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JobAccelerator: Practical help to re-enter the workforce

“Having this support for me to re-enter the workforce has just completely changed the trajectory of our family, financially and helped me emotionally and mentally, feeling like I can achieve things again.”

Rachel lives in Queensland with her husband, Josh, sons, Nate, eight, Jack six and Zane four. Nate was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, in December 2020.

Nate started intensive chemotherapy treatment straight away. His two younger brothers were taken out of Kindy so they wouldn’t bring germs home to Nate, and for the first six months, Josh stopped working. Rachel had a small business at home and had to stop that too.

“I coped poorly with the challenges of balancing Nate’s treatment and my career. I stopped working completely for two years because I just found social settings way too overwhelming. I just really tried hard to not meet new people or put myself in those settings.”

Rachel found having to go back to work after Nate’s treatment overwhelming. She didn’t want to go back to her small business because that’s what she did when she was at home with the boys.

“Everything reminded me about my life before Nate was diagnosed. I felt like there was too much grief tied up in that, and all my memories were from that time. I wanted to start something different, so then it wouldn’t trigger any memories for me, and it would be a fresh start.”

Rachel was unsure of how to go back into the job market and explain the years of gaps in her resume.

“I thought as soon as any potential employer finds out that my son had cancer, they’re not going to want to hire me because they’re just going to think I’ll need time off. I just thought that would discredit me for being able to get a job again.”

“I had lost a lot of confidence in the world in general because when your four-year-old gets cancer, you lose confidence that things are going to be okay. For me to have the confidence to submit a resume and go to a job interview, that was just too much, and I just had no idea how to go about it. I didn’t want to break down or cry in a job interview.”

Nate finished treatment February 2023.

“Josh had gone back to work for at least a year by that time, so his world had restarted again. My two younger kids, Jack and Zane had started back at Kindy and Nate had started back at grade one when he finished treatment.”

Rachel felt as though everybody else’s life was moving on.

“Everyone was healthy and well, and I was just so happy that Nate had finished treatment, and he was great and back to school. I couldn’t help but think, ‘What about me? And now, nobody’s going to want to hire me.’ I thought about how everyone else was moving on, but I’m not going to be able to.”

It had been almost seven years since Rachel had applied for any jobs because she was self-employed. Within that time, she had not worked at all for two years due to Nates treatment.

Hearing about the Redkite program, JobAccelerator, Rachel knew this is exactly what she needed to get some help to get back into the workforce. She applied for the program through Redkite.

“They matched me with a career coach, Rosie. She helped me with my resume and updating my LinkedIn profile. She helped me think about what kind of jobs I wanted to apply for, the different areas, what my skills were, what my pay rate and salary expectations were, all the conditions of a certain role, how it would work with my family life. I was given a lot of practical help that I really needed.”

“It was helpful and just to have somebody to talk to about it and bounce my ideas off of – all that was really invaluable. There were some videos I watched online about questions to prepare myself for job interviews.”

“Having a coach was just incredible.  My coach really encouraged me and really championed the process. I’m emotional thinking about it because I just don’t think I would’ve gotten this job without her.”

“This new work has just changed the trajectory of our family’s life, to be honest. It’s just been the best thing ever. It’s three days a week. The people are all very supportive and wonderful, and it’s in a field that I love. The conditions are amazing. I’ve been working there for a little over a year and I think I’ve already gotten three pay rises since I’ve been there.”

Previously Rachel was working in environmental education, and now she works as an environmental specialist, doing project management of environmental compliance. Rachel manages the environmental compliance for four drill sites out in the Northern Territory.

Since Rachel started back at work her and her family can go on holidays without the stress of finances.

“Meeting new people and having to tell people about what happened was one of my concerns, but Rosie was supportive. She said I didn’t have to tell them if I didn’t want to. I could have my work life, and my family life separate. To have a different perspective was really helpful.”

“Personally, one of the most significant benefits of JobAccelerator was gaining the confidence in the job interview because I was very anxious about that, and that was a really big hurdle for me.”

“I would 100% recommend JobAccelerator. When I’ve met other families at different charity events, I’ve definitely recommended the program.”

“For anyone going through their cancer journey but thinking about their own career aspirations as well, I would say fight as hard for your career restoration as you fought for your child’s health restoration, because you put so much effort and you put everything into your child getting better. It’s worth putting all this effort into getting into a job that you love and that works well for your family.”

Having this support for me to re-enter the workforce has just completely changed the trajectory of our family. Financially, obviously, it really helped, me having work again. But then, it’s really helped me emotionally and mentally having new challenges, going out and feeling like I can achieve things again.

I really want to thank Hudson’s. Having my career coaching has genuinely changed our family’s life. I feel like it was the final step for our whole family in recovering from childhood cancer.”

JobAccelerator, powered by Hudson, is a combination of 1-on-1 tailored coaching, live webinars, and online self-learning to help you transition careers or re-enter employment. The program is for parents, guardians, and carers of children or teenagers (aged 0-18) who have been diagnosed with cancer and is open to parents of children at any stage of the cancer experience, including those who are bereaved.

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