Shaun McLean is a talkative guy, he loves to sit down with a coffee and enjoy a good gossip.
The day I met Shaun, we sat down and did exactly that. I quickly learnt however that this was not always the case for Shaun. At school, Shaun was heavily bullied. I’m not talking about getting called names or anything; I am talking about targeted, repeated and physical bullying (I don’t understand why because he is a genuinely nice guy).
This led Shaun (naturally) to become jaded by social situations and shut down communication with others. The bullying also crushed his sense of self-worth and confidence. Later in life, Shaun worked in the hospitality sector and did not enjoy it at all. You know that feeling where you wake up and dread a certain aspect of your day? That is what being social in the hospitality sector was like.
Shaun left the hospitality sector and quickly started to run out of options. The worst was when Shaun left an interview for a job, walked home from the other side of Wellington (he had no money for the bus) and came home to emailed rejection letters from jobs. This continued until he was referred to Capital Training’s Workprep course.
It was during his time at Capital Training that Shaun began to grow and regain the confidence that was ripped from him during his childhood.
I would love to claim that it was our staff here at Capital Training that nurtured his confidence and prepared him for the success that he is enjoying now, but honestly, I believe that it is all down to his own personal drive and motivation.
You see, Shaun made a conscious decision to turn his life around and become the person that he wanted to be. He wanted to be friendly, he wanted to be successful and he wanted to be communicative. Shaun quickly discovered that the hands-on way that the tutors taught was the perfect mechanism for him to learn the skills needed. A mutual respect developed between the tutors and Shaun as he developed his interview and communication skills.
I sat across from Shaun, sipping my coffee and wondered if he was just saying what I wanted to hear. I thought that maybe he was just saying nice things about Capital Training in order to make me happy and give me something nice to write about. This though quickly receded from my mind however as he began to detail just how much he was able to develop his communication skills while on the course and how he uses those skills in his career.
Since Shaun finished at Capital Training, he has moved in to the Call Centre industry, an industry that comprises heavily of communication skills.
While Shaun was discussing his success and growth in the industry that I finally believed that Shaun wasn’t just telling me what I wanted to hear to be nice. Capital Training had given Shaun the tools and opportunity to develop new skills and get a career; and Shaun had fully used that opportunity.
Shaun loves his career in the Call Centre industry and describes a love for the challenging jobs that can be found there. As we were finishing our coffees and the interview was about to wrap up, I decided to ask Shaun what was the one thing he enjoys most about his new career? Shaun, rising from his chair replied after a moment of consideration that it was having the opportunity to help people that was his favourite aspect of the job.
This struck a real chord with me. Here was a man who was bullied as a young man and who had every right to turn his back on society. As a society we had failed to protect him as a young man and he had suffered in the school yard as a result. Instead of continuing to be bitter about that failure of society and completely close off to the world, Shaun decided to instead embrace that community and help to change it by helping people. This shows a lot of character and strength… at least in my opinion.
Shaun is planning on heading off to the United Kingdom to pursue his career in a new environment. He is thinking about doing a bit of travelling while he is there as well. After meeting Shaun and getting to know him, I can honestly say that the people of the United Kingdom will be lucky to have him. Best of luck, Shaun.