Cathy was in her 40s when she lost both her parents suddenly. The grief and stress of that tragedy revealed her struggles with anxiety and depression, which combined with her chronic fatigue syndrome.
As she tried to figure out how to cope with these issues, she wound up losing her job. For the next six years, Cathy used her retirement savings, loans, and credit cards to support herself. As things started getting bad, she tried for over a year to get a job—only to be turned away.
“I just tried to deal with things on my own until I just couldn’t do it anymore,” says Cathy. “There was nothing left for me to do. So I went to my Bishop and just said, ‘Okay, I need help.’”
With a referral from her bishop, Cathy was able to start work at Deseret Industries.
“I wasn’t sure that working for DI was for me because of the physical nature of the job,” Cathy says. Fortunately, her manager has been more than willing to work with her and make adjustments for her physical needs.
Cathy is one of many Deseret Industries employees who experience barriers to employment due to their physical health. DI strives to provide a workplace that is friendly to everyone—regardless of their limitations.
“There were times [in my previous job] that I felt like a failure because of my limitations,” Cathy says. “And now I know it’s okay for me to just do what I can do. There’s not as much pressure, and that makes me feel good.”
In spite of her physical limitations, Cathy has found great success at DI. She works in the women’s clothing section, and her managers have shared that sales from her section have gone up since she started working there. This positive feedback has given Cathy greater confidence in her work and her abilities.
Cathy also shares that Deseret Industries has increased her confidence when it comes to job interviews. DI provides development counseling and other employment resources for its employees, including a job skills workbook.
“The job skills workbook helped me prepare power statements to use in interviews,” Cathy shares. Her development counselor has also helped her by recommending places where she can apply for jobs. “Talking with my counselor helps me to gain the confidence I need to get out there and start searching for a job.”
Cathy’s long-term goal is to get back into the accounting field. In the meantime, though, she finds a lot of value in her job at DI.
“Whatever situation you’re in, no matter what, give [working at DI] a chance. I didn’t think that it was something that would help me or be right for me. But as it turns out, it’s something that has been really good for me.”