Gaining confidence at work

For most of us, having a job means enjoying an income that allows us to indulge in favourite pastimes. Jessica is no exception.

When the 22-year-old is asked what she enjoys spending her weekly salary on, she doesn’t miss a beat: the popular television fantasy series, Game of Thrones, is one of her passions.

“I bought series one to four (of the show) and even have mugs that feature different characters,” she says of the fictional program set on continents that resemble the middle ages of earth.

When not following the epic tales of tribal feuding, family power struggles and army protecting dragons, Jessica works at OC Connections Enterprises, the organisation’s supported employment division.

Since joining in October last year, Jessica has shown a quick aptitude for learning. Initially working in the shrink wrap department, before long she moved to packaging work and joined the car wash team, the latter of which is OCCE’s newest social enterprise offering employment opportunities for people with an intellectual disability.

After leaving school, Jessica joined Connecting Skills Australia (CSA), a not-for-profit organisation focused on integrating adults with a disability into the workforce and/or community.

Jessica says she loved her time with CSA, learning everything from literacy, numerical and computer competency to life learning skills, each designed to assist with her transition to employment.

Following work experience at places like Coles, Linen House and Bunnings, Jessica was referred to OCCE. Working four days a week, Jessica readily admits to loving her time at OCCE, particularly in making friends and taking on new challenges.

Executive Manager Business Enterprises, Tony Hogg, says the evolving change in Jessica since joining the organisation has been wonderful to see.

“We have noticed real confidence gains in Jessica’s communication and work skills. She has even been elected to our employee committee, which provides staff feedback and contributes ideas about workplace matters.”