Glenn’s Story – The Power of a Smile
June 12, 2023
by Joshua Cook

Glenn’s Story – The Power of a Smile

Glenn’s story starts with his infectious smile and quiet ambition. As a young man growing up in Queensland, Glenn has always strived for the kind of independence you can get from paid employment. Up until this point, Glenn had only experienced volunteer work and while he enjoyed the work, he was naturally looking for progression in his work life.

So, in October of 2022, Glenn officially joined forces with Breakthru to begin his journey to paid employment. With his volunteer work experience and his ambition in hand, he walked into the Breakthru office, ready for his life to change.

Joining forces with Breakthru

While Glenn is a positive and warm person, he has struggled with confidence, especially in new situations and when meeting new people. This could have been a hurdle for him moving forward into paid employment, however, it didn’t slow him down one bit. Glenn was determined to find the right job for him, and we were determined to support him through it.

As someone who had not yet experienced paid employment, nor had much familiarity with the job search process, Glenn was supported by our DES team all the way: from taking the time to really listen to what he was hoping to get out of his job search, to offering ongoing support to help Glenn prepare for the interview process by looking at techniques to build confidence and manage expectations.

Journey to paid employment

The fact that Glenn had only done volunteer work meant he was going to be adaptable to a new work environment and to an employer, he’d come across favourably as a mouldable young man looking to learn.

Once Glenn and our DES team were comfortable with Glenn’s readiness to start the interview process, his first interview was set up with Belbaker Bus Charters.

“I assisted Glenn and accompanied him to his first interview”, said Rod Freiberg, Breakthru Employer Account Manager. “Glenn did not say many words in his interview, he simply walked around smiling and nodding.”

Despite his quiet demeanour, Glenn’s enthusiasm shone through, and he was hired on the spot on a trial basis, to ensure it was the right fit for both Glenn and Belbaker. Glenn’s face lit up once he heard he’d got the job.

Zero to one hundred

From the moment Glenn walked through the doors of Breakthru, it took him just one month to start his first ever paid job. With the help of Glenn’s Employment Consultant, who assisted him onsite initially, he loved the work.

Aiden Lowe, Belbaker Supervisor said, “A typical shift for Glenn would be the internal and bulbar cleaning of the buses. It’s work that really seems to bring him joy and he’s very meticulous.” 

Glenn loved seeing the results of his hard work and quickly grew to enjoy the camaraderie with his new co-workers. It didn’t take Glenn long to grow from that shy young man who didn’t speak into someone who shared banter with his colleagues.

Glenn continued to receive weekly support from one of our dedicated Employment Development Consultants, Kevin, for the first few weeks of his tenure with Belbaker. This helped him to build confidence in this new environment and work through any issues he might have been facing. Based on Glenn’s success in his new role, he now meets with Kevin just fortnightly to catch up on work and life and everything in between. “It’s amazing to see how the job of cleaning buses has changed this man’s life,” Kevin said.

Glenn’s smooth transition into paid employment was supported by open, frequent and ongoing communication between Belbaker, Breakthru, and Glenn himself. However, it was Glenn’s ambition and incredible work ethic that got him to where he is today.

About the author

Joshua Cook

With more than 10 years of industry experience coupled with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Josh works as Marketing Manager, Disability Services from our office in Brisbane, Queensland. 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 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.

About the author

Joshua Cook

With more than 10 years of industry experience coupled with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Josh works as Marketing Manager, Disability Services from our office in Brisbane, Queensland. 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 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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