Employment brings coffee with confidence

As a teenager trying to work out the steps to take when school finishes, the last thing you need is a sudden disability such as hearing loss.

Chanay was 16 when she discovered the hearing bones inside her ears were being eaten away by a disease.

After a series of operations, she required a cochlear implant to help her hear.

Like anyone, the loss of hearing and medical procedures that followed took their toll on the teenager.

“Being 16, I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression just because the transition from going from hearing to not hearing was quite hard,” she said.

“I was really unhappy, I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.”

Then Chanay came to APM Employment Services...

"I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get started"   

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Overcoming challenges

Chanay’s supportive family and friends encouraged her to take her time in finding employment and taking her next step in life.

But Chanay wasn’t willing to let life pass her by and was referred by Centrelink to APM Employment Services, who deliver the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services program.

Working with a dedicated APM employment consultant to develop job seeking and interview skills, Chanay was soon offered an interview at a local coffee shop.

“It was applying for jobs that was hard. Having to go in somewhere and hand a resume in - that was really hard,” she said.

“I wanted to work in hospitality or retail. Somewhere I could make coffees or serve people."

Invited for an interview, Chanay’s employer saw her potential and offered her a job the same day.

“I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get started,” she said.

"I don’t think I could’ve got this job without APM"

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The difference a job makes

Chanay takes great pride in her customer service role and also knows the value of having a job when you’re facing additional challenges such as a disability.

“I used to see myself as having a disability, but I feel like I’m just like everyone else now because I have a job and more confidence,” she said.

“I don’t think I could’ve got this job without APM. I feel like I’ve been given a chance in the world of employment.

“I can do more things. I’m happy to go out on my own now. Everyone around me has seen the difference.”

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