Caroline’s advice to jobseekers: remember age equals experience

5 Apr 2021
Committed Caroline from Rochdale has rediscovered her inner strength after feeling that her search for work was impeded by a negative view of her age – she is 59 years old.
After applying for more than 250 jobs with no success, Caroline was referred by her Work Coach at Rochdale Jobcentre Plus to the new WHP JETS employability scheme, which was the catalyst she needed to finally land her new job.
“I have been a legal secretary for 23 years and I was devastated when I was made redundant last year due to the pandemic,” said Caroline. “The whole process of looking for a new role was soul destroying when you spend hours completing application forms and never even receive a response. I had relevant experience for many of these jobs so I came to the conclusion that my age was viewed negatively. Even my friends thought that I should be looking for ways to retire.”
In November 2020 Caroline was referred to JETS in Greater Manchester. Ingeus delivers the Working Well (Work and Health Programme) Job Entry Targeted Support (WHP JETS) programme on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The scheme supports recently unemployed people who are keen to get back to work and receives support from the European Social Fund. 
“I cannot praise JETS support enough,” commented Caroline. “My Ingeus coach, Danielle Emanuel, was not only a tower of strength and enthusiastic, but inspirational too. It was reassuring to hear that being unemployed isn’t your fault and not to take it personally. It is a very competitive jobs market at the moment.”
During a series of one to one sessions, Caroline improved her interview skills, reviewed her CV and rebuilt her confidence.
Danielle explained: “We helped Caroline to better target her job search by applying for vacancies that she had the relevant skills for and were within a sustainable commuting distance.”
Caroline also attended a motivational workshop for people seeking employment and felt reassured by listening to different experiences.
She added: “The feedback and encouragement that I took away from the workshop was a tremendous help. Listening to other people’s experiences was so helpful and I no longer felt worthless.
“Now I am working again as a legal secretary with a company based in Salford. My advice to other jobseekers is if you’re not initially successful, never give up hope! There are people who can help you be successful.”

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