March 29, 2022In today's Job Match Q&A, we get to know Heather.
Heather was connected to Goodwill of Orange County's Workforce Development programs through Employment WORKS, a supported employment program providing individualized job placement and retention services to adults living with mental health diagnosis.
Dive in to the six questions below to get to know Heather and her journey to finding meaningful work.
1. What is your first name, where do you work, and your title.
My name is Heather. I am employed at Bath and Body Works as a Sales Associate.
2. What was your biggest barrier to getting back to work?
After being unemployed for more than 8 years due to an injury to my hips, my biggest barrier was being able to find a job with specific physical requirements because I cannot stand, sit or walk for too long. Another barrier I faced was having a large employment gap in my work history.
3. How did Goodwill's Employment WORKS help you get back to work?
Employment WORKS helped me overcome these barriers by working with me on finding a job tailored to my physical limitations. They also helped me create a resume that highlighted my skills. I was provided with interview clothing, shoes, and a hygiene kit.
Once I began working, my job required a dress code and the program provided me with Walmart gift cards to purchase the clothing I needed. It is cool that I am able to receive ongoing support while working.
My Employment Specialist and Peer Support Specialist has provided me with several additional resources, including a gas card and a one-on-one budgeting session to help me save.
4. What is it like being a Sales Associate at your job?
It is fun! I love working in sales and being able to do that while prioritizing my physical limitations is great. I receive compliments from all my co-workers consistently and my manager has told me, “You are very strong at sales”. Receiving such positive feedback definitely keeps me motivated to continue working.
5. How is working helping your life today?
Having a job gives me something to do and gives me purpose. I enjoy having a routine and interacting with people. It has also helped me be more confident in myself and has helped me create friendships with my co-workers. Once the pandemic gets better, my manager plans on doing an outing with the team, which I think will be fun. We currently have small office lunches, whenever there is a birthday. I am happy with this job and grateful to have found it.
6. What is your final message to anyone contemplating working or volunteering?
Just do it! You will be able to put some money in your pockets, meet new people and make friends, and it will give you something to do.