Earlier this year, Gaynor was at a crossroads in her career. She knew she needed to find a job, but she didn’t know where to start.
Like many people looking for work in today’s market, Gaynor was overwhelmed. She says: “At the beginning, I just felt this huge weight of all the different things I needed to do. I didn’t know how to identify and organise my skills, much less draft a CV or prepare for an interview. I felt helpless.
“Then a friend recommended speaking to Work Avenue… and they literally changed my life.”
Work Avenue is the Jewish community’s leading employment and business support organisation – helping people earn a living to support themselves and their families.
With inflation on the rise, that need to earn a living is now more vital than ever. Every day brings news of steep price rises in gas and electricity bills, petrol, mortgages, rents and even something as simple as the weekly shop.
After years of price stability, with people working to set household budgets, these rises are causing immense anxiety, not to mention general havoc.
So it is no wonder that many are now looking for employment – whether it’s a first job, a return to work, a step up the ladder or a complete career change.
That’s where Work Avenue comes in, with its offering of free one-to-one employment and business advice, participative workshops and webinars, and wider events.
Work Avenue only has one goal… to help members of our community earn a living so they can support themselves and their families, but the other benefits are manifold, such as boost to self-esteem and mental wellbeing.
Gaynor explains: “The first thing I needed was to talk through my worries and get some clarity on what I had to do in my job search. So, I arranged a one-on-one appointment with a Work Avenue employment adviser, Hannah Dahan. She was proactive, positive, friendly and made me feel relaxed, like I could ask anything.
“Spending time with Hannah was a revelation. She helped me to think about what I can offer to a potential employer and eased many of my worries. She showed me how to format my CV and walked through some potential roles on the Work Avenue jobs board that aligned with my skillset and interests. I came out of the meeting feeling lighter, listened to and hopeful.
“Thereafter things moved very quickly. Together we found an exciting role in a community organisation. With a tight application deadline and little or no recent interview practice, she suggested a mock interview. Thank goodness she did. It meant that I was well prepared by the time I had a real interview, and I got the job!
“Work Avenue for me has been life changing. I would not have got my job without their intervention, support and advice.”
The good news is that there are many more jobs out there to be found. Employment is booming post-pandemic and the Work Avenue jobs board is busier than ever.
And, for many, earning a living is not just about getting a job – it’s about becoming entrepreneurial.
Work Avenue’s dedicated business support advisers offer one-to-one advice on everything needed to start a small business or become a freelancer or consultant. There are also business focussed workshops and events covering finance, strategy, networking, branding, pricing, social media and much more.
Work Avenue’s Director of Operations and Employment, Emma May said: “We understand only too well the imperative of earning a living and all that entails.
“We have seen that, for some people, this presents so many challenges: challenges which are even greater as the cost of living rises steeply.
“But there is good news. There are plenty of jobs out there at the moment. We can help people find and prepare for roles, working on their CVs, interview skills and identifying how best to showcase themselves to an employer. And for those wanting to start a business, we are able to help get them off the ground too..
“Work Avenue is completely cross communal and we work across all demographics. We are here to provide practical and realistic support to everyone, whatever their situation, to ensure that they can earn a living to support themselves and their family with dignity.”