Debbie's Story: "I'm Happy"

Thursday, May 02, 2013

When you first meet Debbie Henderson, it would be hard to believe she has ever had a bad day.  A natural optimist, her penchant to always look for the best comes shining through at all times. And when you ask her why she is so optimistic, she simply says “life is too short, you gotta have fun!”

However, even the most positively inclined hit speed bumps from time to time. For Debbie, her optimism was derailed last year when she lost her job at a company she had been working with for the last 6 years.  Living with a hearing impairment all of her life, Debbie had always known how to be successful in the workplace on her own. But when a new manager came on who struggled to understand her situation, things went south in her work environment very quickly and she was eventually dismissed.

Looking back, Debbie believes she got fired because of her hearing. “Some people simply have no compassion for people who are different.”

Finding herself unemployed for the first time in many years, Debbie faced the new reality of trying to re-enter the labour force as a middle aged woman.

“It’s not easy to start over when you’re older and I needed a career change,” she says.  Having always been able to find work without help, Debbie became very frustrated with not being able to do so this time around. “Not being able to find work on my own was difficult, and I was left feeling down, really mentally down.”

It was at this point that Debbie discovered Champions, where she was a little surprised to learn that there was work to be done to find a job that was right for her.

“At Champions, it isn't a free ride. I learned to treat job search like work, where I have to put in the time and effort to get the most out of it.  Champions isn't here to do the work for you, but they are there to encourage, help and give you all their time and resources along the way.  Coming into Champions several times a week was really uplifting and encouraging - they gave me the tools and motivation to make the most of my job search.”

Assessing her current needs and desires, Debbie learned that she needed to take a different career from where she had been previously. She had been working in accounting her whole life but decided a less demanding, more flexible role in data entry was the right choice for her at this time in her life.

When you ask Debbie how the adjustment has been to this new role, you quickly find out just how important finding the right role is.

“I’m happy, I have the best job I've ever had in my whole life,” Debbie states gleefully.  “And I know that the team at Champions is always there for me when I need them.”

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