A New World: Finding Your Professional Light Beyond Depression.

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A New World: Finding Your Professional Light Beyond Depression.PeoplePlus Participant Rodney

Rodney left corporate life and the strains of the big city behind in favour of country town, Narrabri. Free from the stresses that led him to severe depression, he has a newfound purpose and is happier and healthier than ever. 

Amidst a successful, decades-long career in I.T and a full, but challenging, family life, Sydneysider Rodney found himself gripped by debilitating depression. Buried in a high-pressure industry, the build up of enormous stress in the workplace and at home culminated in what he now describes as a ‘breakdown’. 

Rodney explains it as a descent into a state in which he ceased functioning properly - exhausted, prone to angry outbursts and ‘unable to face things’. He could no longer perform effectively at work and was ultimately unable to go to work at all. At home, the mounting tension of a loved one’s own mental health issues, which caused continual unrest, finally overwhelmed him completely and in the throes of these darkest days, Rodney and his wife left Sydney for good. 

Inspired by an invitation to do ministry work there, Rodney relocated to the country town of Narrabri and slowly emerged from the full fog of depression, ready to re-enter the workforce. But despite feeling energised by the meaning and purpose of his volunteer work, he faced an uphill task finding a new job. 

Under the care of a mental health support agency in Sydney, he had re-trained in education support for teachers. However, Narrabri was deeply affected by drought, making the difficult task of finding work even harder.

Already fragile, this long period of unemployment affected Rodney’s self-esteem further, something that no doubt many can relate to. 

Luckily for Rodney, he turned to PeoplePlus and their dedicated team, who specialise in placing candidates with mental health challenges. The process became far less intimidating thanks to the commitment, resources and support offered by his JobCoach Steph and her colleagues. 

As Steph notes, Rodney’s job search was difficult due to a unique set of obstacles - aside from his health issues, he was new to the area and had little experience in the teaching sector. So she came up with new tactics for finding and approaching suitable employers, employers that would allow Rodney to achieve his goals

Steph persevered, offering endless motivation and encouragement along the way and to his delight, her efforts led to a job in his desired field. 

Rodney gratefully acknowledges Steph’s work:

‘She took away a lot of the pain and anxiety associated with finding work,’ he says, ‘You feel like you have a team behind you helping you succeed.’ 

Thanks to PeoplePlus, Rodney is now working in the education sector and building not only experience, but a network that will help him progress his career.

At 53, Rodney feels optimistic about his life and his future, a long way from the cycle of despair he was once trapped in. His message for anyone suffering depression and struggling to find the right place in the workforce is clear:

‘This will pass. You will move beyond this. And with good people you will be able to find that next phase.’

PeoplePlus is available for most people dealing with mental health challenges and looking for employment. We think about your whole future. Let’s work together to find you a job you actually want and build the framework necessary to develop your future prospects as well.

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