James Takes On a New Job
If you are fortunate enough to be served by James Schipper at the supermarket checkout you may be surprised to learn that his friendly communication and confidence is something he has worked hard to develop.
James experiences Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and in May 2020 commenced WDEA Works School Leavers Employment Supports (SLES). James believes SLES and working with Deon, his Employment Preparation and Engagement Consultant (EPEC) has helped him to feel much more confident and positive about himself and what he can do.
“I had no idea that I was capable of being able to work independently and now I’ve started doing it. I was very anxious and scared even to talk about the concept of work but now it doesn’t worry me as much. It helped me to think of myself more positively.”
Deon is so excited for James in his new role.
“James completely surprised me, he came along to one of our sessions and announced that he had applied for a job at a local supermarket and had an interview. When I asked when the interview was so I could help him prepare, he said in just one hour, so we only had time for a quick practice. His personal growth is just incredible and I’m so proud,” said Deon.
James also recognised his own growth in this moment, reflecting on the interview process. “The last practice interview I had was an hour before my recent job interview. I didn’t have much time to prepare as it all happened so quickly, but I managed. Earlier in the year I wouldn’t have been able to cope with this sort of stress.”
James is enjoying his new role and the perks of working life.
“The best thing is having money for more independence. I also like the idea of being occupied with things other than loads of appointments each week” he said.
As well as finding employment, James is also working towards his P Plates, he says the achievement he most proud of from his time in SLES is “driving and preparing for my driver’s licence. Building the courage to begin learning to drive has also been very important. SLES and L2P helped me with this. I’ve almost got all the experience I need to take the driver’s test.”
Deon is so proud of all that James has achieved. “James’ confidence has really grown and it’s great to see how this has translated for him with employment and working toward his driver’s licence. I saw him working at the supermarket and was so impressed. He’s come such a long way from the person I met a little over 12 months ago. I cannot wait to see what his future holds.”