When it comes to delivering exceptional customer service you only need to spend two minutes in Wangaratta’s Black Pepper store to understand why Emma is a regular stop for local shoppers.
Whether it’s looking for advice on a new outfit, buying a gift or taking a quick break from the town’s retailers for a coffee and a catch up, Emma is a welcome and popular person with customers new and old.
It’s the friendly personality and infectious smile that makes it hard to believe Emma needed help to find a job.
The retail manager experienced a series of health setbacks which meant she had to leave a corporate career and was unable to work for several years.
Work, and a customer-facing role in retail, were not things Emma thought she could ever do again, but when she came to APM Employment Services for support, her consultant Emily immediately saw her potential.
Rediscovering her spark
“When you’ve gone through some serious things you don’t feel you have any worth and no employer will ever employ you” Emma says.
When she reached out for support, she shared with Emily how she experienced severe endometriosis and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
Together with being out of work Emma’s confidence was low.
“I didn't have that confidence at the start. I thought they could look at me and see my problems.
Because we can feel them, you sort of think everyone else in the world can see them, but they can't,” she says.
Rebuilding her confidence and managing her anxiety was one of the first ways Emily supported Emma through the Disability Employment Services program.
“Emma had identified to me in the beginning as her biggest barrier to employment at that time was her anxiety levels,” Emily said.
The uncertainty about finding a job, the pre-employment process, and job interviews also added to Emma’s anxiety.
“We worked through those things together,” Emily said.
Despite her doubts Emma’s drive to succeed led to the opportunity with the fashion retailer, and with support from Emily and her employer, she was able to rise to the challenge.
Emma built her confidence in serving customers and overcame moments of being overwhelmed by self-doubt.
As she adjusted to being back in a working routine, Emma also needed support to manage the impact of her health condition, such as not being able to sit for long periods of time.
“They gave me every little (bit) of time, training that I needed. They were amazed at what APM could do for me” she added.
Emma became such a success in her new job that she soon became assigned the role of store manager, where her passion for connecting with people has become a strength in managing her health.
“They gave me every little (bit) of time, training that I needed” – Emma
Feeling like herself again
As Emma’s dedicated employment consultant, Emily stays in touch with Emma and couldn’t be prouder of her growth.
“Emma is flourishing in this role as a store manager. You can walk into the store and see that her hands have been on stuff. You can see that it's her in the work that's being done here.”
“She's incredible in this store. She's really, really in the right role,” Emily added.
Steady, supportive employment has helped Emma find herself again.
She’s an active member of her local community and has become more social and outgoing.
The opportunity she took helped re-build her confidence, career, and a whole new lease on life.
Summed up profoundly when she shared some simple words.
“I have worth now.”
“She's incredible in this store. She's really, really in the right role” - Emily
Are you eligible for Disability Employment Services?
You can join APM for Disability Employment Services through Centrelink.
When you visit Centrelink, they carry out an employment assessment and if you're eligible, they will recommend you to a Disability Employment Services provider. Remember to ask to join APM so you get the best service when searching for employment.
To be eligible for Disability Employment Services, you must be:
- An Australian resident aged from at least 14 to pension age
- Receiving an income support payment, disability support pension, an NDIS participant or an eligible school leaver
- Able to work between eight to 30 hours per week (with support when required)
- Not studying full time (unless you’re an eligible school leaver)
- Not already working at or above your assessed work capacity
If you're already receiving an income support payment, you can also register with us directly.
If you’re with another provider, but would like to change to APM, contact us and our teams will be happy to speak to you.
When you visit Centrelink, they carry out an employment assessment and if you are eligible, they will recommend you to a Disability Employment Services provider.
Remember to ask to join APM so you get the best service when searching for employment.
If you’re with another Disability Employment Services provider, but would like to change to APM, contact us and our teams will be happy to speak to you.
Frequently asked questions
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