Job Club is an opportunity for Forrest Personnel job seekers to come together once a week. Complementing Forrest Personnel’s individualised services, sessions are designed to support people to develop skills that empower them in their search for work.
At our Bunbury office, this initiative is led by Brett Hansen. Brett was in the military and used to be an Employment Consultant (EC) with Forrest Personnel. He decided to end his fulltime commitment to work, and now runs Job Club as a volunteer. We sat down and chatted both about him and what it’s all about.
Forrest Personnel: How long were you an EC?
Brett Hansen: Just over a year.
FP: Had you worked in employment services before being an EC? How did you arrive at this point?
BC: I had not worked in employment services per se before, but I was a volunteer working with veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was even working on trying to get a support group going through the RSL (Returned and Services League). This didn’t come to fruition, but I had a lot of contact with veterans with a range of disabilities from their time in service. This experience led me to Forrest Personnel, and I was assigned the veterans when they came through the door. My experience allowed me to have a unique perspective. It is very different when someone emerges from a military lifestyle and transitions to all things civilian. There are huge changes for people to deal with.
FP: Why should someone join Job Club?
BC: I think it can be incredibly effective in helping people into work. It’s a group setting so people get to know one another by socializing and they share ideas and experiences. To a certain extent, the setting mimics a workplace environment. We work on cover letters, interview preparation and ensuring people are applying correctly for jobs.
FP: How do you manage to meet individual needs in a group setting?
BC: At the beginning of a session, I ask each participant what they’re here to do. This gives me a good understanding of how to structure things. I then use a task approach by assigning each person an activity. Sometimes, if two people are working on the same thing, I suggest they work together as buddies. This is where my military background plays in my favour. I have a good understanding of multi-tasking and how having a buddy can support achieving an outcome.
FP: How did being an Employment Consultant prepare you for running Job Club?
BC: Being an EC gave me a good basis, a good foundation to understand what people with disability need to be successful in getting employment. That is the meat and potatoes of what we do in Job Club.
If you’re a job seeker and are keen to find out more about Job Club, please get in touch. You can reach us at 1800 224 548. In addition, we have Job Clubs operating out of several locations. At our Metro sites, sessions are called Career Blast.
Photo: Brett Hansen, 2021 by Forrest Personnel
Forrest Personnel is a local charity. We specialise in supporting people with health conditions, injuries and disabilities to find and keep jobs.
Let’s make it work together | 1800 224 548