Cameron Waller is reflecting on his first month ever in a full-time job working with the team at M&S in Truro. He’s really enjoying working with his colleagues who are ‘a really funny bunch’ and he’s fully focussed on ‘just doing it and just going for it as well as taking everything onboard as an experience.’
As well as making the most of the routine of day-to-day work, and getting used to the new responsibilities and requirements, Cameron is reassured that he still has a brilliant support mentor in Emma, the Real Ideas Game Changer Navigator who has worked with him over the last two years to help prepare him for his first full-time role in the world of work.
A year ago, however, Cameron would never have envisaged himself in this situation. He says, “I’m dyslexic and wasn’t that great in school where I was always being told off! After school, there was no obvious route and I was in and out of the Job Centre and did some courses. But they were boring and some of them messed with my mind. Mostly I was just sitting there, getting all this information but I wasn’t really learning anything or doing anything.”
Then Cameron tried Game Changer and met Emma his Navigator. Together they worked out that he was keen to try working outdoors and Emma set up a work experience placement at the Eden Project. Cameron was anxious about meeting new people, and about messing up this opportunity, but, despite his initial reservations, he followed Emma’s advice and went for it.
Cameron says, “Oh – it was amazing. I met such an incredible bunch of people and we all got along. We built so much stuff: a path, two greenhouses, and a roundhouse. And all of it was just amazing. You don’t get told off if you do something wrong. They just show you how to do things right and that feels really good.”
Cameron continues, “Through the Eden Project work with Gamechanger, I felt like I ‘gained myself’, I was getting help to improve myself. And I also learned ways to deal with my anxiety, and to be able to talk to people, which I wouldn’t have done before because I was really shy and into myself.”
Cameron had never had any experience of going into any work and Game Changer helped him build his CV and understand how to ‘be’ in work. He also learned some new coping strategies alongside the fact that he needed to stop being so tough on himself. These are new mind and skillsets that he’s using every day in his new job which he’s really enjoying and is helping him re-imagine his future ambitions.