Nicole was referred to Fitted for Work in 2022. A single mother, at the time of her referral, Nicole was feeling held back by her experiences with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Nicole felt after her experience navigating recruitment and employment agencies that she needed more tailored and compassionate support. She had lost a clear sense of her personal identity.
“I was feeling down and frustrated with the thought of getting started with looking for work. I was finding it hard to push forward and rebuild the life I was seeking to achieve the quality of life that I felt I truly deserved. I didn’t just want to survive anymore, I wanted to thrive.”
Nicole attended several appointments with the Fitted for Work team. We helped her to review her resume and discuss cover letters and interview tips. As a result, Nicole gained part-time employment and was enjoying the fast-paced working environment. However, this role was then made redundant when the project was discontinued. In Nicole’s words:
“I shut down and felt like a failure even though I didn’t fail… throughout this period Fitted for Work kept trying to offer support and options for me to move forward. One of the many brilliant supports that Fitted for Work do is just a simple check in call. It was a quick check in phone call or a friendly email to let me know that Fitted for Work was there for me, and they were willing to try and support me returning to employment. I wasn’t left in the dark to have that yuck feeling ‘oh I am falling apart’. There were brief moments where it did feel too hard, and I wanted to chuck in the towel. It was the compassion and support from services like Fitted for Work that never gave up on me. Even when I was having a moment of giving up on myself.”
Nicole remained connected to Fitted for Work. She wanted to find a new job that was stimulating, provided career development, and nurtured her future potential. Nicole honed her interview and job application skills in our LinkedIn 101 workshop, expanded her knowledge of resume and cover letter content and structure in our Job Search Essentials workshop, and continued to work with our Job Readiness Hub team to refine her resume, highlighting her skills and experience for a variety of roles she was interested in.
Nicole particularly loved her Outfitting appointment. She and her daughter attended the session in-person at our Dressing Room in Richmond. It was a “beautiful, positive, special moment” for Nicole. She tried on a variety of styles and was able to take home several outfits as a ‘work capsule wardrobe’ to help her feel confident for upcoming job interviews. She was grateful “to have been shown such compassion and genuine kindness” during her time with us. Above: Nicole during her Personal Outfitting appointment in our Richmond Dressing Room. Used here with full consent.
In April, Nicole received the wonderful news that she has secured full-time employment! She feels confident, happy, and excited about her new role in customer support. She says that “a chain of supportive dominoes all linked together… and just like a magic trick, boom!”
“I am employed again. I have my identity back.”
Nicole’s experiences facing mental health challenges while also navigating caring duties and a job search are unfortunately far too common. We are so thrilled for her, and pleased that our team of compassionate staff and our suite of tailored services provided the support that she needed, and that our connections with like-minded support services across Australia helped to connect her with the right workplace.
Fitted for Work is committed to helping women find work, get work, and have thriving work lives. We see every day that employment has a profound impact on women’s emotional wellbeing, economic security, and confidence. Donate to our Annual Appeal now and help women like Nicole get the support they need to rejoin the workforce!