Ally Reid’s career aspiration is Career Guidance – and she is already setting a great example in her journey by volunteering as a mentor alongside her current day-job and Career Guidance study at University.
Ally has launched a mentoring and CV checking service through Volunteer Wellington. “Many people are looking for some form of direction. Motivating and inspiring and really getting people to see their strengths – that’s my key focus.” With a degree in anthropology and living in a multicultural country, such as New Zealnd is now, she wants to see everyone given a chance. “There are a lot of people out there who don’t really know how to market who they are and what they do.”
When Ally reviews CVs she can often see why the person didn’t get the job. “For example a lack of attention in a CV to spelling and grammar has let the candidate down. And if they don’t write about their talents and abilities then the employer wont know.” There can be a cultural barrier – presenting and talking about achievements can be a hurdle. Ally wants to empower people by providing them with tools to achieve their ambitions.
Passionate about helping young people who are currently facing a particularly high unemployment rate she believes everyone – regardless of age – deserves a chance. “I’ve mentored young people who have just left high school and encourage exploring opportunities as stepping-stones.” If young people are able to secure a voluntary position with an agency who values, supports and mentors their volunteers this can often help build the experience critical for their CV; and gives them the confidence to talk about the work they have done.
Ally has also guided people recently released from prison and facing many barriers in their path to employment. “I recently got a client a Heavy Traffic (HT) license that he faced difficulty to do on his own because of his criminal background.” Using the right terminology and the correct channels to advocate on his behalf, Ally has secured the license and the funding from Work and Income. Her client is now well on his way to paid employment.
In her experience, Ally has found volunteering is a valuable step for clients to gain paid employment and enhance career prospects. “It is a move in the right direction for a lot of people. And you should aim as high as you can” she says, “I always encourage people to describe their dreams and aspirations.”
by Jennifer from Volunteer Wellington