We believe great leadership is about nurturing an environment where diverse talent can thrive. Where the unique skills and lived experience of individuals is celebrated and used to build successful high-performing teams.
Richard is one of these great leaders. For many years he ran a successful business that did just this. He believed diversity was both fair, and good for business and over the years he employed nine EDGE Job Seekers living with disability. During this time, he built a highly productive and successful team and his trampoline manufacturing business thrived.
Then, as it often does, life changed.
Richard found himself in a position where running his own business was no longer possible and a break from self-employment was required. He needed to find a different kind of employment, and over time, he realised he had some barriers he needed support with.
Luckily, the experience of running a business and hiring people with disabilities had given Richard insight into the value of support for people getting back into the workplace. He was pleased to be able to turn to EDGE for the second time in his life – this time to help him re-enter the workforce as an employee.
The assistance Richard received from EDGE in preparing his resume and submitting applications meant he was able to put his best foot forward
and get back to work quickly.
We were there to help Richard through the self-doubt, and to develop skills for his new career trajectory. He gives some good advice to those in the same position as he was:
‘Bite the bullet and go for it. If you get knocked back a few times pick yourself up because someone will see your unique value. For more mature age
Job Seekers like me, although some people will see it as a barrier, others will want your experience and insights.’
Today – the skills and knowledge that once helped Richard steer his own business are now valued by his new employer, City Toyota. His wisdom and depth of experience is a great benefit to the team. And that hole that had opened in Richard’s life has been filled with meaningful work where his skills are valued and respected.
Since finding employment Richard finds it easier to get out and about and enjoy life again. Socialising, planning holidays, new purchases, all the things that seemed unattainable without meaningful work. Having a job he loves gives him purpose in his day, and good social connection to a community of people he cares about.
In turn, City Toyota have a valued employee who has lived a full life, and whose positivity and ability to face challenges head on rubs off on the rest of the team. A wonderful example of the mutual benefits diversity can bring.