Susan Edelstein - Return to Work
While I was living in America, I met my Australian husband, and we eventually decided to move to Australia.
I had been out of the workforce for three years, and given the differences between Australia and South Africa, which is where I'm from, I felt I needed a bit of a stepping stone before finding work.
I was looking for a way to upskill, to get familiar with the Australian environment, and also just to meet people. I initially started with a four day course at a women's referral centre, where a teacher from CIT's Vocational College attended to talk to the group about CIT's Learning Options for Women course.
I decided to enrol in the course. I was a bit apprehensive about it, and whether I'd learn enough to validate the time. But it exceeded all my expectations - I found I learnt a huge amount, from computer skills to finding a job and visiting different websites.
The course was very affordable, and the camaraderie amongst the women was also fantastic - we were all like-minded and in the same boat.
The teachers were excellent - they were completely dedicated to us finding work. And because it was a really flexible schedule, I was able to work part-time as well, which was convenient.
As part of the course, I completed work experience at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which gave me hands on experience in the workplace and the confidence to search for a job.
Because of the teacher's close relationships with industry, they get a range of job opportunities sent directly through to them. I was sent one position that was relevant to me, and using my new selection criteria writing skills, I applied.
Because of the course, I now have a full-time job working in admin reception in the community sector. It was a steep learning curve, but I'm really enjoying being back in the work environment.
I'm so glad I decided to enrol in the course - it was such a valuable program.