told me not to give up and reassured me that it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t find work. She was such a good mentor to me.

“I’m only 40, so I wanted to find something that I’d enjoy but that would also incorporate my previous managerial experience.

“Lucy was sending out my CV to lots of jobs that I would be suitable for, and she found me the job that I am in now. I actually ended up getting two job offers, so I got to choose the best one for me! I was so happy to get two offers, after being rejected for so many previously.

“I’m now a Deputy Manager in my local convenience store. It’s good to feel stable again. I have a good life around me and I’m happy that things in society are starting to open up again.

“I really would recommend the JETS programme. My advice to those who are struggling to find work would be to never give up, listen to your mentor and let them help you. Even if you want to change your career, the training that JETS can give you will open up so many opportunities; you really can find out what you want to do with your life.”

The Work and Health JETS programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.

Area: Dorset

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