Individual Placement Support (IPS) -
Jan's Recovery Story
Just before the pandemic I lost a job I was invested in, experiencing unemployment, and then additional loss. Living with depression and low esteem, I was then supported by an Employment Specialist back into meaningful and rewarding employment – twice!
In 2018 I held a responsible position on the management team of a successful consultancy. I was the Company Secretary and HR Manager, with over 30 years’ experience of learning & development, recruitment & HR leadership.
After more than 10 years with the company, I suddenly found myself being gaslighted and belittled out of my role. I no longer received thanks for the contributions I made, was demeaned in senior management team meetings, and was also being challenged as to why I hadn’t initiated projects which I had never been assigned.
My hours were cut by 60% and over 18 months I was managed out of my role. I got a small redundancy based on 40% of my original salary.
Not long after, I faced a major rift in my marriage of 15 years.
I was feeling suicidal, and I sought help from my GP. I was signposted to the Ealing MINT team, received a referral, then spent a year talking with a psychotherapist. While this was interesting and useful, I wasn’t jobseeking and I felt like I was in a holding pattern.
Covid gave me an excuse not to jobsearch, but anxiety and depression again mounted to a point where I felt suicidal, and again I turned to the Samaritans and to the MINT team for help.
Later, I took advantage of some of the Recovery College courses. While these courses were also interesting, I was not encouraged to actively seek work, and I found my self-confidence ebbing.
That was two years of depression, anxiety and loss of self-worth.
Then in 2022 I was referred to Vocational Recovery Services for Individual Placement and Support.
I received help in updating my CV and, with my Employment Specialist, we set jobseeking goals together. I was coached for job interviews and I was even offered a referral for being fitted with clothing appropriate for an interview. This regular commitment and the weekly meetings were the boost I needed to give me the motivation to actively engage with the job market.
This engagement with my Employment Specialist gave me the confidence to network, and I soon landed a short-term job administrating an amazing NHS Multidisciplinary Cardiology conference. The work was very interesting, challenging and rewarding – and a major lift to my self esteem. But it was only short-term.
Having discussed my passions and reviewing my CV, my Employment Specialist highlighted how relevant my experience and skills were for the Employment Specialist roles being recruited for the NHS’s Vocational Recovery Service. Getting great guidance and interview tips, I received lots of useful help in applying for the NHS role. This involved an online application and preparing a detailed personal statement addressing the job description, outlining my experience against the requirements of the job.
Now, working as an Employment specialist, I’m finding it an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience. Seeing one client I’ve worked with progress from chronic anxiety, lacking confidence and feeling deflated, to enjoying their new job – and entering a marathon – is awesome! Seeing the changes in people as they find motivation and build their confidence, and weather setbacks while we work together, makes this the most profoundly rewarding job I have ever held.