Get Ahead: Miriam's Story

Get Ahead: Miriam's Story

January 2023

3 Min Read

Miriam tells her story about how she found paid work through our Get Ahead employment programme.

Before, my life was simplistic, living on a day to day basis and didn’t have much to look forward to. I’d been volunteering with the Recovery Centre and a job came up, I was encouraged to go for it so I needed help with the application and interview skills.

I was not very optimistic. I didn’t think I would get the position I was applying for. I hoped I would be taken on eventually but I imagined this would be much further in the future. I wasn’t confident at all and didn’t see my own potential.  

I used Changing Lives for my own recovery and was aware of some services but not all of them. I had met Aimee (Get Ahead Employment Coach) when volunteering at the Recovery Centre when she came in to do a drop-in session.

Because I had no qualifications and I had been out of work for a long time I didn’t think I’d be able to get a job so soon. I thought Aimee would focus on courses and I didn’t know how I would fit those into my childcare considerations etc.

Aimee was in the recovery centre and was asked by the manager to give me a hand with my application which I had started. I found it eye opening how much detail I should put onto an application form. Aimee and I sat for 3 hours making sure I had all the relevant information in there and that mine would really grab the interviewers attention. I connected straight away with Aimee and found her really easy to work with. I was blown away with how much Aimee wanted to help me - After those three hours, my confidence in myself had already begun to increase, Aimee helped me see my own potential.

Aimee helped me with my application and when I was given an interview she arranged for us to go along to Smartworks where I got a fabulous outfit for my interview and was given an opportunity to speak with one of the volunteers who helped with some interview skills. I knew what I wanted to say when being asked questions but wasn’t sure how to actually word it, so Aimee and I went through a number of questions so I could formulate an answer in my mind then answer confidently in my interview. She also rang me a few times to fire questions at me and get me to answer them. Aimee suggested key words that may be useful to use and she checked my knowledge on GDPR, etc.

Once I was offered the position Aimee again arranged another appointment at Smartworks for us to go and get a capsule wardrobe for work. I picked up some more lovely tops.

Aimee also turned up just before Christmas with some donations for my family. I had been worrying over the presents I was able to get for my children, I felt like I was going to have to make excuses that they only had one each. When Aimee had thought of me to give me some of the donations I was overwhelmed - Changing Lives literally changed my Christmas for me and my children. They had more than one gift each and there was also food donations too.

I started to feel excited about the opportunities I had been given. My confidence was improving more and more, I was feeling like there was a chance I could turn my life around. I had absolute confidence in Aimee and knew she would go the extra mile for me, she is really easy to talk to and I knew that if I needed to I could ring her. Aimee was always there encouraging me and made me feel empowered. Aimee is fabulous!

And now I have a new job! It is lovely to think that I am going to be getting paid for something that I love doing. 

I had a real moment recently. I was in my kitchen, listening to music, singing along and dancing and all of a sudden I realised I am happy. I can’t remember feeling like this ever before. I feel like overall my confidence has improved and feel like I walk taller now. I am very, very proud of myself!

I am excited for my future now and feel like my life has done a complete 180 and has gone from one extreme to the other. I feel like I am building a future for my children and feel I am making them proud.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes me - I feel like doors are opening to me that were closed before.

Having more disposable income so that I don’t need to watch the pennies as much. It will take a lot of strain off me. It will mean I can spend a bit more money on the children which will be nice for all of us.

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