Chris changes gear with new career

6 Jan 2022
Finding himself unemployed due to the pandemic set Chris Bardsley, an architectural technician of 40 years, onto a career path he never thought he’d take. With the help of JETS, he swapped desk for van, bid farewell to previous work stresses and is now on the road each day as a supermarket delivery driver.
Reluctant to re-enter the same field of work, 61-year-old Chris, from Stockport, signed up to his local Jobcentre Plus, where he was then referred to the WHP JETS programme. 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.
Chris, who was supported by JETS employment coach Amelia Barlow, says, “If it wasn’t for Amelia’s help, I think I’d still be looking for work! I lost count of how many jobs I applied for – some people came back saying I was too old, some saying I was over-qualified. I just needed help – all I wanted was work and a salary.
“My old job was very stressful, and at 60 I didn’t want to jump back into that world of stress. I think the pandemic has woken people up to their work-life balance and the fact that life is so fragile. Working a 40-50 hour week isn’t the answer.”
Amelia soon helped Chris to get on track with his job applications. As well as regular support through telephone calls, she spotted that Chris’s CV needed attention. Together, they looked at the keywords Chris needed to include to help him get beyond the auto CV-checkers.
“Amelia’s expertise in helping me with my CV was outstanding,” recalls Chris. “She helped me to realise which bits to take out and what was needed. She also helped me with my covering letter and how to tailor it to emphasise my strengths.
“Her knowledge, combined with her enthusiasm and unrelenting optimism helped me so much to get through some dark times while seeking employment.”
After so many years carrying out a 9-5pm desk job, Chris is enjoying the complete change his new job brings. He says, “Every single day is different – I love that all the people I meet are different and where I travel to changes each day. I don’t know why I didn’t make this swap a lot earlier!”

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