Green-thumb Nick extends his passion for gardening into the workforce, thanks to WISE

Nick loves to garden, a passion he shares with his wife and a calming experience he commits to every fortnight with a cup of tea. Nick has an intellectual disability and suffers from anxiety and stress. It can be difficult for Nick to process information and sometimes make decisions, however that hasn’t stopped Nick from finding work in a role he enjoys.

Nick works at his local Coles and unsurprisingly you’ll find him in the fruit and vegetable department.

“I work 57 hours a fortnight and have been a successful Coles team member for the past 12.5 years. I started as a face-up team member and over the years I’ve worked in different sections, currently I am in the fruit and vegetable department and I really like it” described Nick.

Nick came to WISE Employment in 2004. At the time, he was seeking employment in the retail sector after successfully completing a Certificate II in Retail. In trying to find a role that was reflective of his capabilities, WISE reached out to a number of local retailers to determine if there were any areas of the business where roles could be created, thus increasing his opportunities of employment.

“WISE helped me get ready for job interviews. They also helped me with my resume. I still catch up with them weekly to talk about what’s going on at work,” said Nick.

The support of WISE and the frequent visits of a Workplace Mentor has enabled Nick to build his relationships with colleagues, improve his communication skills and boost his confidence.

“WISE has helped me with my workplace communication and being more assertive at work. I work with ten people, everybody is different and having guidance on how to approach different work situations and personalities has been great,” explained Nick.

In addition to the mentoring and guidance, WISE also supported Coles by upskilling Nick to complete a Senior First Aid certificate. Nick has previously received an award for ‘Best Shop Keeping Standards’ and is striving to achieve further awards within his department.

Paid employment has enabled Nick to become financially independent. This financial freedom has seen him save up for holidays away with his wife and spending time socialising with friends.

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