Like a lot of people with disability, Emily has faced hardships throughout her life and battled with bullying and low self-esteem. After struggling to find a suitable traineeship, Emily connected with EPIC Assist (EPIC) and she hasn’t looked back since. For the past eight months, she’s been completing the work experience component of her SIR30216 Certificate III in Retail at Target Northlakes, and is thriving.
“They’re just lovely people at Target and I couldn’t feel happier. It’s the first time I feel welcomed as a team, and I didn’t really think I was a team person, so that’s helped me a lot,” says Emily.
When she first started at Target, Emily’s main goal was to keep her head down and stay out of people’s way. But after meeting her team and experiencing the positive workplace culture at Target, she was inspired to revaluate her goals. She came to the realisation that she didn’t want to simply blend into the background, but rather pursue strong social interactions.
“The way everyone came in, were polite, helped me out, and made sure I understood everything, it kind of made me have a new goal and mindset. I thought, ‘Alright, I’m going to try and connect with them on a deeper level, and see how I go making good work relationships,’” says Emily.
Glenn, a Department Manager at Target, couldn’t be happier with Emily’s progress.
“Emily is really quite competent and qualified. She does everything with enthusiasm and she is great with the customers. She’s done very well. She’s come a long way,” says Glenn.
As someone who has struggled with communication for most of her life, Emily says that EPIC’s personalised, one-on-one service has played an incredible role in her success. It has allowed her to focus on the theory component of her traineeship without the stress of looming deadlines.
“Our minds work different, and sometimes we need extra time to learn and process the right way to do things. So having a company [like EPIC] that allows us to have that extra time and extra support it makes us achieve more as a person,” says Emily.
“The amount of patience EPIC has is incredible. They don’t look at you like a stranger and they’re very welcoming. It’s nice to have someone not look at you for your disability, but you as a person.”
Emily is determined to live a life without regrets. For other people struggling with their disability, she encourages them to push through their fears and see how far they can go, not only in the workplace, but also in terms of personal growth.
“Facing your fears is always worth it in the end. At the start it may be difficult, but you’ll be surprised by how much you enjoy what you do, and the people you are surrounded by,” says Emily.