To kick off National Careers Week (4-9 March 2019), we’re sharing an interview with our Books and Training Assistant, Vivian, about her experiences in the world of work…
So, Vivian, could you tell us a bit about your jobs and the work you do?
I’m a Books and Training Assistant. I love my job because sometimes we go out for events and we have books sessions, like book groups. I worked at a book launch at parliament and I went to a school and a college to do training. People love me because I like sharing my story, like when I was younger I had a fit because I have epilepsy, but it’s a blessing in disguise because I can share my story with people.
I bring sunshine to the workplace because everybody is down and gloomy because of the weather but I’m the sunshine!
On a Friday, I work with the lovely Chloe. I support her with a group, the Class for Life [a course for adults with learning disabilities at City Lit]. We read the books and we talk about the books together.
Also, I work for a day centre near where I live. In the morning, I make cups of tea and coffees for the clients and chat with them about their worlds. I write emails, but I’m new to the email thing. I’m learning but it’s frustrating. My boss is very proud of me.
How did you get your jobs?
My amazing (times 10) work advisor helped me. It was at Tower Project. I went for work experience in the workplace at the day centre, and I liked it so much I asked them to put me on the payroll. My work adviser trained me for an interview too and I did a mock interview.
What are the good things about having a job?
For me, independence. You earn your own money and you make friends at work too, true friends. And also, money to buy clothes – I like buying clothes - and spoiling my aunty. I treat her, me and her we’ll go do our nails and have a girls’ day out.
I wouldn’t like to be a nurse or a surgeon because of the blood! I could be a nurse for children but not for adults. I could never do an office job – you’ll be in a square room by yourself and your colleagues will all be on the computer – me, I like seeing people and talking to people.
Is there anything difficult?
This morning, I didn’t want to get up! But it’s worth it to see your faces. I’m learning to do email and I find it stressful, but it’s worth the stress and the hassle. I’m learning new skills.
What helps you to do a good job?
Asking for help. It’s easier to ask for help because some people are easier to talk to.
Being positive, too. You should look on the bright side of life.
What do you want to achieve in the workplace?
I’d like to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. And I’d like to do a book club for them, because I was a patient there. I’d like to give something back.
Also, I want to learn more computer skills, IT skills and email skills.
What advice would you give to other people who’d like to find a job?
Go for it! Even if you get doors slammed in front your face, never ever, ever, ever give up. You can go for 20 interviews and if one comes back and says yes it will be good. So never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Always have hope. There’s always a silver lining.