Michelle, a mature woman in her early 50s, had her life turned upside down when she discovered her husband was draining money from their business to buy handbags and lingerie for young sex workers.

Until this moment, she was the successful owner/operator of a software development company that was operating both in Australia and offshore. Despite her own success and talents, Michelle was left destitute and on the brink of bankruptcy as her husband took the business to ruin, which left her needing to ask her adult son for money to survive.

Bright, intelligent and articulate, Michelle was now fragile to the core and lacking in confidence. She knew she needed work, but she didn’t have the strength to take on the pressure that would typically come from the roles utilising her skills. She had nothing left in the tank.

The Salvation Army’s Woolongabba Employment Plus recruiter, Barbara Wheeler, realised she needed a very special employer.

“Knowing this candidate was incredibly delicate and hugely overqualified, I was concerned we’d struggle to find the right place for her.

“However, I’d just learned of an admin role with a local manufacturer– who’s taken on many of our participants who’ve lived through challenging experiences. In fact, this employer has taken more than 15 placements from Employment Plus.

“While most of the roles they had filled with us were labouring jobs, often by unqualified workers overcoming addiction issues or getting back into the work force after being in prison, for the first time they needed an administration person.

“We knew from our past placements with them, this employer would have the empathy required to help Michelle get back on her feet. He was very welcoming of her and has employed her on the condition that as she gains back her strength and confidence he’ll be able to help her find a more challenging role when she is ready.

Michelle now works three to four days a week and the employer has benefited enormously from her slick administrative and organisational skills.

Michelle’s last text message to her recruiter was: “I am feeling blessed”