Sonja's Story My career "My name is Sonja. When I left school, like lots of people I went to college to get some qualifications. I always wanted to work in admin and have a career but being disabled meant I found it difficult to get a job. 10 years ago, I was successful getting a job with Sandwell Council through a job carving scheme and I haven’t looked back since! My job was originally ‘job carved’. This means it was shaped around things I am good at. Support to get my job To begin with, supported by Workstep, I started on a 12 month contract. I had a working interview, where I sat with one of the business support staff and answered the phone, sent an email and did some typing. This was a good interview because it was easy to understand. The Workstep programme gave me experience of what going to work was like, helped me learn what to do and helped me settle in. After a year I had to go for another interview. Three people were interviewed but I got the job! I had to do a typing test and I was very nervous. My job in the council I am really happy because I now work in the Core Business Support Team in Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing. I do the filing, make appointments in the managers' diaries, do shredding and laminating, sort the post, prepare packs for the STAR team's frontline officers to take to people’s homes, answer the phone, photocopy, organize stationary, send emails and type up notes and minutes. I am confident using Word and Excel. I am very busy! I have a timetable for my day and this helps me. I sign in when I first get into work. I fetch the post for the whole floor and sort it and stamp it. This can be a big job because it can include post for the Council House and other places. I deliver the post. Then I do the next job. I like the routine. I am good at typing minutes of team meetings. I do stationary orders and keep a check on this in everyone’s work area. I have someone to help me if I am unsure what to do and I can ask anyone in the team for help. Making friends and having fun! I have a lot of fun at work because I get on really well with my team. I am very popular and do a lot of talking to people at break and lunchtime. I like going to the Christmas party and being out with people from work. Of course, I love getting paid! I have money to spend on things I like such as handbags, briefcases, boots, shoes and DVDs. I also pay rent so having a good job is essential. I really love going to work. It makes me happy and keeps me busy. It also means I mix with other people and gives me independence which is very important to me. People also say how committed I am to my career as I have to catch three buses to work every day now."