Securing a full-time job as a storeman has seen Paul’s confidence grow and his life turn around. Achieving this success took a strong desire to return to work, lots of persistence and the willingness to make some life changing decisions.

Paul was referred to Workwise by his Work and Income PATHS programme co-ordinator. He’d been off work and on a sickness benefit for many years after being seriously assaulted at work.

Paul originally presented as a quiet, shy and anxious person. “He’d lost his self confidence, was financially struggling and was feeling isolated,” explains Tony his Workwise employment consultant. Paul had a true desire to work in order to escape his situation, but he was only interested in store work and didn’t want to work weekends.

Paul and Tony agreed to meet twice a week to apply for positions of interest and phone each other with job leads every other day. “When ‘rejection’ letters started coming in I could see Paul was losing hope and even more of his confidence. I started encouraging him to explore other job possibilities, pointing out all the benefits they could bring,” says Tony. Paul agreed and secured a night cleaning position, which included a weekend shift.

Accepting a weekend shift was a total change in Paul’s thinking, but he decided work had to be his priority for a while. After discussing the job with his children, who were very supportive, he knew for sure that being tired on Sunday’s when he saw them would be better than not having a job.

Soon after starting his new job Paul found his confidence was quickly improving. He enjoyed being around people, thrived on praise from his supervisor and really appreciated the income.

With support from Workwise, Paul continued to apply for store work. He was soon offered a week long paid trial at a bakery, which he completed while continuing his cleaning job. The trial gave Paul the opportunity to prove his excellent skills and work ethic. He was offered a full-time storeman position which he happily accepted, and resigned from his cleaning job.

Gaining work and making significant changes in his life has left Paul feeling content. He’s sticking to a budget, eating healthier, incorporating exercise into his daily routine and really enjoying the quality time he has with his sons. Paul says he’s finally feeling well again – physically and emotionally.