National Careers Week returns this week (March 4 to 9) marking a celebration of careers guidance and free educational resources throughout the UK - and Pembrokeshire resident Kim Martakie - is an example of how tailored careers support can make a hugely positive impact on an individual, especially when they are faced with daunting life changes.

With one-to-one careers support, 57-year-old Kim was able to make a return to work and contribute to her community, after relocating across the country.

When Kim and her family made the move to West Wales in 2022, they had originally planned for Kim to stay at home, until she realised she had other ambitions.

Kim of Llanfyrnach explained: “I wanted to get out and about and interact with people more. I wanted something in the community that was interesting and had some autonomy.

“I realised quickly that I had no idea where to start.”

Seeking assistance, Kim reached out to her local job centre, where she was connected with Careers Wales. She was then paired with Lara Bagagiolo, a careers adviser from Working Wales, who became instrumental in guiding her through her next steps.

During several appointments, Lara helped Kim explore different jobs and courses as well as supporting her with her CV, applications, and interviews when they came along.

Over several appointments, Lara helped Kim navigate various career options and educational opportunities while providing support with CV development, application strategies, and interview preparation.

Kim recalls: “Lara helped me understand exactly what I was looking for. After moving away and being away from everyone I knew, it was nice to have someone friendly to go to.

“Most of all, it gave me confidence.”

It was following a fateful conversation in her local shop, that Kim found out about a vacancy at the community centre.

With newfound confidence and support from Lara, Kim applied and secured the position.

Reflecting on her new role, Kim said: “I work on lots of different projects, and I feel recognised and valued. It is a charitable organisation, so I feel like I’m giving something back.”

Encouraging others in similar situations, Kim emphasised the transformative impact of seeking tailored support: "It's a big thing to change your circumstances and go back to work, whether that's after moving or having children or any other situations. Support from someone like Lara can be incredible and make all the difference."

Kim’s careers adviser, Lara, said: “It was a pleasure to meet and support Kim. I was so glad to have been a friendly face, as well as helping her to gain clarity regarding her career goals.

“It’s fantastic to see her thriving in her new job.

“At Working Wales, we're committed to offering tailored support whatever your circumstances.

“Whether it's helping you make a return to work or secure funding for courses to upskill, providing support with CVs, finding employment or training, or identifying your next steps, we're here to make sure you get the assistance you need to succeed."

Working Wales is delivered by Careers Wales and funded by the Welsh Government to provide careers guidance and employability support to those aged 16 and above.

For more information about Working Wales and how to access careers support, visit the Working Wales website, call free on 0800 028 4844, speak to an adviser via webchat, or email [email protected]