25 years of stories

25 years of stories


Niamh McClelland

Recent Social Media & Marketing Intern with Jobcare
& Staff Writer for Sheology Digital.


“Jobcare is a unique place where people really root for each other.”

I graduated from university in September 2013 with an MA. in Anthropology. While completing my studies I knew I wanted to write for a living, specifically in online or print media and ideally as a features writer, but I was acutely aware that my lack of journalism qualifications might be a red flag to any potential employer in the industry. I didn’t have much confidence in my chances of securing the jobs I wanted. However, I soon learned that many writers lacking formal journalism or media qualifications embarked on social media internships or diplomas, blogged for various companies and began creating a portfolio of their work.

So, I was overjoyed when I was hired by Jobcare as a Web and Social Media Marketing Assistant in April 2014. The role allowed me to create and source content for the organisation’s website, social media platforms and e-zine. I wrote the organisation’s blogs and success stories as well as contributing to press releases and promotional literature. These various responsibilities necessitated tailoring my writing style for each forum which was fantastic experience for future roles.

My time at Jobcare was invaluable. My mentors encouraged me to work on my own initiative, gave me the opportunity to be creative and were always on hand to offer feedback or constructive criticism. Their approach to my work was perfect considering the industry I hoped to break into.

During my internship, I had a CV session with one of Jobcare’s career coaches. She suggested I make certain tweaks to my CV and I have no doubt that these changes made the world of difference when I was applying for writing positions. Having someone else assess your CV is one of the most important things you can do as a jobseeker.

Jobcare is a unique place. People root for each other. Regardless of age, background or education, everybody is afforded the same respect, opportunities and assistance. No one is more important or more worthy than anyone else and I feel truly privileged to have interned for the organisation. I will always be grateful for the role Jobcare played in helping me secure my dream job, a full-time staff writer in online media, and the impact Jobcare had on me, from both a professional and personal perspective, cannot be underestimated. I’m a better person for having been exposed to the Jobcare ethos and immersed in the Jobcare environment.


Emilia W.

From the age of 16 I always worked, always studied, never found it difficult to get a job. I came to Ireland from Poland and worked as a catering assistant. Within two years I had finished a couple of courses and was working as a cash controller in a prestigious private clinic. Unfortunately after five years, due to the economic crisis, my position was made redundant.

First I enjoyed being unemployed; lots of free time to do things I never had time for before. But after a while I realized that the world had changed, and I needed to face a new truth: “I can’t find employment”. And sending CVs, waiting for a phone call after interviews – instead of motivating me had quite the opposite effect on me. I felt useless and frustrated like never before.

Finding Jobcare was a life-changing point for me. I had thought my CV was spotless and my interview skills outstanding. I just couldn’t understand why I was having difficulty finding a suitable position? Jobcare kindly helped me to see that I had some work to do on both.

I completed Jobcare’s Employment Preparation Course and then was enrolled on the Community Employment scheme there. I also took part in Jobcare’s Jobnet pilot. At the same time, Jobcare helped me find some part-time work on the SCiP study at Trinity College. All of this helped me realize that there was nothing wrong with me, I just had to learn how to network and focus on what employers are looking for nowadays. I was finally confident enough to face even the most scary interview scenario knowing: ‘I can do it! I am able for the job I am applying for and I am the best!’ In Jobcare I made connections that led me first to an interview and later to my current employment. I now have a job that I truly love in a ‘dream’ organisation that works within the community – which I feel has always been my calling from a young age.

Jobcare didn’t just help me find a job, Jobcare changed my life and gave me wonderful friends for life.

Fiona McDowell

In the mid’90s in Dublin with a secretarial qualification, you either had a job for life or moved around on temporary contract. I had a good Leaving Certificate and trained in a well-respected Secretarial College, but after a period of unemployment found myself unable to re-engage with the process of actually getting a job. My technical ability to do the work had never changed, but my belief in myself had sadly fallen way. I participated on an Employment Preparation Course in 1995 and, following its completion, joined Jobcare on a Community Employment Scheme working initially in administration and then as a trainer.

It was a real confidence builder to become one of the team. One of my stand out memories is the importance of the “First Impression” which covered all aspects of the job search from what you wrote to how you looked and spoke. You cannot change a first impression and I learnt how to hook the prospective HR manager with my targeted one page CV! More importantly for me, alongside the formal jobsearch training, Jobcare provided an environment where I learnt to believe in myself despite setbacks. Once that building block was securely in place with my technical skills, I could and did get the job that I wanted. I have been in my current job for 14 years directly as a result of that one page CV and putting all the skills learnt on that EPC course into practice. Now, meeting people around the office, I have the opportunity to influence an upcoming generation of young graduates, encouraging them to believe in themselves and to value and take every opportunity presented to them. When they move on, I applaud their success and wish them well for the future. My Jobcare experience is as real and relevant for me in my workplace today as it was when I first walked through the door in Pearse Street almost 20 years ago.

Hanneke T.

After a marriage breakdown and having no job, my self-confidence was at an all-time low. I applied for various jobs, but either had not got enough experience or was overqualified. This did not improve my confidence and I was getting to a point that I thought I would never get a job again. Until one day I saw an advertisement for a Community Employment position in the Resource Room in Jobcare. I knew what a difference CE can make to a person because I had been a CE Supervisor for six years a long time ago.

I worked in Jobcare on a one year contract and in that time helped many people write their CVs, conducted mock-interviews, set-up English language classes – and in turn got back my self-confidence. Between the training I received in Jobcare, the work experience, and being part of a team helping others achieve their goals, I regained my self-confidence and drive. I then got a position as a Dutch teacher in a primary school for a year and subsequently worked for a college in Dublin. I am now a private Dutch Teacher and in the process of setting up online Dutch classes.

All in all my year in Jobcare got me back on track and as I always tell people: Jobcare were the stepping stones to my future. I would like to wish Jobcare a very happy 20th anniversary – keep up the good work. Jobcare cares, as the name says, cares about helping people getting back into the workforce or into training. In particular when times are hard and you are feeling low, it is important to know that there are people out there that care and can help you.

Michael Goss

Aged 20, in 1994, I found myself as one of the many making up the 15% unemployment rate statistic. So when I heard about a new jobseeking skills course being offered by Jobcare, I went along. At the end of the course, I was offered a place on the Community Employment work programme at Jobcare. I started working there as a recruiter, then as a fundraiser and finally I was trained to work in the Jobcare accounts department. I met my wife in Jobcare – she was also working on the CE programme at the time.

Since then, Jobcare has given me help and guidance at key times as my career path has changed and developed. Advisers in Jobcare encouraged me to study for my degree in Accountancy and Finance, and also supported me in securing a suitable administration and accounts job that both developed my career and financed my studies.

After many years with that employer, I returned to Jobcare last year to see a career coach. The company I was working for had relocated which entailed quite a commute, and I also felt it was time for a new challenge. But, having been settled in this role for so long and supporting a family in an economic recession, I really wasn’t sure what my next step should be. The career coach gave me valuable guidance and direction. And I’m delighted to say that I’m now working as the Finance and Administration Co-ordinator of a charity working in overseas aid.

Jobcare has played a pivotal role in guiding and equipping me in my education and career development. They have always been so easy to deal with and very friendly, while being professional and delivering on what they say they’ll do. I’m so grateful for the impact Jobcare has had on my life and regularly recommend the organisation to people who would benefit from their services.