After Sarah Hanna finished high school she spent a few long months looking for work. She knew she wanted to find a job in admin, but finding the right opportunity and getting her foot in the door was an overwhelming prospect.
After months of searching, she decided to reach out to her local disability employment service, Mylestones, and found out she was eligible for the School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program.
With the SLES program, Year 12 students and school leavers like Sarah can develop their life skills and gain work experience to become job ready. There are programs available to develop skills in communication, self-confidence, personal branding and presentation, and there are also training courses in first aid, travel and driving.
Sarah worked with Mylestones to find an opportunity that was right for her, and to nail her interview. Now she is just a few weeks away from completing a traineeship at St Stephen's Meals on Wheels in Toowoomba, and says she knows she is headed in the right direction for a fulfilling career.
"When you look for a job and you don't have that support behind you, it's really hard. Plus, you have a fear of getting knocked back," Sarah explained.
"So when I came to Mylestones they really helped me out by looking for places that would take on a trainee.
"Now that I'm here working this job, I know that admin is something I'd like to keep working in."
Sarah has managed to impress her employers with her performance, to the point where she was nominated for the Most Outstanding Employee in the 2019 Business Disability Awards. Competing in a category inclusive of all employees, not just trainees, Sarah was honoured to receive Highly Commended in the Awards.
When asked why she believes she was nominated for this award, Sarah said it comes down to dedication and hard work.
"I work hard, my work ethic is strong and I think it pays off," she said.
To make day-to-day tasks easier, Mylestones worked with Sarah to purchase assistive equipment so nothing holds her back. Sarah now has a suitable office chair, a foot rest, an electric stapler, and a folding machine.
"The equipment has helped tremendously, especially the electric stapler," she said.
"My left hand is a lot weaker than my right so I have to improvise a little, but I've been used to doing that since I was a little kid.
"It just makes it easier for me to do my job, so I'm really grateful for that."
Mylestones offers this on-the-job support to every job seeker and employer they work with. It can make a real difference for people like Sarah who are determined to do the best job they can.