I had been unemployed for nearly 20 years, bar a 6 week job I did in 2018 that did not work out.  My work experience was in finance, I progressed on to designing and working with financial systems and delivering ‘in house’ training.  I had the skills, the knowledge and the experience and was getting interviews but could not secure the job offer.  I believe this was likely due to my disability, on a few occasions interviewers actually remarked “Oh, I didn’t know you had a disability” and they then kept looking at my left arm as opposed to looking me in the eye.  I had polio when I was a year old and then post-polio in my 30’s which has affected all of my limbs resulting in pain, discomfort, tiredness, weakness and more.

Genius Within has given me the opportunity to use my skills, knowledge and experience in a really positive way.  I started as a participant on one of the Genius Within Employability projects, through Kennedy Scott.  I persisted in asking my Case Manager and her colleagues about the job role, any vacancies and if I could speak with a manager.  Before long I was offered an interview and, although I was not suitable for that specific role, I was offered a volunteering opportunity observing Case Managers on the Work and Health Project.  When following up the start date of this, I received a call from the Work and Health Project Team Leader, was given a telephone interview and offered a job! This was the end of October 2019 and it has been an amazing experience.  Working for Genius Within has been a very good experience, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  All of my colleagues are friendly, helpful and assisting me with my learning curve.  To be able to put what I have observed and learned into practice by delivering my first course last week has given me so much confidence.  It has given me the push that I needed, I have the self-belief now and am ready for my next group.

As a Case Manager working with those who are socially excluded and long term unemployed, I can relate.  I am helping them to understand many things including what is asked in interviews, giving clean feedback on how they are in practice interviews and what other’s interpretation of their behaviours may be.  Clients are telling me that what we have covered in a course is really useful to them and they wished they had done the Employable Genius course earlier.  I liked working with this client group, they were listening and interacting with me and others and I infer from their behaviour and comments that I am doing something useful for them as well as something that is purposeful and rewarding for me.

Mushtaq Khan, WaHP Case Manager

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