The journey to mainstream employment looks different for everyone. For Brandon, it was an internship with Endeavour Foundation that gave him the start he needed to achieve his goals.
Brandon got his first job through the Endeavour Foundation Work Experience program. He started at the Wacol Social Enterprise while in year 12, and transitioned into a full-time role as Line Assistant after graduation.
It was there that Brandon was able to make friends and gain valuable skills, training and experience that would set him up for the future.
“I started at Wacol Social Enterprise on a work placement during high school. I remember feeling very welcomed and learnt many different tasks. Everyone was lovely. If I didn’t know something or know where something was, my teammates were very happy to help,” Brandon said.
As Brandon’s skills and confidence grew, so did his responsibilities. It wasn’t long before he was stepping into his next role as Team Leader.
“I developed my social skills a lot during this time, and as my confidence and mindset grew, I knew I wanted to make the move to mainstream employment. I brought all those skills to my next role,” Brandon said.
With some experience under his belt, Brandon felt it was time to transition into mainstream employment. He applied for an Administrative Assistant role through Endeavour Foundation’s Supported Independent Employment (SIE) program. This allowed Brandon to seek a job in mainstream employment, while still having the assistance of a support worker to accompany him.
“The two interviews that I did to land the role at (Endeavour Foundation) Support Centre are career highlights of mine. They opened me up to a whole new world. When I got the job, I knew I was ready,” Brandon said.
Brandon joined the Payroll Team in 2019, ready to expand his skills and knowledge. “I knew nothing about payroll at the beginning. My manager at the time was amazing and adapted to my learning style.”
“I help with processing employees’ pay, doing roster changes, and updating personal details. I also create reports and timesheets,” Brandon said.
In 2023, Brandon knew it was time to spread his wings and achieve his goal of being fully independent in mainstream employment. Brandon said he no longer needed a support worker by his side.
“I like to be independent and figure things out myself first. And if I need help, I know that I have the support of my manager and team,” said Brandon.
Since then, Brandon has settled in as a Support Centre employee and is well-known for his vibrant personality. Luckily, he has no plans of leaving any time soon.
“I’m going to stay with Endeavour Foundation for a while longer because I don’t want people to start crying.”
“I am proud of the good friendships that I’ve made with my colleagues over the years. I love coming into the office to work. And I also love working from home. I love my flexible work arrangement. It allows me to have a good work-life balance.” Brandon said.
Reflecting on the last decade, Brandon says he’s grown so much as a person.
“When I started, I was just a school kid. I had no idea where I was heading. I look at photos and videos from those times and I look so different,” said Brandon.
If Brandon were to give advice to his 16-year-old self, he would say, “You can do this. You are at the start of your employment, and you can achieve anything that you want to.”
“And to people that want to work in mainstream employment, I would say the same thing: this is only the beginning. You can achieve anything, like any other individual. Make sure you have the right support in place and an employer who accepts who you are. And remember to just be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else. Good luck!”
Find a job that matches you and your skills with Endeavour Foundation, call us on 1800 112 112 or learn more about our approach to work.