Glen Knowles had worked as a mechanic and truck driver for 28 years when he was hit by a vehicle door.
The injury caused a debilitating back, neck and shoulder injury, which requires ongoing treatment and gives Glen chronic pain.
“My specialists said I could never work as a driver or mechanic again so I was medically retired,” says Glen.
“Basically, everything I was qualified for I could no longer do.”
Glen applied for several positions but wasn’t considered by employers because at that stage his condition prevented him from working fulltime.
“My fiancee was keeping things going financially as I was pretty depressed and had lost confidence in my own ability to get a job. Then my mother heard about the service Workbridge provides for jobseekers,” says Glen.
“A meeting was set up for me at the Waikato centre, even though I wasn’t feeling much like meeting people and had to force myself to go along.
“However, once I met employment consultant Rosemary Ryan I was glad I had. I found her so friendly and helpful.”
Rosemary asked Glen about his qualifications, experience and interests, helped him draw up a new CV with a cover letter, and gave him a hand to brush up on his interview skills.
“Before my accident I played a lot of sport, and was very keen on the outdoors and on pig hunting. Rosemary started looking at jobs where I could use that knowledge,” Glen says.
Rosemary approached Mark Mackie, owner of Hamills Fishing & Hunting store in Te Awamutu. He was looking for someone to work on Fridays on Saturdays, and to fill in at other times as needed.
“I was really nervous before my interview but Rosemary had done a lot of the groundwork, which really helped,” says Glen.
The business prided itself on its friendly and helpful staff, and Glen fitted the bill. He was hired in September 2014 after nine months of unemployment. Glen says he has already been given extra hours at the store.
“I would never previously have pictured myself in a retail role but I absolutely love the position,” he says.
“My message to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position, with illness, injury or disability impacting on your employment options, is to contact Workbridge. They are a great bunch of people who are brilliant to deal with.
“Without Workbridge, I would never have had the confidence to apply for this job.”