Hilton Manufacturing Operations Manager Bob Harbot providing assistance to employee Duncan on the production line.
After applying for many jobs with no success, Duncan has now found his dream job at Hilton Manufacturing with the help of MAX Employment Inala, QLD.
Although thrilled with his current job, it wasn't all smooth sailing for 25 year old Duncan.
“It was the feeling of rejection that got me the most,” Duncan said.
“You apply for hundreds and hundreds of jobs, and no one wants you - it gets to you after a while.”
After a stint of unsuitable and unsafe work and months of unemployment, Duncan said his motivation came from an unlikely source.
“One of my friends from Perth came over and got me going again. Every time he sees me he asks if I’ve got a job, and tells me to pull my thumb out. It gets results.”
Duncan has Asperger’s Syndrome, a lifelong developmental disability that affects how he perceives the world, and how he interacts with others. Initially, Duncan struggled in the role he was put into at Hilton, as his brain does not deal with information in the same way others do.
“The way I think is a bit different and the way I do things is a bit different,” Duncan said.
“I’d been trained differently from different staff and I couldn’t absorb the information correctly.”
Duncan said this was a low point for him, as he couldn’t meet his schedule and targets.
“I was getting really frustrated and I started having panic attacks.”
Duncan attributes his ability to overcome this and stay working to his manager, Bob Harbot.
“I’ve had supervisors brush it off, but Bob didn’t do that. He reshuffled some staff and found a different spot for me to work.”
Bob said he saw Duncan struggling and wanted to find a solution.
“We try to fit new staff in, but they don’t always fit where you want them, when you want them to. Duncan was a classic example of this. It was too hard for him, there were too many things to take in and he couldn’t process it.”
Bob didn’t have experience in managing a staff member with Asperger’s.
“I didn’t know anything about Asperger’s initially,” he said. “But I went online and researched.”
Bob said Duncan has found the right fit in a different area of the business.
“Since I moved him into the new position, he’s flourished. He’s found his home.”
Bob said building a relationship with Inala Business Managers Bien Luong and Consultant Michelle Carrington helped minimise the time and cost of finding and hiring new staff.
“Hiring people is not something we want to do every day. MAX Inala have been very helpful with this, especially when I got to a working relationship with Bien and Michelle.”
“They know what I want in an employee, and get into my way of thinking about how they’ll fit the role.”
Duncan has now worked on the production line at Hilton Manufacturing for close to 10 months, and sees himself working there for the foreseeable future.
“Now I’ve got a job, I can actually enjoy myself when I’m not working. It’s really nice having money.”
Duncan said it's hard to stay motivated while job searching.
“I know how hard it is to keep on going, but you’ve just got to keep trying.”
For support finding work with disability, visit des.maxsolutions.com.au