“It’s her success story that motivated me to get involved,” she says.
“Joining the meetings was frightening at first, as I thought my English wasn’t going to be good enough.”
However, she soon found the opposite was true. “Everyone was welcoming,” Dayhanna says. “They gave me tons of encouragement to continue looking for a job, despite getting several rejections.”
Job Mentoring fostered her skills in so many ways, says Dayhanna.
I learned to prepare for interviews, got tips on how to write a CV to highlight my strengths, plus write an assertive cover letter to go with.
She says guidance on how to navigate through webpages for job seekers was also helpful.
“Working with Sara Mladenović, my mentor, and Romesh Dissanayake, who coordinates the programme, was an important part of the process.
“Sara helped me out with exhaustively reviewing my CV as well as preparing for interviews, since she has plenty of experience in this area.”
“Romesh accompanied me through the ups and downs - when I believed there were no opportunities for me,” she says. “He raised my confidence, teaching me the value of my skills, and told me to persevere.”
Thanks to all this help, Dayhanna was able to obtain her position as Administrator at English Language Partners Porirua.
Dayhanna has been working with “her second family” for five months now, enjoying every moment with her new colleagues, while strengthening her professional and personal skills.
It’s been exciting, not only because everyone is so amazing, but because I’m helping migrants and former refugees who are in the same position I was in at one stage. There is nothing more rewarding than this!
She says every day comes with a new set of challenges. “English as a second language tests my capacity to the limit but, as a non-native speaker, I’ve learned language isn’t really a barrier, it’s a tool we need to keep mastering.”
Dayhanna believes the most important thing for success in the New Zealand job market is a passion for doing your best with professionalism, a good attitude and kindness.
Luke Scowcroft, manager at ELP’s Porirua centre, says Dayhanna interviewed well and got off to a great start in the job. “Since then, she’s shown herself to be even more adept than we imagined.”
“After getting to grips with day-to-day tasks, she put together a payroll spreadsheet to make my job easier,” says Luke. “It’s now the envy of other managers around the country!”
Luke is keen to get her more involved with the organisation to maximise Dayhanna’s skills and talents, as well as her positive outlook.
He says Dayhanna’s empathy with learners, and easy and friendly engagement with the ELP team has been a huge asset.
Although she’s been with us for a short time, we don’t know where we would be without her now!
Skilled jobseekers from migrant and former refugee backgrounds are supported in their search to find their first meaningful employment opportunity in Aotearoa New Zealand. Volunteer job mentors are qualified professionals who train with English Language Partners Wellington.
Ph: +64 4 384 1992 | 027 646 5451
www.jobmentor.org.nz | Facebook
English Language Partners also runs a nationwide course to develop the job seeking skills of migrants and former refugees looking for work in New Zealand.