I first got in touch with Steps2Work after seeing a post on Facebook offering support to young adults looking for employment.
I was desperate to work outdoors, within the construction industry where I could start earning money and gain news skills but my ASC and ADHD meant I couldn’t sit the exams to pass my CSCS course and I struggled in interviews and with application forms.
With the support of the team, I started volunteering carpentry upskill charity. I loved the structure to my week and was religious with attendance. After three months I felt confident enough to apply for Universal Credit and start pushing for paid employment as an option.
But I really struggled with controlling my impulsivity around employment opportunities and managing my expectations. I would apply for jobs that were unrealistic for me to travel to on a daily basis. I once applied for a job, an hours drive away that started at 5am, when I had no means of transport. I interviewed and accepted the job, but on the first day when I realised the logistics of getting to and from work every day were unfeasible for me, I had to quit.
My mentor, *Louise, would talk this through with me but,
I was so driven to having a job, I didn’t think about the reality of the situation. My confidence was shattered, I felt my lack of transport was going to be a problem forever.
Louise helped me learn how to filter for local jobs and what public transport links I could rely on. I eventually got another interview and a job offer for a warehouse role a short train ride away but I got overwhelmed, I hadn’t given myself enough time to prepare for the change. I struggled with the long hours and enclosed space and after a week, I quit.
I know now that I just didn’t understand that shift patterns mean the hours and days of the job change, that break times and lunch times can change. I didn’t know that over time meant working extra hours and that I had to check whether this was paid or unpaid. I didn’t know to make sure I had a contract and the difference between permanent and temporary. I thought I could just go into a job, be shown what to do and left to do that job, completing training or being ‘shadowed’. I felt like anything else was just there to stop me rather than support me. I had to learn these things if I was going to keep a job.
The team and Louise were really patient and talked these things through with me so they didn’t happen again, they also coached me on the questions to ask in interviews and the ‘dos/don’ts’ for the work space.
After a few weeks I got another interview and was offered the job. This time I got all the relevant information and started the job feeling secure with what I had to do in order to pass my probation. I’m now one month into the full time role and really enjoying it!
*names changed and models used to protect privacy