Name: Lisa Thomason

Why did you decide to join Inspira?

I worked for Inspira on the NCS programme for three years before joining the team full time as a Skills and Development Adviser.  My background is in teaching so the summer programme fitted into the holiday period.  When I decided that I wanted to change direction in my career, joining Inspira felt like the natural thing to do as I wanted to continue to work to support individuals with their development.

What do you do on a day to day basis on a workday at Inspira?

I work on two of Inspira's adult programmes: National Careers Service and The Key.  I work with adults on a one-to-one or group basis to provide careers information, advice and guidance and to deliver sessions focusing on employability skills such as CV workshops or interview preparation.  I also meet with local employers to link to our programmes and support clients into employment, education or training.  There is, of course, all of the electronic and hard copy administration to support all of these things!

Inspira have recently supported me in furthering my professional development through a Level 6 qualification in Careers Information Advice and Guidance which has enabled me to enhance my practice and means I can work on a wider range of contracts across the company.

What do you like most about your job?

The best part of my job is speaking to clients who have managed to achieve their goals, be that gaining employment, achieving a qualification, learning new skills or something as simple as seeing a client's confidence develop.  Often clients come to us having been shaken by circumstances such as redundancy and seeing the weight of worry lift from them is a real joy.

Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession?

It's hard work, but so rewarding.  You need to be able to engage with people because we often only have a short time to get to understand a client's situation and identify how we can best support that person.  

Why did you decide to apply for an NCS role? 

I had experienced NCS once before through a previous role and I saw the impact that it had on the young people involved.  When the opportunity came to work on the programme the following year I jumped at the chance.  I did one summer as a group assistant then two summers as a group leader.  The outdoor activity week is by far my favourite part of the programme as the young people are forming group dynamics over a range of activities and developing confidence in their own abilities.  I enjoyed getting stuck in wherever I could and I hope that seeing an ancient and out of condition woman lumbering around a hillside or paddling in circles in a canoe helped to give the more hesitant young people greater confidence in their own capabilities!

What was your most rewarding experience working on the NCS programme?

It's hard to pinpoint a single experience to talk about.  It's always rewarding to see a social action project come to fruition but it's also something as simple as watching group members care for each other during an activity or leadership qualities emerging.  It's also great to see a young person who has never cooked before working with others to feed 14 people, which is no mean feat!

Words to live by?

You can't stop the beat!