Mat Baker’s career as a learning trainer began after joining PRIDE Industries’ job placement assistance program in 2018, which landed him a position at Amazon. The journey wasn’t always easy, as a severe anxiety disorder initially prevented him from interacting with others or seeking a job. Employment with Amazon gave Mat the confidence and skills to overcome these obstacles and earn several promotions.
Job Placement Assistance for People with Anxiety
Mat suffered from severe panic attacks and anxiety his entire life. This prevented him from interacting with others, especially in large crowds. “At the same time, staying at home in isolation gave me a feeling of inadequacy, causing more anxiety,” he said. “It was a vicious cycle that felt impossible to overcome.”
Others with severe anxiety face similar challenges. For this reason, each of PRIDE’s job coaches works one-on-one with candidates to assess their needs, create a goal plan, and help them prepare for successful job placement.
“Just two years later, so much has changed!” Mat said. “I am employed as a learning trainer at Amazon’s Sortation Center in Vacaville, CA. I feel comfortable in what is a very hands-on position—I help train new hires and manage 60 Ambassadors to coach other associates. I’m part of a large team; all of us work together to make sure our customers get their packages on time!”
Working closely with his job coach at PRIDE Industries made all the difference for Mat. “From day one, PRIDE provided the foundation for my amazing growth,” he said. “This journey would not have happened without their job coaches. They showed me exactly what to expect and checked on me every step of the way. Job Coach Jarmar Pearson advocated for me every day, and I can’t thank him enough!”
Mat’s Ongoing Growth After Job Placement
Since day one at his new job, Mat’s confidence has grown and he went on to earn a promotion. Every step of the way, Mat’s job coach advocated for him, ensuring he had the support he needed from PRIDE and from his new Amazon team.
“This was my first job, and at the beginning, it felt daunting having to work with so many people. And there was so much to learn!” Mat shared. “But using techniques from therapy, I was able to keep a positive attitude and overcome these challenges. I remember asking the learning trainers follow-up questions, and they were always patient with me, helping to build my confidence, and speak up more.”
Mat began to realize his hard work was paying off when managers began requesting him in their areas. “I knew I could move up. When a learning trainer asked me to become an ambassador, I signed up immediately. Since I had to interact with up to 10 new hires every day, I gradually felt less anxious around others.” Thanks to his determination and targeted job placement assistance from PRIDE, Mat was proudly overcoming his anxiety and thriving at work.
Continued Advancement and Career Success
Mat continued to make an impression on the leadership team at work. “The learning trainers and the learning coordinator encouraged me to apply for a job as a seasonal trainer. Despite the fierce competition for this position, I got the job. Even though I joined during our peak season, when Amazon hires thousands of people, I rose to the challenge and earned the respect of my team. I was hired permanently in February 2020. I am proud of my ability to overcome the difficulties related to my disability. It’s exciting to realize that two years ago, I was a nervous associate coached by a learning trainer; now, I am the one teaching others! This incredible experience has created positive changes throughout my whole life.”
“It’s been a long, rewarding road, and now the sky is the limit,” Mat said. “I plan on becoming a learning coordinator or an area manager. Trust me when I say I won’t be stopping here!”