You’re considering a new career working in the care sector. There can be a lot to read and consider before you start your application, so here is our career advice for working in care to help you get started.
It’s important to understand what kind of sector care is before deciding to seek work in it, whether that’s hearing stories about people who work in care, finding out about the variety of roles within it, or volunteering in a care home or other care setting. Care workers can work in a variety of different places and do several different things depending on what type of role they have chosen.
There is also normally a large amount of flexibility that you can have working in care, such as becoming a bank worker. It’s worthwhile doing some research on the care sector as that way you’ll be up to speed with what’s expected of you.
You can begin your new career with few or no qualifications as the key factor is a genuine desire to help others, and during your career, you’ll have an opportunity to study to gain care industry qualifications.
Many care providers will have a set structure for your learning, and it will likely be split between in-person sessions and online learning. The things you learn may include health and safety, first aid, and communication.
Care is a highly challenging sector but is incredibly rewarding. As well as exploring the variety within the sector, it’s important to understand if you’re the right fit; not only will this result in greater job satisfaction, but this can also help you at any interviews. Care often focuses on values-based recruitment over experience, so showing you have these values is important.
Now you have a better understanding of the care industry, it’s important to figure out what kind of care role you would like and would be good for. There are lots of different types of care roles – more specific care such as Dementia care, supporting young people with learning disabilities, or coming up with activities for care homes as an activity coordinator, to name a few.
Make sure you read job adverts carefully so that you understand the role and can begin to think of what will make you a good fit. Do you have transferable skills you can speak about during the recruitment process? Have you cared for a friend or family member?
As with any job application, you will need to prepare your CV. Make sure that not only does it show your experience, but that it is tailored to the job that you would like to do as much as possible. Make sure you check your spelling and grammar, and that you are being specific to the organisation you are applying for.
Some care roles may also include you filling out an online application form. Make sure you read any questions you are given carefully and fill out your answers in full sentences unless otherwise specified. You should also make sure you fill in all the appropriate details required, as this can also show a clear attention to detail.
Some care organisations may call you before offering you an interview to learn more about you and understand your experience and priorities.
Let your personality shine through where possible. Sell yourself and demonstrate your passion. If you can, ask friends and family to read your CV and give you feedback.
As with the application, and with other job interviews, this is about selling yourself, your passion, and your skills. Some care providers include a telephone interview as well as a face-to-face interview – remember to dress appropriately! Practice discussing answers to questions you might expect from an interview with a friend or family member. How do you come across?
It is also important to remember that if you are offered a role, there will be ID & documentation required from your new place of work.
This is especially true for Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS checks / criminal record checks), and these checks can sometimes take a little bit longer to complete - be patient and ask your future employer if there is anything you can do to help, such as helping to chase your references up. If you can, try to collate important documents that could be needed such as identification, and proof of address ready for the interview stage.
Hopefully, these tips will help you find your perfect career in care. Good luck!