Ever wondered what it is like to work for one of Australia’s biggest companies while studying a Bachelor of Psychology full time, and somehow ensuring that your studies and mental health are still in-check? Our customer Natasha doesn’t have to wonder – but it hasn’t always been this way.

Natasha came to Campbell Page after trying to find a flexible job that would allow her to keep up with the requirements of her degree. She was referred by a family friend who recommended Campbell Page because they knew that you did not have to be a Centrelink recipient to access their free employment services.

Being a student I needed to find a job that could pay my bills but I also needed to put my studies and my mental health first. – Natasha

As soon as she was registered, Natasha and her Employment Consultant started looking at jobs in the area that would be a good fit for someone with a demanding study schedule. Eventually, a job with Qantas opened up, which appeared to meet Natasha’s needs. Matthew and Natasha worked hard on her resume and cover letter before submitting an application through to Adecco.

Finding a job with Qantas was perfect. It is such a big organisation, so negotiating flexibility in Natasha’s work hours wasn’t a big issue. – Matthew Tanner, Specialist Employment Consultant

Not long after her interview, Matthew informed Natasha that she had been successful in getting the position and began to prepare her for her first day on the job. The team at Campbell Page assisted and supported Natasha consistently during this time, both emotionally and financially.

Campbell Page were so supportive. They even bought me my work uniform, which was a massive help as I couldn’t afford to buy it myself at the time.

From her first day with Qantas, Natasha thrived and was an excellent worker. However, as the weeks went on, she began to notice that maintaining a balance between study, work and her social life was proving to be difficult. Her school work was suffering because the amount of hours spent studying and attending lectures had decreased. That’s when she remembered what Matthew had said about Qantas being open to negotiations around the hours she worked. Natasha went to her manager and to Adecco to explain her situation.

I got in contact with my manager and with Adecco to explain. Not only did they understand, but they were more than happy to reduce my hours so that I could maintain a balance.

Genevieve Trope, a Recruitment Specialist at Adecco, played a key role in ensuring that Natasha had the right amount of weekly shifts, was equipped for the job and felt supported in her choices to increase or decrease her hours.

Natasha is currently still employed by Qantas and studying full time to gain her Bachelor of Psychology. She hopes to graduate in 2022 with her Masters and begin practising Psychology while she completes her PHD. By 2024, Natasha hopes to have achieved her PHD and to be working as a Neuroscientist.

This has been the longest period Natasha has sustained work. She is now a confident, independent young woman who is focused on her future. Working while studying can be tough, but this experience has taught Natasha about maintaining a balance between work, study and her social life, a skill which she will take with her into the future.

Personally, finding a job and sticking to it is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my mental health.

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, anxiety or any other mental illness please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website to chat online.

Campbell Page is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming people’s lives through employment. If you would like to find out more about Campbell Page, visit the About Us section of our website, or contact us directly.

Words by: Tiarne Pattison