Most people dream of being in a career they find meaningful. Of going home at the end of each working day feeling proud and like they made a difference. Enjoying the motivation and excitement of knowing that every day you are empowering the people that you support to live their life to the full.
That’s why so many of those who work in adult care feel lucky to have found their calling.
Christiana Tella from Hounslow enjoyed an early taste of working in the sector at the age of 16, when she provided some extra help at Christmas time for her mum’s domiciliary company. Having continued to work there until she was 18, it was the start of an exciting career in care that set the now 26-year-old up with transferable skills and on a path to a range of experiences.
Christiana has since discovered a love of working with young care leavers.
“I’d urge anyone who wants to make a difference to consider becoming a support worker,” says Christiana, who is currently working as an enhanced support worker and aspires to become a team leader. “You need to be ready to be flexible, to work without judgement and recognise that two days are never the same – although can be long!
“There is never a dull moment and you also get to have lots of fun with the people you work with and support.”
This job satisfaction is commonplace for those in the industry, and with many people needing to find new careers as a result of the pandemic – but unsure about what to do next – it’s the perfect time to think about whether it might be a good option for you.
It might surprise you to know you don’t need qualifications or specific experience to go into adult care work. The qualities needed to excel in care work include being respectful, empathetic, reliable, patient, practical, observant and caring.
If this sounds like you, then you could be an ideal candidate- then there’s training for everything else once you start.
“When I first considered a career in care, I thought you already needed to have qualifications before you could apply,” explains Angela Wildy, a support worker in Surrey.
“I did a lot of work in bars and waitressing, and I actually found that a lot of those people skills were transferrable when I became a community support worker in June 2018. Alongside this, the support I received from my management was amazing and it cemented my decision to continue in pursuing a career in care.
“At the end of 2019, I started my GNVQ Level 3, alongside ongoing internal training. I’m hoping to go onto some form of counselling or social work at university after achieving my GNVQ Level 3.”
It’s the environment and career progression that makes Angela, 36, so happy with the move.
“Care has been a really supportive environment to grow in,” she explains. “There is a wide range of on-the-job training and qualifications available, and I want to highlight the huge room for progression in the sector, regardless of what qualifications you have before.”
There is a wide variety of adult social care roles available now, from supporting someone in a care home with their day-to-day activities to helping someone with a disability make a home their own. Through support, understanding and teamwork, adult carers make a huge difference to people’s everyday lives.