Meet Mike – runner, cyclist, data analyst and now new home owner. A shy yet outgoing and exceedingly friendly young man, Mike first commenced with breakthru in 2015 when he was finding it tough to find and maintain reliable employment.
Prior to working with breakthru Mike had held a variety of different positions, but struggled to stay in a job long-term due to circumstances outside of his control. It was at this point that Mike realised he needed a little bit of assistance in finding and keeping a job, so he reached out to breakthru for additional support.
To help him along his journey, Mike was introduced to Brendan – one of breakthru’s friendly employment consultants at the time. After setting up an initial meeting, the two soon discussed ways to best promote Mike’s strengths and devised both a job plan and a brand-new resume that Mike could use to reach out to potential employers.
It was shortly after their meeting that Mike stumbled across the Dandelion Program – an initiative designed by DXC Australia – aimed at training and employing people with Autism. Upon seeing the new program, Mike immediately sent it across to Brendan, which is where his job seeking success story began.
The road to employment
As many would be aware, the road to employment is never an easy one. It’s often full of many dead ends, wrong turns and various other obstacles – but none of this deterred Mike from his ambition of finding a great place to work.
The Dandelion Program was ideal for Mike, because while his disability meant he found it more difficult to form social relationships, Mike possessed a well above average intelligence level and extremely astute focus on tasks when required. But just because he ticked some of the boxes doesn’t mean he was a shoo-in for the popular program.
After speaking with his consultant Brendan, breakthru quickly reached out to DXC Australia and began the process of marketing Mike’s fantastic skill set to ensure he earned an initial placement in the program.
After a couple of weeks, the program coordinators soon got back to Mike to inform him that he had been accepted for work experience and could commence placement immediately as a Test Analyst – a role perfectly suited to his character and skills.
Initially starting as a part-time work experience trial, breakthru worked with Mike over the course of several months to help build his capacity within the program to ensure he was confident in his abilities and felt well supported in his new job.
Given some time, Mike quickly adapted to his new role and impressed his managers with his strong problem-solving skills – ultimately leading to an offer as a full-time employee.
Life after employment
With a stable full-time job, Mike has gone on to achieve a plethora of milestones in his life. Since his initial placement in 2015, Mike has paid off his entire student loan debt, purchased a new car and most recently put down a deposit for his very own home.
Having achieved what many believe to be the Australian dream, Mike now has the ability to focus on more leisurely things in life. Thanks to the great work-life balance offered by the team at DXC Australia, Mike spends much of his free time playing Rugby, cycling, jogging or driving his new car – none of which would have been quite so accessible had he not worked so hard and taken advantage of a fantastic opportunity.
Job seeking advice for others
Mike is a strong advocate for people with disability in the community and is quite vocal about his opinions on how to go about finding the right job.
“Persevere, and don’t feel obligated to go straight to university, or to go simply because you’re having a hard time.”, he said.
“University is a big commitment that ultimately may not solve the issue. I actually have a degree in business and marketing – which as you can tell isn’t overly applicable in my current position”
“At the end of the day it’s your own hard work and dedication that will get you over the line, and no piece of paper is going to change that”
Mike also notes that it’s very important to find somewhere that has a great work-life balance.
Whether it’s an extended lunch, option to work from home or limited requirement for over time, it’s these little things that make all the difference to both your physical and mental health in the long run.
“Without the great work-life balance, there’s no way I’d be able to enjoy activities like rugby, cycling or jogging nearly as much.”
What’s next for Mike?
Mike is now further pursuing his passion for Rugby Union by training to become an official referee, just one of the many Goals we’re sure Mike will be kicking in the near future!
Looking for work?
If – like Mike – you’re in need of a bit of help finding employment, breakthru are here to help. We have over 25 years of industry experience helping people with disability get the supports the need to live their best life.
Under our Disability Employment Services, you’ll be connected with a dedicated employment consultant who can help you learn new skills, gain more confidence and connect you with local employers to ensure you can find a job that’s right for you.
To start your own journey, reach out to the team at breakthru by getting in touch today.
Having grown up with his younger sister Katey (who was born with Down Syndrome), Josh has witnessed first hand the barriers and misconceptions placed around people with a disability. As part of the breakthru team, Josh hopes to assist people just like Katey find the information or supports they need to live their best life.
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- Mike’s Story – The path to new home ownership - August 9, 2019