Viola’s story

Hi my name is Viola, I’m 26 and I’ve been with the Lewisham Early Intervention Service (LEIS) since 2019.

In the beginning I was extremely unhappy and felt defeated because I had just come out of hospital with no job and was slowly adjusting back to the norms of life. If I had to describe the feeling I would say it was like playing a game of snakes and ladders. I was doing well then suddenly I found myself sliding down a snake back to square one after all the hard work I had put in. The thought of starting again was distressing but I remained positive, tried to look at things with a different perspective and took another approach.

A part of my healing involved looking for voluntary work which also assisted with my mental wellbeing. With a background in IT, I was able to find a role where I would support senior citizens with their digital needs as well as helping them to improve their IT Skills.

In March 2020 I was put into contact with Sarah, an employment specialist, who would help me get back into paid employment. At first I was very apprehensive about this because I knew at some point I would have to attend interviews. This is something I didn’t really like doing because of how anxious I would get. I explained my concerns to Sarah and we created an action plan that would include mock interviews tailored to the jobs I was applying for. This helped to rebuild my confidence so that I felt more comfortable and prepared. When the time was right, I started actively looking for jobs again and in June 2021 I was successful.

I would like to say a big thank you to Sarah for being a great career coach, from motivation tips and goal setting to constructive feedback after each mock interview, Sarah has thoroughly helped me on this journey and I greatly appreciate it. My advice to anyone reading this is to always stay positive and keep trying even when things are difficult.

If you’re unemployed or having difficulties at work, support is available. Check if you’re eligible for employment support from Work Well.