Judd Wilson spends his work days surround by Swedish Meatballs and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love it”, says Wilson, when asked about his job at IKEA. “I am surrounded by meatballs as well as salmon and buttered chicken…and I just love it.”
Judd walked into one of the YMCA Nova Scotia Works Employment Centres about a year ago with the dream of one day working at the soon-to-be built IKEA at Dartmouth Crossing. “I came to the YMCA because I wanted help with finding a job,” says Wilson. “I know that I couldn’t have done it with the one-on-one support that I got from the Y.” Judd, a piper who also speaks Gaelic and few words of Swedish including “Tack” (which means thank you), was also asked to play the bagpipes at the official opening of the IKEA store last year. “It was pretty neat…I played Scotland the Brave while Mayor Mike Savage raised the flag,” says Wilson, who works in the 400-seat capacity restaurant hot-prepping.
At times Judd felt as though employment wouldn’t happen for him, but he made every effort to stay focused and positive through his job search and was able to find support and encouragement from the dedicated staff at the YMCA. He had also received excellent training at NSCC’s Cooking Program, and credits the program for giving him the skills he needed to succeed.
Fast forward through resume, interview, job search and numerous other employment-related workshops, a multitude of job applications and job fair attendances and Wilson landed the coveted job of his dreams. And he did it all with an undying determination to achieve the goal he set out for himself.
Judd has been at his dream job for 8 months now and he says that it has really changed his life, he is now a member of another wonderful “family” at IKEA. “It is literally family-based and family-orientated with (founder) his family, sons and grandchildren running the business,” he says. “It is more than a job, it’s a career but it is also being part of a family, the IKEA Family.”
Congrats Judd! We look forward to seeing your continued success!
by Rebecca MacEachern
Rebecca is a Employment Support Practitioner at our YMCA Nova Scotia Works Employment Centre at 2269 Gottingen Street, Halifax. She collects snow globes from all over the world, has dual Australian-Canadian Citizen, and has is about to celebrate her 5 year anniversary with us at the YMCA (May 25)!