Before coming to Pathways, I would wake up in the morning and ask myself “What am I doing with my life”? And aside from being a fulltime mom, I had no idea what was out there for me. I kept questioning and questioning, “How can I get from where I am to where I want to be”? Although being a full-time mom is a very fulfilling and honorable thing to do, I felt the urge to become someone my daughter could look up to one day. Many of my battles with myself were thoughts of “I have no experience or no one wants to hire someone who has not worked in 4 years plus” and “How can I get the skills I need to get the job I want”? I was looking for meaningful work and had no way of getting it. “I want what my daughter sees in me to be a working, fulfilled, happy mother, so that one day she will also be a happy, working, fulfilled woman”.
I was searching for an opportunity to get the training I wanted. I found out about Pathways at a younger age, and like many people, I learned of Pathways through my caseworker at Ontario works. She recommended that I go to a few workshops to see how I could gain a better chance at employment. I did not, however, follow through with those plans, much to my regret. Years later, while struggling to figure out where to take the next steps in my life to achieve my goals of meaningful and fulfilling employment I remembered Pathways! I thought of the great programs they offer here, and immediately set out to signup for workshops and ultimately register for the Administrative and Clerical Training (ACT).
The first workshop I attended was helpful in many ways, it helped me to understand that there is more than one side to getting ready for employment. Some examples include: how to keep your self-esteem up, getting and staying motivated, picturing success, how to deal with conflict and coping with the stresses of finding and keeping work.
“Understanding that I am not the only one who has possibly let life interfere with their goals has motivated me.”
My “aha” moment:
During the workshops, I had a couple of “aha” moments. I remember one employment counsellor Jenna saying that “If you need experience, get experience, volunteer”. While those were not her exact words, that was the idea of it and I thought “aha”, just what I need for my lacking in experience resume! More information that got me thinking was the availability of jobs out there that I could not possibly know existed if I did not network. I was not sure what networking meant to a full extent until I attended Pathways workshops.
Now I know I’m not alone
I first heard from Pathways’ Job Developers Bob, Laurie and Sandi in a workshop where they introduced themselves. I automatically knew that when I completed my workshops and my program that these three people would help me fulfill my employment goals. Here I was, with no experience, no relevant skills, hardly a direction I could point my finger in, and I had three people backing me up…. advocating for me. I cannot begin to explain the amount of confidence I had after learning this. This changed my entire outlook. I was not alone after finishing Pathways workshops or programs. I had people now!
Your support means so much
The support at Pathways is helping me to become the type of role model I want to be for my daughter. I want her to grow up with a working, respected and valued mother. I want her to see that with hard work and support from the right people that the possibilities are endless. My daughter is my pride and joy, like all mothers will say, and I want her to feel proud of what I have done to make our lives better.
I do not want to bounce back and forth between meaningless jobs, or struggle to make ends meet. I want to give her stability. Coming to Pathways has changed our lives. Now I have the resources to focus on getting the training I need to become the person I know she will be proud of. I want what my daughter sees in me to be a working, fulfilled, happy mother, so that one day she will also be a happy, working, fulfilled woman.
The best advice I have for anyone in a similar position as myself is to take those first small steps. If you are sitting at home wondering what to do next, come to Pathways.
Make a decision to start making a plan. Life is hard and complicated sometimes, so make things easier on yourself and seek help and support from places like Pathways.