Employment Services and Second Career Wendy Hennessey

Wendy Hennessey

Wendy Hennessey first came to the EEC in 2012 looking for employment but feeling that she had nothing to offer as an employee. Wendy had previously been residing at Tennant House, a residential addiction treatment/counselling facility, up until 2006. After being discharged she attended TR Leger Adult School and obtained her high school diploma, but she was not confident that she was someone who could obtain and hold a job. It was only when Wendy sat down with a coach who talked with her about her life experience and from that was able to put on paper a list of skills and abilities she hadn’t before acknowledged in herself that Wendy felt she might have something to offer after all.

She explained, “Seeing myself on paper that way was the first time I felt impressed with myself in a very long time. From that point on I felt sure that if I followed the advice and guidance of my coach that I would be successful”. Wendy continued to build skills with her coach that prepared her for interviewing and taught her the value of networking, as well as the confidence to do both. With this new resume and her new sense of capability some assistance from a Job Developer Wendy secured employment at O’Mally Kourt Fudgery. “What amazed me most about my experience with the staff at the EEC is that they did not let the broken person walk out the door. They believed in me and made me believe in myself”.

Over several years Wendy continued actively pursuing EEC services by attending resume writing workshops, signing up for computer upgrading courses, and utilizing the resource centre.  In addition, volunteering in the community helped her develop and up-to-date reference list and to become engaged with the members of our community.

What started as part time employment slowly developed to full time hours and doing extra jobs here and there enabled her to feel confident moving into a management role when the opportunity arose.

After two years in a management position Wendy felt that she had more to offer her community and found herself considering starting her own business. After a meeting with the Small Business Enterprise Centre she had a list of tasks to achieve in order to bring this dream alive. Wendy again reconnected with a job coach at the EEC to assist her in polishing her networking skills and developing the confidence to approach local business owners for support and references. “My coach encourage me to look at my passions to find fulfilling work and go after it instead of just sticking me in a job and that made all the difference to me”. When the time arose, she began applying for employment with the support and continued encouragement from various EEC staff.

Through networking with a business owner he had been serving during her employment at the fudgery, Wendy was introduced to an opportunity to make soup once a week at Luxe Boutique in Prescott. This opportunity quickly led from one day a week to two, to 3, to five and provided the location and kitchen access that Wendy needed for her business idea.

She returned to the Small Business Enterprise Centre with her list of tasks checked off and was supported through registering her business. Today Wendy operates ‘Crazy Bowls’ weekdays from 11:30-2 pm and offers dinners on Thursday evenings. Her journey with the EEC has come full circle from a client with very unclear goals to a small business owner who will soon be in a position to provide employment to others! You can check out her Facebook page for more information at here.