“I felt like I came back from nothing to something, I’m so proud of myself”

– Jivan, Smart Works client

When Jivan came to Smart Works, she’d had a difficult few years.

After losing her job in a school she felt alone and sought support from a local charity who helped her get her life back on track. Now Jivan has a wonderful job working in a pharmacy and is able to fulfil her love of socialising and talking to different people every day.

Here Jivan talks about what led her to Smart Works, how the experience impacted her and how her life has changed since her first appointment.

To help her feel better and get out socialising Jivan started volunteering, it reignited a fire in her to want to work.

After securing an interview at a pharmacy in a front of house role, the team helping Jivan referred her to Smart Works. She had been living in tracksuits for the last few years this was an opportunity for Jivan to have someone help her find the perfect outfit and prepare her for her first interview in over 20 years.

“I needed to do something with my life, I wanted to go back to work and socialise, I didn’t want to stay at home anymore.

I wanted to be stimulated, I didn’t want to fall back into old habits.”

Her dressing and coaching session was a turning point for Jivan.

She was nervous about her appointment and didn’t know what to expect but from the moment she walked through the door Jivan said she felt welcome and important.

The first part of her appointment involved spending an hour with one of the Smart Works dressing volunteers. In her own words she had ‘lost touch’ with what looked good on her and what she could wear to work. The dresser found her the perfect outfit and Jivan started to feel more confident about what she could achieve.

After her session with the interview coach, Jivan said she felt completely confident about her interview and we were thrilled to find out she got the job.

“I lost touch. The dressing helped give me a real confidence boost.

After my appointment I felt happier than I had in a long time and not nervous about my interview”

Since her appointment at Smart Works life has changed for Jivan. She now has a job she loves working in a pharmacy and her relationship with her family is stronger than ever. In fact Jivan was so positive about her experience that when her daughter was struggling to get work she recommended she come to Smart Works.

A year on from her first appointment Jivan has a different outlook on life. She feels confident and is always socialising. She even uses her experience to help others, volunteering at the charity that originally helped her.

Her attitude to dressing has also changed, she recognises that having a great outfit on can drastically change how you feel about yourself.

“It changed my attitude, I felt positive and I felt proud of myself. The clothes I wear now compared to a few years ago are so different, they give me confidence. The experience has made me feel fantastic.”

If you’ve been inspired by Jivan and her story and want to find out more about how Smart Works can help you, get in touch with the team on 0207 288 1770 or email hello@smartworks.org.uk