If you’re considering a career that involves providing another person with care, first of all, that’s great! There’s arguably no greater gift you can give someone than the support and help that is involved with care giving, and there’s arguably no greater, rewarding job than being a carer as a result.
Therefore if you are thinking about it, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you begin your journey and to help you decide whether it’s the right career for you.
Research the different types of care giving as much as possible
There are different levels of care that you can go into for different types of people, whether it’s those with mobility restrictions, memory problems or other medical conditions. Therefore it’s important to look into specific categories so you can get a feel for what sort of opportunities are out there in this line of work, and which you feel would best suit you and your personal situation. Also research exactly what the job will entail so you can work out whether it’s for you or not.
Work out what level of care you want to provide
Likewise, think about whether you’d like to provide emotional, physical or medical support mainly (though of course being a care giver for an elderly person will involve all three at some point or another). However, you can specialise in certain areas and it’s a good idea to think about what you would like to specialise in.
Try and speak to as many people in your field of work as possible
If you don’t know anyone directly that works in the field of work, you can do some research and easily find someone who does. There is lots of professional care networks out there, and there are even magazines centred round care giving. These can give you a really reliable, honest and frank insight into what this career is like from those individuals who do it day in, day out.
Get some work experience with a local organisation
Organisations like extracare.org.uk sometimes provide the opportunity to volunteer in their care homes for the elderly which can be a really useful insight into life as a carer and what you can expect on a daily basis. Volunteer work also looks great on your CV for when it comes to applying for new jobs, and can give you an advantage over other applicants!
Ensure it’s definitely what you want to do
Care giving isn’t for everyone, as it’s an extremely demanding job physically, mentally and emotionally. The best carers are always the ones that are fully committed to the job they are doing, which is impossible if it’s not the right job for you. It requires exceptionally high levels of patience, compassion and commitment, so ensure you can fully give this before committing. If you are training, remember that if you’re finding it difficult, don’t worry as this is perfectly natural in this type of work.