Ina’s banking on a bright future

26 May 2023
Armed with two degrees, Ina was at an impasse. Despite her qualifications in business and teaching, she had no idea of the career path she wanted to take. On top of that, as a single mum to a young child, she needed a job with flexibility. Frustration over her lack of direction was taking its toll on Ina’s mental health when she was referred to the Restart Scheme delivered by Ingeus in Manchester.
After earning her business degree, Ina, now 27, of Harpurhey, had taken a PGCE course but realised it wasn’t the right fit for her. She had also worked in events management but left due to the anti-social hours and lack of opportunity to progress. Back at the Jobcentre Plus at Cheetham Hill, Ina was feeling depressed and lacked motivation. “I had been to the doctor and got counselling because I couldn’t cope, it was getting me down quite a lot,” she says. Ina’s work coach referred her to the Restart Scheme, which Ingeus delivers on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions to provide tailored support to jobseekers.
Ina admits to feeling sceptical at first, but a Teams call with a group of other participants, all at different levels and skills, made her realise she was not alone in feeling unsure about her career direction. Ina was given guidance on how to improve her CV, using Ingeus' online career portal, iWorks, which scans CVs and provides a score. She was also helped to narrow down the sort of jobs she was interested in, and a personalised plan was produced. Having whittled her search down to finance, HR and marketing, she felt more motivated.
Ina’s Restart Advisor Nathaniel was on hand to provide practical and emotional support, making her wellbeing a priority and sharing interview tips. When Ina secured an interview for a job as a financial advisor, Nathaniel referred her to Ingeus partner SmartWorks in Stockport, who offer interview guidance and styling, ensuring candidates dress to impress!
Ina had a mock interview and felt fully prepared by the time she went to the real interview. She was thrilled to get the job – and was invited back to SmartWorks to build up a capsule wardrobe. “I now have a whole wardrobe of nice things, it makes you feel really empowered and so motivated. It gives an inner feeling of ‘I am confident and I am going to do it!’.”
Nathaniel organised help with childcare costs and a bus pass that would cover Ina until payday. She’s now loving her new job at the bank, giving financial advice to people who are in debt, and can truly empathise with them. “I was in a situation where I was financially struggling, so it’s really rewarding to be able to help other people,” says Ina.
She adds: “I would 100 per cent recommend the Restart Scheme. It has helped me narrow down my research in finding my ideal career path. I have been given a lot of support and help tailored to my needs and wants. I will forever be grateful for the support I received as it has helped me jump-start my life and has changed it for the better.”
Ingeus delivers the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London and is partner to Serco, which delivers the scheme in Central West Midlands.

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