Program gives mature job seekers a fresh start

Eight years ago Daryl Harrison was struggling to get his business off the ground. Now he has found success in a completely different field of work.

The 57-year-old is thriving in his new role as a traffic controller in Western Australia after years of trying to get his online cybersecurity business off the ground, “I was running my own business at home but never really succeeding enough to take off. I realised I had become pretty isolated because I’ve been on working on my own for such a long time. I started looking around for courses which could help me branch out,” he said.

The Joondalup resident was connected with IntoJobs’ Career Transition Assistance, delivered by Mas National (both part of the IntoWork Group), a program which 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 employment goals, strategies for upskilling, and how to effectively market themselves to increase the chances of securing the job they want. It also connects participants with local employers offering work opportunities.

In the program, Daryl discovered his transferrable skills and newfound confidence and strength, “The program gave me the pathway to look at new jobs and realise I had many skills already. That was invaluable, but it was the confidence I got from the program that did it for me, and Melanie, our facilitator was absolutely fantastic. She was calm and just brilliant,” he said.

Daryl even landed his dream job in traffic control in just one hour of the program, “The program was excellent for finding your strength, rediscovering yourself, and your skillset. I was surrounded by a group of like-minded people in the same situation. It gave me so much camaraderie and strength, realising I could pursue a different job that I never would have known I could actually go for,” he said.

Career Transition Assistance Facilitator Melanie McEntyre said Daryl was definitely the star of the group and was very motivated in the course, “He is highly intelligent, having done many different roles in his career history. He is doing so well in traffic management, earning good wages, and making friends. He sounds so bright and happy, and says it’s not only the money but the purpose of having a job to go to each day. He feels life is going really well,” she said.

Daryl now spends his week working alongside a team of 300, making Joondalup’s roads safer, “I just love it. This is a job I could do till I retire. I feel good now because I’m giving back, earning money, doing things for my kids, and meeting all these people at work every day,” he said.

“My whole has life turned around because of this program, it’s been fantastic. If I ended up doing cybersecurity that would have been worse for me because I would have still been stuck at home on a computer. I’m 57 now but I could do this for ten years, easy,” he said.

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