“Before Spear, I had been sitting at home not doing much as I had got my results from school and I didn’t get into university so I started looking for jobs – mainly apprenticeships.
Spear was recommended to me by my sister who had gone to Spear in Harrow and had had a good experience. I decided to do Spear to have something to do instead of sitting at home, which was pretty depressing as I had no clue what to do.
During Spear I learnt that I was good with numbers and that I had good interpersonal skills. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about myself before Spear as they are not things you get taught in school, such as how to write a CV and cover letter, interview techniques and the hidden rules of the workplace. I really increased my confidence - I would never have presented in front of people before Spear, yet at graduation there I was presenting in front of a crowd of people!
I finished Spear in December 2014 and got my job 2 weeks after, I was really happy to have something to look forward to so quickly after Spear. I am currently in an apprenticeship with Hallett Retail which I am really enjoying because it is a concessions company which I didn’t know about so it is interesting to learn new things. It definitely beats sitting at home or worse going to the job centre!”
“Before I started Spear, I had been unemployed for three years since I had left college at 17. I’d applied for lots of jobs as a Sales Assistant but had no response. My CV wasn’t professional, but no one had corrected me and so doors were being slammed in my face. It really knocked my confidence and I started to believe that I just wasn’t employable.
I learnt from coming on Spear that almost everything about the way I had been applying was wrong. It completely opened up my eyes to the fact that if you want a job you have to make a huge effort and that you have to be very open minded when you’re applying!
I was also told that I was professional. When I was told why the coaches thought this of me, I started to believe it myself. I realized that I could get a job, and that the way I presented and held myself could help me get into work.
I’d also never had an interview before so Spear prepared me for my first interview and calmed my nerves. Now I am studying Politics and International Relations at Kingston while working part-time at Primark. Everything I have learnt on Spear is very useful, especially what I was thought about time keeping and customer service – I use the techniques almost daily to deal with difficult customers!”
“Before I started Spear, I was at college. I then dropped out because my mental health was bad and being at college was making me feel more ill. I wasn’t really doing much. I didn’t have the motivation to leave my house- never mind look for a job.
My psychiatrist at the time told me about Spear and she suggested it would be good as I wasn’t doing much at the time and so doing something productive might improve my mood. I figured it would be better than doing nothing so I just thought I would try it to see if it worked out for me.
I learnt that I had skills I didn’t even realise I had, such as confidence to talk in front of others and the ability to articulate my ideas. Before Spear I had anxieties about public speaking but I was able to overcome these whilst on the course and actually enjoyed public speaking! I didn’t really know how to write a CV or how to go into a place of work and ask for a job, nor did I have the confidence to do that.
I actually got my job by walking into the bar and introducing myself. I was offered a trial for that weekend and I have been working there ever since. I have now been working there for 8 months and I have learnt so many things, such as how to make a great cocktail and how to deal with difficult customers. My customer interaction has definitely improved and I don’t feel intimated speaking to people or asking my manager for help. Being in work has taught me how to manage my time more sensibly and it has given me a sense of independence as I have my own money and don’t have to rely on others.”