Tessa Roach was 18 and on a benefit when she first came to see Workbridge consultant Sally-Jane Kirk.
Tessa had a heart condition and was under no obligation to work, but was keen to have a career.
“She was working in a cafe and was hoping to find admin work,” says Sally-Jane.
“I helped her redo her CV and we set goals for her, including getting her learner’s licence within three months, and looked at ways she could achieve these.”
Sally-Jane helped Tessa apply for a full-time data entry job at the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC). Tessa got the job, and stayed there till LIC closed the site.
By then, Tessa was ready to do more study. She worked part-time in a shop while studying for her New Zealand Diploma in Business, HR and Business Accounting at the Southern Institute of Technology.
“In 2014, I had just one more paper to do so I went to see Sally-Jane again to see if she knew of any office job that would suit me,” says Tessa.
A love of learning
Sally-Jane told Tessa that accountancy firm Crowe Howarth was looking for a payroll administrator, but that applications were about to close.
“She called their HR department and let them know about my disability. She explained I had a good head for numbers but if you asked me to run a marathon I couldn’t do that,” Tessa says.
“Then she helped me get my application over the line really fast.”
Tessa got the job. Two years in, she said she has loved learning lots of new things.
While she’s very happy in her current role, Tessa is interested in a possible future career in social work. Sally-Jane is helping her explore her options.
“I would recommend Workbridge to anyone with a long-term illness or disability, whatever your levels of qualifications,” says Tessa.
“It has been great for me. They work with you and the employer to find roles which work for you and are at the right level for your experience and qualifications.”