Work Experience – not just for youngsters!

My name is Sally Nunan and I will not be divulging my age! What I will say is that I am a mature individual that has decided that just because you are older, it’s never too late to learn a new career.

Most of my employment has been in the office environment, and I decided years ago that this is the area that I really would like to work in. The area that does interest me is homelessness.

Since 2005 I have been doing voluntary work in my community, which I suppose opened my eyes to the needs of others and what I can do to help, and it went from there really.

Since 5th September 2016 I have been on a Work Experience placement, shadowing in Swindon Borough Council’s Housing Department. I decided to do this because that is what I would like to get into - Housing. I obtained a level 3 Diploma through the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), and I did this with the help of my Housing association, who gave me a lot of support. However, I may have a Housing qualification but I do not have any experience, and this is why I decided to do some shadowing at Swindon Borough Council. This will show that I am willing to learn and gain some experience, which should help my prospects in getting a job in this field which is my ultimate goal.

Since I have started I have been based in one department and that is Tenant Participation. I have been shadowing different members of the team which do similar tasks but have different responsibilities, and all have been very interesting and insightful.

I attended a meeting which was interesting because they asked my opinion on a few things, as an outsider’s point of view. This meeting was about Planned Maintenance to the housing stock.

Everybody that I have shadowed has been very patient with me because I do tend to ask a lot of questions. They have been very informative on describing what they do as a job and how much they enjoy it. I am glad that I have started this because this is helping me to understand the complexity of what they do and how much they want to get the tenants involved. They also acknowledge and help people who have disabilities, not only the physical but the psychological ones too, and they will do what they can to help these tenants.

So far so good - and I am still loving it! Thank you for this opportunity so I can gain some knowledge in this field.

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