A new lease on life

Chris Grant proves you’re never too old and it’s never too late to find a new career you love.

The 60-year-old Perth woman was feeling a little lost in life after going through a divorce and being a carer for her ex-husband and then mother for many years.

After losing her mum, Chris was determined to find a new job she was passionate about even though it had marked seven years since she was last in the workforce.

She was connected with IntoJobs’ Career Transition Assistance program, delivered by Mas National (Part of the IntoWork Group) which helped her discover her many skills, “When my mum passed away, I sort of lost myself. My services provider mentioned this Career Transitioning course which at first I was apprehensive about but I wanted something to get me out of bed in the morning. It turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said.

IntoJobs’ Career Transition Assistance program helps people aged 45 years and over who are looking to return to the workforce, or transition into a new career. The 8-week program offers individuals tailored support on all aspects including defining your employment goals, strategies for upskilling, and effective self-marketing yourself to increase your chances of getting the job you want. It also connects participants with local employers offering work opportunities.

CTA Facilitator Melanie McEntyre helped Chris by updating her resume and cover letter, teaching her how to market herself effectively and regain her confidence, “I’ve never had my resume or cover letter written up properly, and I never realised how important a cover letter was before because I’ve been out of the workforce for so long. But it’s the first thing an employer looks at. Mel was brilliant at teaching us all the basics,” she said.

“The people in the course with me were brilliant as well, being in the course with people in the same boat gave me a little boost. Everyone was really encouraging and it made me feel I wasn’t alone.”

After the course, Chris landed a full-time role as a store manager at St Louis Red Cross Shop, “I have done management before at Salvos, which I realised is what I loved to do. Mel really helped me get an interview with Red Cross. I’d already applied for the job and then I never heard anything back and so she helped me reapply, and I got the phone call I got the job. Everyone in the class was really excited for me. She helped me become me again,” she said.

Career Transition Assistance Facilitator Melanie McEntyre said while Chris came in with very low self-esteem and confidence, she blossomed during the course, “The change in demeanour from the beginning of the course to its completion was phenomenal. She had brightened, gained massive confidence and drive, and was so determined to succeed. She said this course has been life changing for her,” she said.

Chris is now thriving in her new role, “It’s not very often you get the opportunity to get a job where you wake up in the morning and it’s like, yes, I’m going to work. I used to say to everybody, “I’m not going to get a job as I’m too old. As soon as they look at my age, that’s it”. But getting this position through the Career Transition Assistance program, it’s proven to me you can get a job at 60, 63 or even at 65,” she said. For more information on the Career Transition Assistance program, go to https://intojobs.com.au/career-transition-assistance/

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