Alaric lives with anxiety and so it was no surprise he was feeling nervous entering a new situation.
His Job Coach Robert was one of those first welcoming faces for Alaric at MAX.
Using his connections in the local area, Robert took Alaric to meet the team at Wolfpack Print to investigate the possibility of a work experience placement.
Wolfpack is the leading print and design business in the Wide Bay area. Offering services from creating and printing business cards and banners through to vehicle wraps and signage, being at the forefront of creative and innovative design is key to their success.
In this first meeting, it could have been Alaric’s anxiety that left the lasting impression as his nerves took over and he struggled to make eye contact with Naomi.
But she wasn’t one to be distracted.
Robert from MAX, Naomi and Alaric from Wolfpack Print
Alaric was clearly shy but we’ve always had a soft spot for youth and helping them out however we can,” she says.
“And when we found out about his creative interests and skills, we kind of had an ‘aha’ moment and felt we wanted to see what he could do,” says Naomi.
Rather than work experience, Naomi and Craig offered Alaric a casual role.
For Alaric, finding supportive employers in Naomi and Craig helped ease his anxiety significantly and enabled him to flourish.
“They’ve been really accommodating. They’ve been really nice and welcomed me with open arms. It didn’t take long for my anxiety levels to drop around them,” Alaric shares.
As his confidence grew in a safe environment, Alaric revealed more of himself and his creative skills.
“He took a little while – and then said: ‘do you want to see a bit more of my [creative] stuff?’,” says Naomi.
Since then, Alaric has been designing for Wolfpack including a range of content for their social media including animation, GIFS and cartoon characters.
“Everything has really fit into place, and I’m just getting better and better,” shares Alaric.
“I’ve been doing a lot of things. I like using my hands. I like doing things and changing up what I do. I like photoshopping a lot. I like coming along for the installations. I help out wherever I can,” he says.
“I love doing graffiti art – that was a spontaneous opportunity. I didn’t expect to be able to do it at work. It made my eyes light up when I heard I could,” he says.
Naomi shares that Alaric’s graffiti art skills have grown this avenue for the business.
"He’s recently done the most amazing graffiti artwork for us – I have a feeling he’s going to be in high demand for all things graffiti,” Naomi shares.
Naomi has also watched Alaric blossom from the shy young man who first visited her store and she’s nothing short of impressed when she reflects on how well he has settled into the role and the team.
“Alaric shows lot of initiative and is very open to feedback We don’t need to stand over him. It’s great to have an employee who gets in and gets the work done,” she says.
“He goes along to meetings and installs and meets and talks with our clients,” she says.
“He also has a great sense of humour and now he’s feeling confident, he goes along with the banter and has fun. He’s a good soul and fits in really in really well,” Naomi shares.
Connecting customers to open and supportive employers like Naomi and Craig is just as important as giving people skills to succeed in work.
“We were fortunate that Naomi and Craig were willing to adapt their thinking and give Alaric an opportunity to showcase and develop his skills,” says Robert.
“At the same time, they were intentional about providing a safe and supportive environment to help ease Alaric’s anxiety and help him grow his confidence – a perfect combination,” he says.
And now he’s settled in at Wolfpack, what does Alaric hope the future will bring?
“I hope to become a professional at whatever I do – doing awesome things surrounded by good, awesome people,” he says.
Congratulations Alaric, it seems you’re already well on the way to your preferred future.