My Job: Explained (Employment Advisor)
Name: Rachel O'Malley
Job Title: Employment Advisor
Describe your role:
It is delivering a contract on behalf of the Department For Work and Pensions to support those in troubled family units with their job search. We help with many different aspects of the job search, such as CVs and cover letters. We can cover the costs of training as well as supporting the cost of travelling to and from interviews and agencies for sign ups.
We then continue supporting the individual for 13 weeks after pursuing employment, this may involve helping with the travel costs in getting to work during their first month, providing vouchers for supermarkets or helping them with equipment costs such as PPE.
The breakdown would be, we find the job, enquire and see what the company is looking for in an employee and support our customers within that. In some ways this may sound similar to recruitment, but the difference is that recruitment companies actually receive job exclusivity and we don't.
How long have you worked in the industry?
How did you get into this role/industry?
I previously worked as a Support Worker, and within that role I was also helping people get into employment, so when I left that role I knew I still wanted to help people in some capacity - found the employment sector and here we are!
What's the best part of your job?
Knowing that you're actually making a difference in people lives, for some people especially with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, even your weekly calls can help them in someway. Knowing you're going to help someones life longterm definitely keeps you going in that respect.
What's the hardest part of your job?
I started the role a month before Covid-19 started, so it was hard in terms of adapting to a new industry but working remotely.
Another difficult issue would be accepting and knowing that not everyone necessarily wants to be helped, for example there are people on my caseload who just won't answer or hang up the phone when they realise what the call is regarding. So it's knowing that you can't help everyone and learning to move forward regardless.
What skills would you say are necessary for this role?
Being an empathetic person, you have to realise that not everyone is starting from the same point of life you are and there are a variety of reasons as to why someone may be struggling job wise.
Customer Service skills are important to a degree, learning how to handle situations where people are unhappy either with the service you've provided or in their personal lives, and help accordingly.
Admin and organisational skills are important, especially if you have a lot of people on your caseload.
Passion for the job is one of the most important skills needed, if you're not interested in helping people it definitely shows and the client can always tell when you're just doing it for the paycheck at the end of the day.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering this industry?
If you're considering it, now is definitely the time - with Covid-19 there are millions of people needing support in this industry. Don't panic and think you're not qualified because you don't know everything about the job sector, I've only been in this role for 4 months and I'm still learning. If you can't continue to learn and grow then what's the point! But definitely, if you're considering this kind of role just go for it.
What surprised you most when taking on this role?
I've definitely had a lot of surprises... how quickly I picked the job up is one.
Going from being a support worker, following individuals in every aspect of their lives to employment, where you don't necessarily need to know the ins and outs of their personal lives - the detachment wasn't something I had adjusted myself for. On the flip side this meant that I could focus on learning more which led to me being able to pick processes faster, as mentioned earlier.
How much I actually enjoy the job also surprises me, obviously I knew going into it that it was what I wanted to do. But, the company as a whole has been so supportive and it's made me enjoy the job so much more than I thought I would.
Are there any things that you didn't expect to be doing that has been asked of you?
Personally I don't think so, it's all pretty much been as described! Although I guess working from home was a plot twist...
If you weren't in this job, what else would you want to be doing?
I would probably have gone into some kind of justice based-role for example a probation officer.
The My Job series was created to help those unsure on the industry they want to go in, so this is an insight on the day to day life of different people in different industries. If you would like more details on working in this industry please drop me a message and I'll direct you to the interviewee! If you would like to get involved, please let me know.