Amanda has been a stay-at-home mum for 16 years. During that time, she has applied for hundreds of jobs, without success. But now, thanks to Solomon Group’s 12-week Contact Centre Training course, she’s got a bright new career and a whole heap of confidence. Amanda is only the second person to get 100% for the Auckland Council Contact Centre IT test EVER!
What were you doing
before coming to Solomon Group?
I left school at 15, got pregnant at 16, and have been a stay-at-home mum
ever since. I apply for jobs all the time – things like reception and
front-of-house – but usually I don’t even get a response from employers. It can
be pretty disheartening. I must have applied for thousands of jobs over the
years and I’ve done a few courses, but I still can’t get work because employers
want people with experience. It gets boring staying at home all the time, plus
as a single mum it’s a struggle financially. I do everything I can to save
money – I’ve disconnected the landline, stopped my Chrisco hampers, and only
buy the basics. My kids haven’t had new clothes for years.
Was the course
Absolutely. I loved it. My confidence was a zero when I started and now it’s an
eight. It might even be heading towards a ten! I am a shy person, and when I
started this course I wouldn’t say anything in class or put my hand up. But
everyone here is so supportive and encouraging, so I began to gain confidence. Everyone has noticed the change in me. Even
people outside of school say I am more confident and happy. When people start noticing
that, it makes me feel better about myself.
I’ve learnt so much about myself on this course – and I’ve
realised that I can achieve so much more than I ever imagined.
Did you spend the entire 12 weeks in the
No, we got out and about a lot as well, with site visits to Qantas, 2degrees
and IRD, where we were buddied up with their CSRs and got to listen in on phone
calls and look at their different systems. We also made lots of trips to the
Auckland Council, including for our assessments, interviews, role plays and IT
How did you get on
I didn’t realise I’d done that well, but it turned out I was only the second
person ever in council history to get 100 % in the IT navigation test! I also
got the highest score for my roleplay. That really boosted my confidence and
reminded me I must stop second guessing myself and putting myself down.
Tell us about your
I’m a CSR for Auckland Council based in Manukau. They start us off in waste
management, and then once we are confident there, they move us into other
areas. There are so many opportunities here. You can branch out into lots of
different departments. My goal is to learn everything first and then work my
way up to team leader. Eventually I’d like to join the quality assurance team.
much does it mean to you to finally have a job?
It means a lot. I really want to be a good role
model for my kids. When other kids ask them what their mum does, I don’t want
them to have to say, “my mum doesn’t do anything”. They were so pleased when I told them about
the job and my mum cried. She phoned up everyone she knew, she was so proud!