This blog is written by 22 year old Andres, Groundwork London HR/Admin Assistant who was involved in the Welcome to the Green Economy project.

Previous to joining the Our Bright Future project, I was unemployed as I was trying to make a career change while taking a gap year from university. I used to work in hospitality but I wasn’t happy nor satisfied so I decided to get out of my comfort zone and embark on a new adventure. I heard about the Groundwork placement opportunity through my Jobcentre and I was pretty excited because I knew that I would be able to progress and improve my skills.

This opportunity has been one of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs that I’ve had. I was able to improve my interpersonal and other skills too, I met amazing people and helped others. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot during this gap year even though I was very doubtful about what I was going to do during my time off.

Once my placement finished I was happy to add this job to my CV as I knew that it would help to open more doors in a different career. At the same time I was sad because I really enjoyed my time with Groundwork and I had something to look forward to every week during the lockdown. I was lucky enough to be given support in finding a job after the placement had ended when another Groundwork opportunity came up and I was offered a temporary position in the HR department as I am going back to university this coming September. I feel so proud of myself for what I have managed to achieve during this time and I feel very optimistic for the future and the opportunities that are about to come.

Andres’ line manager Bitenge says, ‘I am really impressed by Andres’ capacity to adapt quickly with the nature of our work, his motivation, reliability, professionalism and interaction with participants as well as other colleagues were exceptional. Andres’ is very confident within his role when supporting different sessions such as: Create and communicate, wellbeing, the loop and occasionally covering conversational pairs. It was a joy and pleasure to have him and can only wish him well in different aspects of his life. A young man with a positive and can-do attitude“.

As I kid I was very shy and always quiet. At some point in my teen years I thought I would be miserable in my adult years because I didn’t like socialising and I had to adapt and change this. I’ve never thought that I would be able to change careers as I always thought of myself as an introvert and not capable of getting out of my comfort zone. Now I am fully aware of my potential and that the sky is the limit. There are so many opportunities for me out there and it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and trusting that you can achieve better things.