- After qualifying, Chris was supported by APM Employment Services to find a professional role
- Employer Judica saw his potential and made some changes to accommodate him
Christopher excelled in his studies, struggles with anxiety prevented him from launching his career
In 2015, Chris graduated from his Bachelor of Law with honours.
He is a winner of two academic achievement prizes from the University of South Australia, one for achieving the highest aggregate grade in the subjects of Administrative Law and Law Honours 1. He was also the joint winner of the Australian Institute Administrative Law Essay Prize (2015).
When it came to hard work, knowledge and dedication, he was top of the class.
And then, it hit. Sweating, tired, rapid breathing, trembling, increased heart rate, panic and feelings of doom.
Chris’ symptoms of anxiety were so intense that sometimes it caused him to lose consciousness.
It is expected that up to 25% of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime. 26.3% of Australians aged 16-85 have lived experience with an anxiety disorder.
When APM Employment Consultant Davina met Chris for the first time, she was able to use her own experience with anxiety and panic disorders to connect with him on a deeper level.
As Chris attended each appointment and shared more about himself with Davina, she was able to see how intelligent and passionate Chris was about Law.
Davina called, emailed, applied for jobs online and messaged every Law firm across the Fraser Coast. Many employers didn’t even give Davina time to explain what an asset Chris would be to their company.
It all changed when Davina walked into Swift Legal enquiring about another position.
Judica, the owner and operator, remembered Davina as the person trying to find a position for Chris. She asked if he had found employment yet, saying “I’ve thought long and hard, and I think I could find a place for him here.”
Chris started the very next week.
Judica researched anxiety and learned everything she thought she may need to know.
She made a room in a quiet back office for Chris directly across from her. She even went further to incorporate new procedures to accommodate Chris’ anxiety. Judica went above and beyond to ensure that Chris felt welcome.
After initially being a bit shy at first, Chris has overcome that and become a confident member of the team.
Judica recalls how it felt when she was first approached to take Chris on: “I was a bit wary. I thought it would require a lot of extra time and effort to take on somebody with a disability. How wrong I was.”
“Chris took everything I told him on board immediately and showed a lot of initiative when handling matters.”
“Not only is his research second to none, but he also managed to fully optimise our legal software, making our workflow far more efficient” she added.
“I am glad to have taken the chance” Judica said.
Chris’ journey to employment shows that sometimes new challenges can be challenging for job seekers and employers.
Judica and Chris’ journey shows the great success which can be achieved with support to implement workplace accommodations for people living with non-visible and visible disability.
Today, Chris is nearing his 52 week milestone with a sense of achievement second only to the feeling of thriving mentally and physically with a supportive employer.
Injury, illness or disability and want to work?
You could be eligible for help in finding a suitable job from APM Employment Services.
As Australia’s largest provider of the Disability Employment Services program we help thousands of people with permanent or temporary disabilities, injuries, mental health conditions and other diagnosed barriers which may prevent them finding successful employment.
If you want to find out more, register with us today, or call our team on 1800 276 276 for more information.
Looking for staff?
We don’t just support job seekers, we also help thousands of employers find reliable staff and access government incentives when hiring new employees.
If you’re an employer, you could access wage subsidies, plus funds for training and workplace modifications when hiring a person with disability for full or part-time work.
Plus, you will be enhancing the diversity of your business while making a real positive difference in a person’s life.
Find out more about this rewarding opportunity for employers by speaking to your nearest APM Employment Services team, or emailing email@example.com.