Helping Susan realise her career potential

Susan Hurford image 

When Susan Hurford faced a crossroads in her career, she was worried that the effects of a car accident would stop her from achieving her career goals.  But with support from Careers Wales, Susan is now in the process of setting up her own recruitment business to help others find employment.

Susan suffered a serious brain injury when a car crashed into her vehicle and left her unable to work for three years.  She was determined that she was not going to let the accident and a loss of confidence get her down and threw herself into the daunting task of getting back into employment.

“I have always been in work and was unhappy with the thought of being unemployed.  My children have grown up and live away from home and I was determined to rehabilitate back into work.  I’ve always preferred to work in an office environment and have worked in commercial and public sectors and senior PA roles.  I was concerned about my job prospects locally due to recruitment freezes and recession on top of a CV gap due to my accident.”

Susan was referred to the Careers Wales office in Swansea last year to chat through her options with an adult careers adviser.  Over a series of one to one interviews, Careers Wales adviser Michele Austin worked with Susan, providing on-going advice and guidance on the employment and career options available.  Michele arranged a free skills check which looked at what jobs and careers would be best suited to Susan’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Being involved in a car accident forced me to change the way I approach work.  I work differently now and plan my workload to minimise stress.  My aspiration was to find a way to offer local organisations more cost-effective temporary office support.  Careers Wales were able to provide insight into challenges I may face and direct me to local sources of information and guidance.” 

Susan is now in the process of setting up Temp2co, her own recruitment business in Swansea.  She provides direct contract temporary office support to local employers.  Careers Wales were able to put Susan in touch with organisations that could assist with mentoring and business grants.  Susan has commissioned a website and has had business cards printed.  She has had initial enthusiasm from employers and gained confidence. 

Michele Austin from Careers Wales said: “Susan is a remarkable woman.  She is a superb example of what you can do if you keep a positive attitude.  All she needed was a confidence boost and the encouragement to realise her career potential.  We work with a lot of adults, whether they’ve been made redundant or are returning to work after illness or a long period of leave, to help them get the information, advice and skills they need to find jobs.  It’s a difficult time in the jobs market so we want to make sure people in Wales are as well-placed as they can be to find employment.”


Picture: Susan Hurford and Michele Austin from Careers Wales