A career in care is generally regarded as rewarding, meaningful, and engaging work. Carers are among the most satisfied workers when it comes to career surveys because they’ve chosen a career that constantly motivates them to get up in the morning and make people’s lives tangibly better. In this guide, we’ll explore how you can get into care – choosing the field of care that you’re most interested in and giving you the tools you’ll need to make a career out of your passion for helping other people.
Is Care For You?
Deciding whether care is for you means doing a little soul-searching. As with all careers, there are pros and cons to being a carer. Some carers would readily admit that their pay is relatively low compared to other roles, even in the field of care and medicine. Nevertheless, they’d tell you it’s completely worth it to see how you can genuinely impact the lives of those you’re caring for. Care might involve long overtime hours, but those hours are often a blessing and not a curse.
The best way to decide whether care is for you is to read or hear the testimony of current and past carers. They’ll tell you more about the trials and tribulations of the job, and you’ll be able to decide from their feedback whether this is the field for you. If you’re still keen to work in care after this research, it’s time to decide which forms of care you’d most like to engage in.
Types of Care
Before you launch into the qualification program that you’ll need to follow in order to provide care, you’ll need to decide which type of care you’re most interested in providing. These actually come in a wide variety of forms, catering to different sections of society that need a little extra support in order to function properly. You can care for:
- The elderly, in care homes or in their own homes in an assisted living capacity
- The physically handicapped, again in special homes or out and about as they conduct their daily lives
- The neurodiverse, who might need a helping hand to become a fully engaged member of society
- Children, who often require care if they have been neglected or abused over the course of their young lives
Each of these different care roles will see you giving a specific type of care. You won’t want to treat a child the same as you would an elderly person, nor a physically handicapped person as you would someone with Asperger’s syndrome. Choose your type of care based on who you’re most passionate about helping in the future.
You cannot just waltz into care without a qualification behind you. Even if you’re the most caring person in the world and you feel you’d be a great fit for a career in care, you’ll still need to have gone through some training to ensure that you will not put any patients at risk over the course of your career. Those who need care are vulnerable, which means that their carers need to be acutely aware of how they might be a bad influence on those under their charge.
Training and qualifications for caring are as diverse as the care fields mentioned above. If you’re interested in helping the elderly, you’ll want to gain an assisted living license to show that you know what to do in all eventualities when you’re caring for a senior citizen. Caring for children generally requires additional training, considering how uniquely vulnerable young people can be. Gain these qualifications in order to make yourself eligible for a number of jobs in your area.
Finding a Job
With a care qualification, you’ll find that there are several jobs that you can apply for in your area. There’s a lack of care workers across society, and this is only predicted to get worse in the coming years, as more and more people require care services, especially the elderly. Still, deducing which job you take is important. Roles are different across different organizations, and you’ll want to find one that strikes the right balance between hard work and your own lifestyle and freedoms.
Bear in mind that most care roles will have unusual hours. Caring cannot be a standard 9-5 job because, of course, people don’t cease to need care when the rest of the world is clocking off for the weekend. Instead, you’ll take shifts that could run into the night and across weekends. If you’re looking for a timetable that’s a little more standardized, you might wish to find a role in a firm that only offers care during daylight hours. That way, it’ll be easier to maintain a social life while you work on your career.
Building Your Career
Caring has several tiers of seniority. These tiers can be accessed through hard work, learning on the job, and training in the background in your own time. Care supervisors tend to organize carers in a facility, while there are several roles for carers in administration, in hospitals, or even in academia. You’ll find your specific passion over time by experimenting with different roles and finding what it is about the job that makes you most satisfied.
Some people have little ambition to climb the care ladder – and that’s absolutely fine. You might have got into care to be the face-to-face carer of the people you’re interested in helping. Removing yourself from that for a higher salary may well make little sense. Still, you can provide care in institutions that tend to pay more in wages when you’re a little more experienced, with fantastic references from your past employers. As such, always make sure you’re working hard, leaving a good impression, and building up a reputation as a brilliant carer that any institution would be happy to call their own.
Caring is regarded as one of the world’s most rewarding jobs. It’s tough at times, but there’s something meaningful about seeing how your work improves the lives of others. This guide is about getting you set up on your journey to being a carer – from the training, you’ll need to how to progress from your first job.