How caring for a friend or family member can lead you to your perfect job in care

How caring for a friend or family member can lead you to your perfect job in care

Many people who have cared or supported a family member or friend, often decide to use those skills in a paid care setting. Some adverts you may find will ask for ‘experience’ - but that isn’t necessarily paid experience. It’s worth sharing any personal experience of care and support when you’re applying to jobs. 

Read on to see how looking after a friend or family member can lead you to the perfect job in care.

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Looking after an Elderly Friend or Family Member.

When looking after an elderly friend or family member, you may have looked after someone with dementia

This may have included support with personal care, i.e. washing and dressing, and preparing medication, food and drink for them. It is also possible you would have needed to provide emotional support.

It can also be as simple as visiting them and providing company.. These all make for great transferrable qualities and skills when applying.

Looking after a Younger Friend or Family Member.

Everyone receiving care and support have individual needs - but all require fantastic skills that can be used in a care setting.

Looking after younger relatives may involve  encouraging independence and meeting their goals, depending on how old they are. If they are young children, this could be encouraging them to dress themselves, or try new foods for example.

However, for someone in their teenage years or later, this could be about gaining work experience, gaining qualifications, or simply teaching them about how to do specific bits of housework.

What opportunities are there if you don’t have paid experience, but you have looked after a friend or family member?

There are many opportunities within the care sector for someone who has personal experience, rather than paid experience. Some adverts will say whether experience needs to be paid, personal or voluntary; but the good news is that most don’t need any at all.

Looking after a friend or family member is a personal experience. This could also be considered voluntary work as well.

Job roles to look out for include Care Assistants, Support Workers, Housekeepers, and Kitchen Assistants.

In a social care setting, adverts for Healthcare Assistant roles may also say no experience is required, compared to a Healthcare Assistant role in a healthcare setting, where you may need more experience and qualifications.

Find out more about the difference between a social care setting and a healthcare setting.

How does this experience help you get a job in care?

When looking after friends and family members, you develop important skills and values you can bring into your care career.

How important is this experience?

Well, some adverts focus on the values needed, rather than experience.

Caring for a friend or family member shows you have the values a care company is looking for, including being caring and friendly and having good communication and teamwork skills. 

Looking after a friend or family member also provides you with skills you will need when working in the care sector. This can vary from simply providing personal care to giving medication to someone. Make sure to sell your skills during your application and interview process. 

By developing these values and skills, looking after a friend or family member gives you a huge advantage when applying for a job in care.

Employers may be more likely to consider you than those with no experience, particularly if you are applying for a role where it states it is preferable for you to have experience.

We hope this has given you an insight into how looking after a relative can help you get into care, and we wish you luck with those job applications!

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