WorkEqual client testimonial: ‘When you ask for help, you need to ask the right people.’
At WorkEqual, we offer a wide variety of services to help women enter or return to the workforce in Ireland. Everyone faces different challenges, which is why we tailor our supports to individual needs. One of our clients shared her story of the challenges she faced when she first started job-searching in Ireland, and how WorkEqual helped her to secure employment:
I’m originally from Kenya and I came to Ireland in 2018. My background was in Procurement and Logistics and I was also an Auditor for Quality Management Systems.
When I came to Ireland, it was quite a struggle to find a good job at first. When I applied for jobs that matched my work experience back in Kenya, people said to me ‘but you don’t have any work experience here.’ I felt very disheartened by this, and I wondered ‘how can I get experience here if no one will give me a job?’
So, I started looking for other types of work, something that I could get more easily, and I ended up working in a chocolate factory for a while, then a flower factory and also in the kitchens in a hospital. But it got to the point where I realized that this was not for me, I wanted to get back to my career and so I tried to push myself to get better opportunities.
I found out about WorkEqual through a different programme that I was on, and I went to one of WorkEqual’s workshops, which was about getting back into the workplace. I was also on their mailing list, so I was able to keep in touch with them about other workshops that were coming up. I attended one on LinkedIn and another with Bobbi Brown.
Around the same time, I got onto a program with Ernst and Young after which I got an offer for the summer internship with them. I reached out to WorkEqual because I had to do an interview and give a presentation. I wanted to see if they could support me with the preparation.
They were so helpful, their stylist Linda helped me to pick the right professional clothes for my interview and they also gave me some outfits to wear in the office, as I did not have any work clothes in my wardrobe.
I was also connected to a mentor through WorkEqual and we have regular calls. We catch up on how work is going, how I am adjusting, if I have any questions or need support. She gives me great advice which helps me to adjust to the workplace. Having a mentor is great as they have the experience, so they can understand what you are going through and can guide you in the right direction. It’s also just nice to have someone to talk to, especially someone who has a different mindset to what you are used to.
I got onto the summer internship programme with Ernst and Young and I got an offer to join their graduate programme which I am really excited about.
I would advise anyone who is in the same situation as I was to keep an open mind and ask for help – but don’t just ask anyone, you have to ask the right people. You can get the wrong advice and end up being totally lost, so take advice from people who know the system and how things work in Ireland.
I would also recommend anyone in my situation to join the WorkEqual mailing list, since they regularly send out information about upcoming workshops. If you can’t join one currently, you may decide to go for one in the future – maybe at the right time you will think ‘oh yes, this is what I need.’
If you’d like to know more about the free supports available through WorkEqual to help you enter or return to the workplace, get in touch!
You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org., phoning 089 2202015 or, to keep up-to-date with upcoming events, subscribe to our mailing list here.