Inspirational job seeker rebuilds confidence through work

Her mother’s death and more than 18 months without a job were barriers facing South Australian MatchWorks job seeker Kathleen Bowden, but her determined journey back to employment has provided inspiration to others in similar circumstances.

Kathleen, 42, has recently taken on a job at Beulah Park’s Kensington Aged Care Facility after receiving employment assistance for more than 80 weeks.

MatchWorks job seeker Kathleen Bowden, front centre, with South Australian MatchWorks team members, from left, Ted Ditching, Luke Wagner, and Chris Dunlop.

MatchWorks job seeker Kathleen Bowden, front centre, with South Australian MatchWorks team members, from left, Ted Ditching, Luke Wagner, and Chris Dunlop.

She had low self-esteem and lacked the confidence to grasp employment opportunities when she first started working with MatchWorks Oaklands Park Employment Consultant Margaret Smith.

Margaret worked with Kathleen through the Job Club Program, which includes sessions on identifying work skills and workplace training.

Kathleen experienced great personal loss when her mother died earlier this year, but she continued her search for employment and completed a Destination to Work training course with MatchWorks trainer Susana Belkhiati.

Susana helped Kathleen develop practical skills associated with gaining employment, goal setting, and getting in the right frame of mind for work.

“I had a lot of things going on with my mother during her health, MatchWorks was flexible during times I needed time to be there for her – they showed compassion,” Kathleen said.

“I feel if I didn’t have this stability and regularity of MatchWorks’ support and them being there for me – I would have struggled to cope worse with my mother’s loss and may not have been able to keep going with my business studies, tackling the Destination to Work Program and the laundry job.”

MatchWorks Employment Consultant Luke Wagner engaged MatchWorks Business Development Consultant Ted Ditching who put Kathleen forward for a position in the laundry at the aged care facility, and Kathleen proved to be a stand-out applicant for the role.

She impressed her new employer with her professionalism and strong work ethic, and a three-day work trial turned into a full-time placement.

Kathleen said completing the work education programs and MatchWorks’ ongoing support had helped her realise her employment goals.

“I feel good about being back in employment after a very long gap. I am grateful for the opportunity and appreciate the efforts of MatchWorks staff discovering it and assisting being with me at the interview process,” she said.

“Doing the Destination to Work at the same time helped prepare me for the interview along with Ted’s guidance and Luke’s support taking me there. It made a huge difference.”

Luke said Kathleen’s journey back to work was inspiring for other job seekers.

“Kathleen is proof that everybody is able to achieve their goals when they are equipped with the right tools, the right people and presented with the right opportunity,” he said.

“She is a great representation of the full suite of services that MatchWorks provides its clients and how they can make real changes to clients, not only professionally, but personally in all areas of life.”