“I am very thankful for how my life has changed for the better.”
My daughter and I came from Egypt in June 2014. As a single mom I was struggling to get our life in order and settle in London. It took us about 3-4 months to get settled, and during that time I was able to secure a job at a call centre.
Working at the call centre did not turn out to be a good experience. After all the stress of leaving Egypt and resettling in London, I struggled with some health issues and had to quit. Later I tried to connect with several employment agencies to seek help securing employment, but I wasn’t successful. I was very frustrated that employers weren’t getting back to me. I was applying to several jobs each day hoping that I would hear from at least one, as I needed to find a place where I could get “Canadian Experience”. Eventually I went on Ontario Works.
I met with my caseworker Mary and explained my frustrations… that even though I was able to get an interview with one employer, they needed employees with a minimum typing speed of 45 wpm, and I failed the typing test. So I asked Mary if she could recommend a good typing course that I could take to improve my typing speed. She recommended the ACT class at Pathways because I would also receive assistance from a Job Developer.
As my life was very chaotic at that time, the course helped me put together a healthy routine. The facilitators and all of the other Pathways staff were always very encouraging and inspiring. I always felt like I was part of a family there and not just a “student”.
I really needed to be surrounded with a positive atmosphere during that period of my life. Looking back on it, I didn’t realize how important that was. After completion of the course I had the confidence to take the next step towards my goals. I took the Project Management Certificate at Fanshawe College, and then secured a job at Pathways as an Administrative Assistant. That was the launching pad I needed.
What does life look like today?
I am very thankful for how my life has changed for the better.
Today I work at London Life as a Project Manager Control Analyst. I was able to move out of my parents’ house and live on my own with my daughter. I have a stable job with a stable income that supports me in achieving the goals I had always envisioned for my life. I have a large network of people and a community of support.
My job has created some sort of stability and safety for me and my daughter. She was very happy when I was able to find a job that had stable hours and income as she used to get so anxious when I worked late at night.
My advice to someone in the same situation would be “Don’t give up, it does get easier as long as you keep trying”. Also, I recommend volunteering and getting involved in the community as that is a key element for networking and learning/gaining new skills.