Meet the A team – Perri
In our latest of our staff series, we’ll be introducing you to some of our superb staff at AimBig Employment. Within this article, we’ll introduce you to Perri, one of our fantastic job coaches. Everyone, meet Perri!
How did you become a Job Coach?
Before becoming a job coach I had been working casually within child services and youth work for around 5 years. I had been trying my hardest to work toward buying a house and unfortunately working casually was not working in my favour. I then unfortunately suffered a loss in my personal life and quickly started to realise how much working with vulnerable children and learning about their traumas was affecting my own mental health. Starting to question my line of work, I was feeling worried that I would no longer be able to continue fueling my passion of helping people as it was costing me myself.
Over a few weeks, I had been thinking that I needed to somehow find a job where I am still able to help people but I am not exposed to as many details of such severe trauma. Luckily, I just happened to reach out in a small advice group on a social media platform and ask if anyone had any weekend plans I could join in on to get out of my sad bubble. A friend of mine reached out after seeing my post in the group just to check in if I was ok, I word vomited my situation and said I was reluctantly planning on making a resume later that day to apply for new jobs when she responded “my work is hiring”. After she told me all about the company, the benefits, the inclusion of YouDays and how much AimBig cares about the wellbeing of their staff AND that I will be able to help people change their lives in a less intensive environment, I realised that the universe was providing me with an opportunity to do it all in one place! Help people, reduce my vicarious trauma AND work full-time to keep striving for my house! I absolutely jumped at the opportunity and haven’t looked back!
What are the day-to-day duties involved in being a Job Coach?
There is a lot of admin work, it is an office-based job after all. I meet with anywhere from 3-12 participants a day for short appointments to catch up on their situations, how they are doing and how I can help them at this point in time. Of course within this role the main goal is assisting the participants to obtain employment (which can absolutely change their life!
The difference in your financial ability from Centrelink payments to an actual working wage creates more freedom than you realise). Although for me it’s the extra bits and pieces on top of the day-to-day that really make all the difference. Some examples of these might be: Assisting someone to find stable accommodation, Providing someone with access to the mental health services they need, Googling free health resources for them to access support on a budget, Helping someone boost their confidence or physical health, helping someone understand their own situation and what they can do to change it, helping people understand finances and money management to be able to be set up for success once they start receiving a wage or even something like providing them with new clothes & shoes for a job interview – they may have never had anything new and been relying on donations!
One other example of these small but meaningful extras is recently a participant of mine who suffers from severe mental health expressed to me that his late mother used to do crosswords and that he had not done one in years. I took note of this, googled some free printable crossword puzzles, printed out a few and gave them to him at his next appointment. The look on his face and how excited he got absolutely made my day! Being able to provide something so small to give him something to look forward to when he is feeling at rock bottom really just filled up my cup.
What do you love about being a Job Coach?
I love being able to go against the grain and change the narrative. I love being able to change how people feel about attending their fortnightly appointments. I like to think that since starting in this role and building rapport with my participants that they no longer think of their appointments as something they “have to” do to receive their payments, but something that they look forward to and “get to” do because they feel inspired and/or assisted once they leave. I want my participants to leave my office after our appointments feeling better than when they walked in. I want them to look forward to coming back and not dread that they “have to” drag themselves in.
What is it like working at AimBig?
A lot of the time it’s fun – no one really takes things too seriously in the day to day. Of course like any job you have good days and bad days, especially being a customer serving role, but our team always has a good laugh and we often share a “joke of the day” in our morning meetings. I love that one ever judges me if I ask for help or forget something I have already been told. I always feel supported to learn and encouraged to grow.
There are a lot of benefits that AimBig provides that other companies do not like YouDays where we get to take a whole day to spend with our self, Paws Leave where we get a whole day to spend with our pets and even paid study days to further your education and development! We have a great Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and we are always supported by our team. We get a well-being check in email every Wednesday and if you answer in there that something is not right with you at the moment, either within work life or in your personal life, someone will contact you to check in and ask how they can support you.
There are definitely more good days than bad days! Plus I love the open door type policy, I have never before worked for a company where if you need something or have a question for the “big boss” you can just give them a call directly and ask them, it doesn’t always need to go up the chain and take days or weeks to have answers.
What is something people may not know about you?
That I am absolutely WILDLY passionate about finances & financial education and I love educating others in this space. I know from personal experience what it is like to suffer from financial stress or to try and live on centrelink payments (thanks pandemic! lol) so I know first hand how hard it is, but at the same time I know that it IS possible to change that narrative and change your life in ways you could never imagine.
If you’d like one of our fabulous job coaches like Perri to work with you to meet your goals, get in touch with AimBig here.