Andrea has been through some difficult times in her life. She used drugs, got into trouble with the police and attempted suicide. Andrea had been hospitalised for drug induced psychosis on three separate occasions. Following her third admission she knew she could not continue living this way.

Andrea made a conscious decision to change her life for the better. She was not confident about how to do this, but knew that for her, getting back into part-time work would be a great step towards making that change. After meeting with an employment co-ordinator at Work and Income, Andrea was referred to Workwise.

“Andrea came to Workwise in January 2008. When meeting her for the first time I was struck by her determination and positive attitude in spite of all that she had been through,” says Jo her employment consultant.

Andrea had set herself the goal of being in work by April. Originally she wanted to work in a similar role to those she had held before, as an electronic assembler or a room attendant. However as she practiced her interview technique with Workwise employment consultants, they found she had a great manner and related well to people. This feedback prompted Andrea to rethink what she really wanted to do. Finally she decided that she’d like to pursue a role working with people with disabilities.

With the help of Jo a number of opportunities were identified. Andrea attended an interview with Jo’s support for a servery assistant position in a residential care facility for people who have a physical disability. The employer was very impressed with Andrea’s attitude and a few days later offered her the job. Andrea was ecstatic, with a beaming smile on her face, she enthusiastically accepted the position. It was April and she had achieved her goal.

It is now August. Since Andrea started her new job her hard work and positive attitude has really paid off. She’s been offered numerous overtime hours and has been given a significant pay rise. The feedback from her very supportive employer could not be more positive.

Andrea is enjoying the financial freedom that employment has brought. She’s recently bought a brand new lounge suite and plans to take a holiday in the North Island next year. Andrea’s also setting new employment goals, aiming to move into a kitchen assistant position and to be independent from the benefit.

Andrea’s smile continues to stretch from ear to ear. She says “the sky’s the limit” in terms of what she can achieve in her life. She’s a great example of how our attitude affects our altitude!