So, you’ve got your foot in the door and started a career in the rewarding world of adult social care. You’ve worked hard to gain some essential experience and now it’s time to think about how to take those skills and use them to progress your career further.
Social care is changing; there’s now greater focus on the impact of care on an individual, taking a holistic approach to care giving and enabling people to live life as independently as possible.
Health organisations are recognising the need for greater support in our aging population. As a result, more than ever before, private and public functions are encouraging greater staff retention and welcoming new workers to the industry. In fact, it’s estimated that the industry will need to fill an additional 650,000 jobs by 2035 according to recent reports, so there’s plenty of opportunity for you to move and progress your career in adult social care!
Follow this guide and find out how to get ahead!
Be passionate and committed
It’s important to be passionate about the career you work in (after all, that’s why you chose it, right?!) Showing the right attitude to your clients, colleagues and managers can help you get noticed. Proving that you’re motivated, passionate and are keen to learn and grow within your field will not only help to progress your career but hugely benefit the clients you care for too.
There’s no I in team
Whether you‘re looking for a promotion or not, it’s always good to be a team player and share the workload with your colleagues. By helping out and picking up a few extra hours here and there or assisting someone with their duties, you’ll make everyone’s lives a little easier and ensure the work gets completed quickly and efficiently for the benefit of your clients, and your colleagues. Companies always promote people that are hard working and are invested in the vision of the company, so putting in the groundwork now can pay off later down the line.
Volunteer in the sector you wish to work in
If you’ve landed an entry-level job in social care but have decided on an area you want to specialise in (and it’s not the one you currently work in), offer to volunteer some of your free time to help out and gain valuable experience in this new speciality. Not only will this give you a really clear insight into your everyday life working in the field, it will also give you the skills and knowledge you’ll need to get started.
Back up your hard work with examples
By demonstrating the hard work you’ve made with examples, you’ll be able to show your boss that you’ve really thought about ways to improve things within the company. Whether it’s a time-saving technique or you’ve found a new and exciting way to connect better with the person you are caring for, be sure to tell your boss what you’ve done, how you have achieved it and any problems that cropped up as a result. You’ll be able to show your problem-solving skills by explaining any issues or mistakes that you made and what you learned from them.
Talk to your manager
Once you decide that you’re ready for a promotion, sit down and talk to your manager. Discuss your goals and what you’ve done to start preparing yourself for the extra responsibility and ask them what other steps you can take to get ahead. Create a clear plan that you can work towards and understand how your manager know how they can support you along the way. Make sure you write everything down and refer to it often to ensure you’re sticking on-track.
Say yes to extra training
In any social care role, you will of course receive some mandatory training which can cover everything from the moving and handling of your clients, food hygiene, fire safety and health and safety training. But alongside this you’ll have plenty of opportunities to complete additional training.
Developing your skillset with a training course is a great way to tailor your learning into a focused area, for example, you may wish to develop your skills and work specifically in areas like dementia care, mental health or the safe handling of medicines.
Many roles within adult social care will benefit from a level 2 certificate, however, if you want to really stand out and gain skills that suit supervisory and management roles, a level 3 diploma in adult care will teach you everything you need to succeed!
By focusing your learning like this, you begin to carve out a specialised area of expertise which will allow you to work towards your career goals and begin to climb the career ladder in that direction. This also allows you to adapt and develop any further training you undertake (either through work or privately) towards your planned career path.
Interested in training for your new management role?
Here's our new social care diploma explained