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Jourdi was determined to become a “doer” instead of a “dreamer”, this pushed her to return to the workforce after brain surgery

After being unemployed for 14 months, job seeker Jourdi was feeling mentally exhausted.

She was sick of constantly worrying about affording basic things while living off her fortnightly Centrelink payment.

Jourdi’s struggles started with an undiagnosed medical condition called Chiari Malformation, this is a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal.

This condition caused her to have struggles with basic functions.

“Before I knew that I was suffering with a brain issue, I tried to work, but it was hard. I was having blackouts and seizures, but I still tried to work. That was my first issue.”

Returning to the workforce after brain surgery

After having brain surgery, she was on the mend. But trying to get back into the workforce after rehabilitation was difficult.

“I felt like people saw my previous condition and shied away from hiring me because I was still getting back to my normal self after being out of action for 9 months,” she said.

Jourdi was then referred to ETC’s Disability Employment Services (DES) Program for further support.

The DES Program helps people with an injury, illness, or disability to find and keep a job.

On top of her medical condition and rehabilitation, Jourdi was also trying to overcome barriers including anxiety, depression and low confidence.

ETC Jobs Advisor Georgina Lock started working with Jourdi in early 2022 and began helping her break through these barriers.

Breaking through her barriers

“ETC helped me find more confidence in myself. Georgina especially made me feel like I was able to achieve whatever I wanted to,” said Jourdi.

After having dealt with multiple DES providers over the years, Jourdi previously dreaded going to appointments.

She felt like her providers weren’t listening to her, like she was another number to them.

“But from my first appointment with ETC I felt really welcomed and extremely comfortable. It felt as though I was actually listened to about my health struggles, anxiety, depression and goals for the future.”

“I would really look forward to and enjoy my appointments with Georgina.”

Things really started to look up for Jourdi when she secured a job as a Customer Service Representative at a rental company at her local airport.

“Before I found this job I felt like I had no purpose in life… And like I was an embarrassment and disappointment to my family,” said Jourdi.

“But once I started work, I felt like a weight had finally lifted off my shoulders. I’d found a purpose for my days!”

“I felt productive and proud of myself. I felt like I could finally start doing things I couldn’t do before, as I couldn’t afford to. I was finally becoming a ‘doer’ rather than a ‘dreamer.’”

Jourdi’s favourite parts about finding a job

Jourdi said the best part about her job is being able to use her brain every day and constantly challenge herself.

“I also set little goals for myself every week to learn new things or improve my current skills. I’ve also gained a bit of a social life with my work colleagues, both at Hertz and at the airport.”

With a long-term goal of becoming a Primary School Teacher, Jourdi is now also studying Bachelor of Education (Primary) full-time online through Southern Cross University.

“I’m so happy that I’m finally working towards my goal! My plan is to be finished my studies and teach my own classes by the time I’m 30.”

Do you want assistance to reach your goals like Jourdi?

Call our friendly DES team on 1800 007 400 or fill out the Enquire Now form on this page.

Good News Stories

Disability Employment Services

ETC provides Disability Employment Services (DES) in QLD’s Gold Coast and the NSW regions of North Coast and Mid North Coast. To see if this service is delivered by ETC in your area, view our locations page – Find your closest ETC site >

You can also find a full list of providers across Australia on jobaccess.gov.au



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