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Helen's Journey at RSPCA OpShop - A Story of Transformation, Support and rebuilt Confidence

Hello, Can you introduction yourself for our readers?

  • Helen: Yes, my name’s Helen. I work at the RSPCA Opt Shop at Stones Corner.

How long have you been there?

  • Helen: I’ve been there for roughly about six months now.

What do you love about your job?

  • Helen: It’s the excellent team and the management. They have given me a good intake into running the store and have always been there for me.

What’s your current role?

  • Helen: I’m the RSPCA OpShop manager in Stones Corner, and I love it. It’s a beautiful job.

Have you always been the manager?

  • Helen: No, I started about six months ago, on December 5th. I started as a regular staff member and was promoted to manager.

How do you find dealing with the public?

  • Helen: I enjoy interacting with the public. It’s rewarding when customers turn around and say what a beautiful shop we have and how much it has changed over these months. Knowing that the money we raise goes directly to needy animals makes my day.

Can you tell me about your background before the RSPCA?

“I was a mum and a grandma but personally, I was feeling insignificant and very low.”
  • Helen: Before the RSPCA, I was a mom and a grandma. While I felt like I had important roles in the world, I also felt down and insignificant. That’s when I met Tracey at TURSA, who understood me and showed me the path not to give up. She encouraged me and sent me for this job interview at RSPCA. I am grateful for her support and inspiration.

What are some practical things that Tracey did to help you?

  • Helen: Tracey provided immense support and guidance. She helped me with my mental well-being and made me believe in myself. She also supported me with technology, helping me improve my skills. Without her and the support and my coworkers, I wouldn’t have come this far.

Can you share some other supports that were available to you?

  • Helen: The RSPCA team has been there whenever I needed anything. They provided training opportunities, and my colleagues David, Cassie, and Amy have been incredibly supportive. With their help, I have gained confidence and improved my skills.

In Conclusion:

  • Helen: I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Tracey for everything she has done for me. She has inspired me to believe in myself and turn my life around. Now, as the manager at RSPCA OpShop at Stones Corner, I feel confident, motivated, and ready to give my best in everything I do.

Let Us Help You!

Ready to make a change and find work?

Carlene is a woman who has faced many challenges in her life. She was working in construction on the North Coast of New South Wales when she had to leave her job due to domestic violence. She decided to move to Grafton and start anew but didn’t know where to start.

Turning to TURSA for support helped Carlene Shine with Success

That’s when she turned to TURSA, a local organisation that helps people gain skills, training and support to achieve their job goals. Clint, her employment advisor, enabled her to figure out what she wanted to do and how to achieve it.

Carlene knew she wanted to go back to construction, so she started doing more training and getting more tickets. TURSA helped her with most of her tickets, including confined spaces, elevated platforms, and traffic control.
With the help of TURSA, Carlene could apply for construction jobs, and she landed a job with Ahoy Traffic. She’s now working on the bypass in Grafton, doing traffic control, and looking to do ongoing traffic control. But her ultimate goal is to be in construction.


Completed the Steps to Work Program

Carlene also went through the Steps Course, a program offered by TURSA that helps people gain confidence and rebuild their self-esteem. Again, she found the course helpful, giving her the skills and support she needed to get to where she is now.

Carlene said about her experience, “I found it really helpful with my skills, with the support that was given to me. So I reached out to that support, and I found that it really helped me to get where I am now. It gave me confidence again in myself because I lost a lot of confidence in my self-esteem, which was falling away since I moved from Coraki; when I came to Grafton, re-engaged with TURSA, and when did the Steps program, it rebuilt my confidence back up and got me to where I am now.”

Gain the Skills & Confidence You Need!

Carlene's story is a testament to the importance of organisations like TURSA, which support people who need it the most. Through their work, they help people like Carlene gain the skills and confidence they need to achieve their goals and build a better life for themselves.
Looking for information on determining your career path in 2023?
5 Steps to a New Career in 2023 image sowing 2023 and check mark next to Goal, Plan, Action
What does my new job look like?

Here are some tips that may help you figure out what you want to do:

    1. Reflect on your values, interests, and skills. Consider what is most important to you in a career, what you enjoy doing, and what you are good at, narrowing down your options and finding a job that aligns with your passions and strengths.  Check out what are your skills by taking this free assessment
    2. Research different career options. Look into various industries, job titles, and companies that interest you. Find out what a typical day is like in these roles and what kind of education or experience is required.  This will help you better understand what each career entails and whether it is a good fit for you check out this article.
    3. Network with people in your field of interest. Connect with professionals already in the industry or a career you are interested in pursuing. Ask them about their experiences, advice, and any tips they have for breaking into the field.
    4. Get hands-on experience. Consider internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work to gain practical experience in your field of interest. Build your skills and make connections in the industry.  TURSA can assist you with work experience opportunities for instance, contact us directly for support.
    5. Seek guidance from a career coach or counsellor. If you are having trouble figuring out your career path, you can work with a professional who can help you explore your options and make a plan.  For example, TURSA provide end to end support if you are managing a disability, registered with Workforce Australia or Transition to Work program. More information is available on our website to support you.
Fingering out your next job role, picture of two people fist bumping


Remember, it’s okay if it takes some time to figure out your career path. 

It’s a process, and essential to be patient and open to new opportunities. 

By following these steps, you can narrow down your options and find a fulfilling and meaningful career.

Think jobs…Trust TURSA!
Check out some of our Vacancies!
If you haven’t had a job for a long time, here are 7 steps you can take to improve your chances of finding employment. 
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Get prepared to land that Job!
  1. Update your resume and cover letter to reflect your current skills and experience. Be sure to highlight any relevant education, training, or volunteer experience you may have.  See TURSA’s 9 step guide to assist you.
  2. Look for available vacancies on local job sites such as TURSA’s Jobs Vacancy Board. Network with other people in your field, attend jobs fairs. These can be great resources for finding job opportunities and getting advice from people who have been in your situation. 
  3. Consider taking classes or getting additional training to improve your skills and make yourself more attractive to employers. This could be anything from taking a course on a specific software program to getting a certification in a particular field. TURSA is a Registered Training Organisation and offers a range of upskilling opportunties.
  4. Be persistent and proactive in your job search. Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs even if you don’t have all of the required qualifications. Sometimes, employers are willing to train the right candidate.  Read this article about getting “Back in the Game”
  5. Be prepared for job interviews by practicing your answers to common interview questions, and by researching the company and the position you are applying for. This will help you feel more confident and prepared when you go in for the interview.  Check out this article from TURSA on Acing the Job Interview.
  6. When preparing for a job interview, it is important to dress in a way that is professional and appropriate for the job you are interviewing for. This means wearing clothing that is clean, well-fitting, and in good condition. Avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing, too casual, or that has tears or stains. Additionally, make sure your shoes are clean and in good condition. Overall, the goal is to dress in a way that shows you are serious about the job and that you respect the company and the interviewer – Check out our page on what to wear at an interview
  7. Be open to different types of job opportunities, even if they are outside of your usual field. Sometimes, taking a job in a different field can be a good way to gain new skills and experiences that can help you in your long-term career. 
Blackboard showing image that has persistence with a tick and give us with a cross
Overall, the key is to be proactive and persistent in your job search. By putting yourself out there and taking advantage of resources and opportunities, you can improve your chances of finding employment. 
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