Talent RISE is passionate about changing the lives of young people who have experienced barriers to employment. To do this, we provide education, training, life skills and employment opportunities to help young people RISE UP to their full potential and to gain independence and purpose. This is Lucy’s story.
Lucy is 23, from Bristol. She is a bright, intelligent and outgoing young person who has a talent for fashion, photography and anything creative. Before connecting with Talent RISE, Lucy was really struggling to find meaningful employment. For more than 4 months, she had been applying for several jobs at a time and came up against continuous rejection. We chatted to Lucy to explore how Talent RISE has helped connect her with an opportunity to work in Professional Services and how this has impacted her.
Q- So Lucy – tell us a little bit about your background!
Lucy – I am 23, I am from Bristol, I like going out and to see music live – I like shopping, vintage clothes hunting and I’m quite a creative person so anything I can express myself with really.
Q- What did you see yourself being when you were growing up?
L- I wanted to be a fashion designer and get into that, but I went to Uni and it didn’t really pan out how I expected. I also love photography, cultural and urban photos mostly.
Q- How long were you looking for work before Talent RISE connected you with your current employer?
L- I was looking for around 4 months and wasn’t getting anywhere with it. Sometimes I never even received a reply or any feedback from people. It can be really frustrating and quite disheartening.
Q- How many jobs did you apply for?
L- About 50, I think.
Q- How was the experience working with Talent RISE?
L- It was so good. I connected with Talent RISE through my local jobcentre and the UK Government’s Kick-start scheme. When I first spoke with Andy from the RISE team we spoke for a while, he made me very comfortable with no pressure whatsoever, we were really getting along and he told me about the live roles that Talent RISE had and helped me get an interview for a Delivery Consultant role working in recruitment. I felt like he really took the time to get to know me, my skills and personality and matched me with a role where I could be successful – so two or three days after that conversation we had the interview so it was nice.
Q- How did you feel coming into your interview?
L- After my conversation with Andy, I was feeling quite relaxed so I didn’t go in blind but going into any interview can be quite nerve-racking. Because of the level of rejection that I had when searching on my own, that may have contributed to some of my nerves but working with Andy and the RISE team really put me at ease.
Q- How did you feel once you learnt you got the role?
L- I was so so happy, I could tell early on that it would be a great place to work, with the team and everyone I spoke to it was just a welcoming environment. I was so excited.
Q- What have you enjoyed about your role so far?
L- I have enjoyed speaking with customers and getting on the phone obviously the first few calls can be quite nervous but over time you just pick it up, now I’ve found my confidence I’m doing more complex work. Working in recruitment, I particularly enjoy vetting CV’s – because I can be quite nosy, which I think is a good skill to have in recruitment!
Q- Where do you see your future?
L- My current employer has global offices so I would like to work in the New York office, I’ve spoken to Sally, my Manager about it and it would just be a great opportunity. I can see myself progressing in my current role as a Delivery Consultant but I am also interested in progressing to become an experienced Recruitment Consultant because I like going out meeting people, being more front and centre and I enjoyed the social elements of it.
Q- What would you say to employers who may have doubts about hiring younger people?
L- I think that employers just do look over young people because they aren’t experienced, if they aren’t then they can learn – you shouldn’t just dismiss them for that, it should be about the person.
Q- What would you say to people looking for opportunities?
L- I would say to take opportunities like the Kickstart programme or through Talent Rise just to get that support, even small gestures like Talent RISE looking over and helping with my CV helped me get a better headstart than most. If you are struggling to find work, take advantage of the help that is around.
To find out more about Talent RISE and an employers perspective of taking on a starter, click this link to go to Sally Barkers interview, Sally is training Lucy and guiding her through her first steps in her new role.
For more information on Talent RISE visit www.talentrise.org