Work It Out: Flexible support

Monday 10 October 2016

IsisConnecting with my Work It Out coach, Carole was like being given a lifeline. Up until that moment I was beginning to doubt myself and my place in the world.

As a care-leaver my prospects didn’t look good; care-leavers are more likely to be unemployed and experience teen pregnancy. We are also likely to achieve significantly lower GCSE grades than our peers, if any at all. Luckily I never got that last memo and happily went off to uni to study languages with international business. I even spent half a year on ERASMUS in Germany and completed a work-placement in Spain.

But when I returned home something was different.  Without the usual family support a person of my age has access to, I struggled to integrate back into life at home. During my final year of uni I struggled to keep up with some classes and my grades seemed to drop.  It was hard juggling being a single parent and full-time student.

To stay focused on my end-goal I began applying for jobs mid-way through my final year. I needed something flexible, but I wanted a job that I believed reflected my abilities and experience. Eventually, having graduated and with no job in sight, I began to loose hope. I had a household to run and a child to care for and was struggling to make ends meet. I felt like a failure and had no one to turn to.

I came across the Work It Out Coaching Service on Young Women’s Trust’s Twitter page. As a keen advocate of women’s services I made no hesitation in signing up.  I received my first text message from my coach, Carole, not long after.  We arranged a convenient time for her to call me and begin delivering my coaching sessions.

My coach was fully flexible and ever supportive of me. We’d arrange to talk after I had tucked my daughter into bed, and spend the evening focusing on me, my achievements, and where I wanted to go in life. She gave me practical ways to deal with anxiety and overcome issues that made me feel as though I wasn’t good enough.  By the time my coaching had come to an end, my confidence was fully restored and my spunk had returned! I secured part-time employment and had begun the process to apply for postgraduate study.