I was working as an assistant manager and staff trainer. I had already participated in recruiting and training new teams for our Brighton and Birmingham restaurants. I do not remember specifically how it began but I remember helping a few of the chefs out when they moved on to new jobs.
I got quite the kick out of helping the other staff, particularly when they managed to get the job they had been hoping for. I had no idea then but that would my first step in becoming a professional Employment Coach. At the time I had no idea such jobs existed.
I spent the next few years travelling, getting my degree from university and teaching in Poland but it was not until 2008, after nine months of unemployment, that I applied for a position at Lincolnshire County Council.
At the time I was finding life pretty tough, a series of unfortunate events had left me with little confidence or self esteem. I was living with my grandparents, who were helping me get back on my feet so to speak. It was my grandfather who encouraged me to apply for the job.
The position was a newly created vacancy for the Welfare to Work team funded by the local government. I had already applied for hundreds of jobs that summer with little response so when I applied for the Employment Coach position I made the decision to write a very open and honest letter to the hiring manager about my experiences, the good and bad and the downright strange.
The language in the letter verged on informal, and I am certain that nine out of ten recruiters would have sent my email straight to the trash folder. Thankfully the recipient of the email took one important message from that letter. My sincerity.
I followed up the letter with a phone call to one of the offices, I had a long conversation with a woman called Diane, who would later become a fantastic colleague, where I asked question after question about the position, the company and the work they did.
It was the best job I ever had, I worked with the Welfare to Work team for three amazing years and would have continued to do so if our funding had not been cut after the international economic crisis in 2011.