Having suffered from social anxiety, John found it difficult to find or retain work in the Melbourne suburb of Pakenham.

He was unfit, unhappy, and realised that his social circle was taking him in the wrong direction – so decided that he had to make some big changes.

Things started to look up when he moved to the small country town of Highlands two years ago. His social situation improved, his health professional found a more effective medication to help him manage his anxiety and he contacted Worktrainers.

“Worktrainers actually wasn’t the first employment service I tried but the first company really didn’t do anything useful for me,” John said.

“When I found Verena and the team at Worktrainers, I was really impressed by how much more positive and helpful they were, and I didn’t think it would take long to find a job,” John said.

“About six months after moving here, my car started getting this engine knock and then not long after, died altogether, which became the biggest challenge in me finding a job. It set me back a while, but eventually, with some help from my mum, I was able to get a loan and bought a car that’s a lot more reliable.”

Once he was mobile again, John was ready to find a job, with Verena’s help. Having the networks and connections that Worktrainers have built in the area over the years helped to speed up the job search process.  It is great for both the employers and Worktrainers when they come across an individual like John – and the local IGA supermarket had a vacancy arise just at the right time.

“When we found John the job with IGA, we didn’t know just what a good fit it would turn out to be,” Verena said.

“Sue the owner has been impressed by his dedication, his work ethic and his ability to get his jobs done without

being supervised constantly. She has been keen to get him learning all aspects of the job, from working registers, serving in the liquor store and restocking shelves. In less than two months he has even become their resident IT guy!”

John completed a number of IT certificates back in Melbourne and so when the system went down and there were issues with the registers, John was able to work out how to fix it which went a long way to boosting his confidence in his own abilities.

“Even in such a short time, I’ve become more confident in dealing with customers and in myself. I would really like to keep working at IGA here and maybe even once I’ve really got the hang of all the different areas, I might end up working out the back in the office and helping to improve some of the processes and make it an even better store,” John said.