Many clients referred to us may have experienced long-term unemployment, have a history of ex-offending, drug abuse, homelessness, poverty and many other life challenges. This results in low self-esteem and confidence that becomes a barrier to finding employment. Looking and feeling the part for an interview is a step towards succeeding in finding that crucial job and getting their life back on track...
"I lost my home and my future..."
At Suited for Success we meet clients from a variety of diverse cultures, employment histories and backgrounds.
On Friday 12th May we met Mo* a professional banker from Syria. He was referred to Suited for Success through a Birmingham job centre after securing an interview as a retail assistant at Marks & Spencers.
"We were losing our humanity"
Our Moroccan born volunteer Abs is fluent in Arabic and was able to speak to Mo in both Arabic and English throughout his dressing appointment going the extra mile in making him feel supported. Mo talked about his career back in Syria as a professional banker and why he had to leave his country due to the war and arrived in the UK a year ago as a Syrian refugee.
"We were losing our humanity in Syria, it was being stripped from us. I lost my home, my life and my future. I had to leave so that I could have a future, it got so terrible back home in my country.
"I came to the UK in May 2016 and claimed asylum. I waited 6 - 8 months before I was granted leave to remain. I'm now trying to rebuild my life and would like to work in banking again here in the UK."
Since arriving in the UK Mo has been looking for any type of employment so that he can work to support himself and is currently volunteering at a refugee centre in Birmingham. He lives with a Birmingham family who hosts refugees as part of the Refugees at Home charity. The UK based charity connects those with a spare room in their home with asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation.
Mo attended his Suited for Success appointment with a friend who was also a Syrian refugee who Mo had met at the refugee centre where he volunteers. Mo explained that his friend is also a professional pilot with 30 years experience and has flown all over the world.
"I've met so many professionals from Syria at the refugee centre, my friend was one of the best pilots in Syria and I have another friend who lived in the same village as me, he was a pharmacist back in Syria and has been looking for any type of work for a long time here in the UK. There was nothing left for us back in Syria, we lost everything."
A new future in the UK
Mo speaks 4 languages (Arabic, English, Spanish and Turkish) and has aspirations to work back in corporate or operations banking. He had to leave all his smart banking suits in Syria to travel to the UK.
We dressed him in a complete smart corporate suit including smart shoes and accessories. We also did a session with him on interview techniques explaining what would be expected of him in a UK interview. Mo was extremely grateful for the support we gave him at Suited for Success and is now ready to succeed in finding work in banking again and build a new life and future in the UK.
(*Mo's name has been change to protect his identity).