When you do good, it feels good! It seems obvious but being able to help someone you care about makes a huge positive impact on your life too. If you are naturally the person that people turn to when they need a friendly chat or a comforting shoulder, you might make a fantastic support worker!
Let’s delve a little deeper into this rewarding career and find out why this could be the career for you!
What is a support worker?
There are no big surprises here – a support worker provides support for families and individuals that need practical and/or emotional help so they can continue to live a happy, independent lifestyle.
You could be helping people with mental health problems, learning difficulties, the elderly, or families going through relationship issues. It can (and often will) vary greatly from day-to-day and client to client.
Why choose this career?
You’ll get to make a huge difference to people’s lives: that’s guaranteed to make you feel happy at the end of your work day! If you dread a boring 9-5 desk job and want a career that keeps you on your toes, this will be perfect for you!
Monday might see you helping a sweet elderly lady with some household chores, and on Tuesday you might be helping a child with learning difficulties learn to read.
And if you’re a career driven person, don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities to progress in this field and move up the career ladder, especially with the help of qualifications.
Ah the all-important question!
Depending on experience and location, your salary is likely to start on around £17,000 a year and can increase up to around £33,000 a year with further experience and qualifications (especially if you decide to work in a management position).
OK I’m interested…but is it the job for me?
If you can provide help and support to change someone’s life, have an open-minded approach to others and are able to offer a little patience, understanding and compassion, this is the role for you!
Perhaps you’re looking for a job that fits around your family time or study commitments? Good news! Health and social care is very flexible and you’ll be able to work evenings and weekends if needed.
The most important requirement for this job is a real passion for helping others and if you haven’t got any other job experience yet, don’t worry! If you cast your mind back over your life, you’ll probably find plenty of relevant experience: maybe you’ve helped take care of your grandparents, supported your friend through a difficult separation or perhaps you help someone with learning difficulties? These are all ideal experiences that help launch a career in health and social care.
If you’re looking to boost your experience, you could volunteer in a nursing home, or charity organisation to gain some up-to-date work experience. Not only will this look impressive on your CV, it will also help you start to build the support skills you’ll need as a carer.
Not sure what you’d do on a day-to-day basis? Here’s what you can expect:
- Listen – a good chat over a cup of tea and a hug can do wonders! One of the most important task in this role is simply being there for the person you look after, and essential counselling skills is a huge part of this!
Find out about some useful counselling skills that you can use right now
and that will help you connect better with the people in your life.
- Help out – doing some simple household chores like cooking, cleaning and shopping can be a massive help to someone who isn’t able to do it themselves - they’ll be very grateful for your help.
- Teach – as a support worker you’ll be helping people to live as independently as possible. Part of this process is teaching them the life skills that allow them to live happily; this could be anything from teaching them how to budget their money better, to showing them how to order their groceries online.
How do I get started?
- Bring families together – You won’t just be helping your clients, you’ll also get to help their families build or maintain a strong relationship with the person you care for. This could be arranging a weekly outing between a client and her grandchildren to supporting a family that may struggle with their relative’s issues. Whatever it is, you’ll be able to step in and help everyone involved.
The good news is that you don’t need a degree to gain an entry level job in care, however some kind of work experience in this field is desirable.
As mentioned earlier, it’s a great idea to volunteer a few hours of your time for a charity, hospital or nursing home, so you can gain experience and have a better understanding of what’s involved. It’s also a chance to ask the other social care workers about their experiences and get a few helpful hints and tips about their career journey.
When you are ready to progress your career, you can take qualifications to help you gain experience - you’ll have a better idea of the area you would like to specialize in and can tailor your education towards your career goals.
For many people that work in this sector, the most rewarding part of the job is the relationships they form with the people they work with, along with the sense of personal satisfaction from knowing they are making a life-changing difference to their client’s lives. After training, that could be you!
Ready to start your journey in health and social care?
Request a call back here