How thousands are discovering true job satisfaction

IN these uncertain times, it can be particularly worrying if your job is at risk, which is why thousands of people across the UK are currently looking into opportunities in social care.

Rosie, 25, was working in an office-based job but, after she was furloughed during lockdown, she started thinking about a new career – this time in healthcare.

“I left school at 16, and worked in customer services for a double-glazing company for nine years,” says Rosie, from North Yorkshire. “It was very monotonous, the same thing day in day out. I never felt like I was making a difference.

“I’d been considering going into nursing, but thought I should get some experience in care work first. I found a company online that offered home care in my local area. It’s quite rural, so it was good to realise jobs like those aren’t just based in big cities.”

While Rosie had no previous experience, her sociable and caring personality made her an ideal candidate. She adds, “I’m also quite organised and efficient thanks to my previous role, which is important when you’re working independently.”

After a period of induction training and working “shadow shifts” alongside experienced care workers, Rosie embarked on her new career in May – and is already excited about the future.

“I thought care work meant being an assistant then moving up to managerial roles,” she explains. “But there are lots of different avenues you can take, which I hadn’t known about before. Since starting this job, I’ve been offered lots of training opportunities, including the chance to do a nurse practitioner degree. It means you can stay in the social care sector, or move into the NHS if you want to.”

Rosie believes the job satisfaction, along with the opportunities a career in healthcare offers, have made the leap worthwhile. She currently combines two double shifts a week with studying for a funded Level 2 NVQ in health and social care, as well as a Level 3 access course that will allow her to study nursing at university.

Meanwhile, she’s thoroughly enjoying her new day-to-day role, which involves visiting and assisting people throughout their day – from helping to prepare meals and personal care, to simply calling in for a chat and to check how they are.
“I’m a chatty person, and a lot of this work involves talking to people who might not get a chance to see anybody or go outside,” she says. “Sometimes the people you work with will be as happy as Larry, while on other days, they might be in distress, and it’s your responsibility to help them feel more settled. One of the challenging parts of the job is that some people are wary of receiving support, so you’ve got to gradually work your way into their routine to help them out.

“I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I want to help them maintain their independence, and make sure they enjoy the best possible quality of life in their later years.”

But the best part of her new role, says Rosie, is how rewarding it is. “I feel like I’m contributing to society, and while it’s hard work, it’s really varied. If you enjoy communicating and getting to know people, and you have a caring attitude, then care work could be the perfect role for you.”

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