One of the most talked-about advantages of working in social care is how fulfilling it is. The ability to change someone’s daily life for the better is an opportunity that will put a smile on your face too. If having a job that sends you home with a sense of satisfaction is what you’re looking for, then it’s worth considering a role in social care.
The sense of fulfilment you get from doing something good and worthwhile isn’t the only reason that care is rewarding. Though it’s one of the main attractions, it’s combined with several other benefits that might be harder to notice before you enter the profession or are often overlooked.
In fact, the results of recent surveys conducted at further education colleges have highlighted just how little is known about the rewards of the work. A significant percentage of students, including those studying health and social care, aren’t clear on why working in care is rewarding.
The sector and future social care employees could benefit from everyone having a better understanding of the rewards of social care work. With that in mind, we thought we’d clear up a few myths and bring together our favourite reasons for choosing a career in social care.
There are a few reasons why, in the past, social care hasn’t been appreciated for how rewarding it can be. The media play a strong role in forming impressions. The depiction of care in fictional content, as well as news and documentaries, hasn’t helped to build an accurate picture.
When the media focuses on the negatives, dismisses its significance, or leaves it out of the narrative altogether, it’s not entirely surprising that the rewards of care are unclear. Anyone who starts a career will soon come to see them, but for the sector to thrive, it needs to attract applicants who appreciate the opportunities available.
Another portrayal that has caused some difficulty for social care is that it’s a non-traditional role for men. As a result, only 15.3% of the social care workforce are male. The rewards of care are just as true for men as they are for women. The misguided perception that the work isn’t for men denies half the population the chance to progress in a satisfying career.
Men requiring support would undoubtedly benefit from more men in social care, especially when many would like and benefit from having a male carer. Frontline work isn’t the only option in the sector. It takes all kinds of people to contribute to social care, with roles in marketing, catering, HR and IT providing excellent opportunities.
To say that care is rewarding without getting specific is also one of the reasons that people aren’t clear about the benefits. Putting that into words is the first step to acknowledging the essential work that happens in social care.
Identifying the rewards also helps people understand whether a role in social care is a good fit for them. Not only does it give you a better understanding of the kind of work environment to expect, but it also highlights the skills that are appreciated and required in the sector.
A love for supporting and helping others could be the basis for a career in social care. However, it’s not the attribute that plays a role. There are also pragmatic considerations to be made. The demand for care is only likely to grow and not diminish, meaning a job in social care is a safe and stable prospect.
Without further ado, let’s dig into the specific reasons that social care is so rewarding.
Let’s be honest, it’s the monotony of the daily grind that can make a job unappealing and dissatisfying. With a role in frontline social care, no two days are the same. What brings that variety is the different tasks, but most importantly, it’s the people.
Interacting with different people each day brings you into contact with remarkable stories and entertaining characters. As you adapt your support to their individual needs, you’ll feel the benefit of a unique feature of working in a care setting. The jokes, wisdom and experiences that they can share will enrich your life in a way you can’t find elsewhere.
It’s not just the day-to-day work that’s diverse; the opportunities and roles in social care are varied too. Even if you’re not on the frontline, you can still contribute to making people’s lives better. Keeping systems and services running smoothly from behind the scenes is vital to delivering a high standard of care.
Social care can draw on all sorts of skills. A passion for food and drink could result in a role as a cook. Those with technical know-how are in demand too. From supporting residents with their technology needs to using artificial intelligence to improve operations, the diverse roles allow you to explore different talents.
Choosing a role in social care is rewarding as it means you don’t necessarily have to narrow your options or make too many compromises. There are flexible solutions, which means it’s highly likely that you’ll find an opportunity that suits your needs.
Frontline care work often involves shifts. It means you can find a role that fits around your other commitments, whether that’s studying or childcare. In social care, it’s possible to find the balance to pursue a career without compromising on your other life choices.
Many skills in social care are transferable, which is another benefit that helps you stay flexible. There are several care settings where you can find work and choose to specialise if you prefer. Each one offers different ways to develop your skills and career. Social care can be challenging. Supporting others with their needs isn’t always easy, but that’s part of what makes it so rewarding.
It’s worth knowing that there are different areas and that some might suit you better than others. A social care role could involve working in dementia care, elderly care or supporting those with learning disabilities. Each one has its own challenges, and the rewards will feel slightly different depending on your skills and character.
There’s a rewarding sense of connection that comes with a role in social care. You’ll be part of a team that’s all working towards a common goal. Every member’s contribution is essential to achieving those aims, which means you’ll be valued and have a sense of purpose.
A crucial part of what makes care so rewarding is that the goal you’re all working towards is centred around supporting someone. For care to be truly effective, it needs to be personalised, taking into account the needs of the person you support and their family. Not only does that keep the work varied, but it also gives you a personal connection to your tasks.
Social care does revolve around the day-to-day basics of personal care, which are invaluable to all individuals who require support. On top of that, though, your role includes providing life-enriching experiences. They make a significant difference in a person’s welfare, and you’ll be able to see that from the smile on their face and their improved quality of life.
Since your outcomes are people-based, the job description can include some tasks that are fun and engaging and will make you feel even more connected to your work. Whether it’s going for a walk, playing a game, watching a movie or something creative, it’s not a bad way to earn your pay!
Positions are available in almost all areas of social care. Once you’ve started a career in the sector, you don’t need to stagnate. Growing with the demands of the industry brings satisfaction and several rewards.
You could choose to specialise in a specific area and take relevant qualifications, such as diplomas and award certificates. These could include adult care, technical qualifications, independent advocacy or end-of-life care. Not only will they help you move into new and interesting areas, but they’ll help you deliver to even higher standards.
Job satisfaction can also come from stability and knowing that you’re needed. A role in the sector will make your feel needed and help you see your contribution to society. Social care is a growing sector with an increasing demand for talented staff. It’s projected that there’s a need for over 500,000 more care workers by 2035.
The sector isn’t only growing in numbers. The way patients are supported and how social care operates is transforming. More automation, the growth of digitalisation and a more joined-up approach with the NHS will present further opportunities for personal development. For the tech-savvy, growing to meet those new ways of working with the use of AI will open up even more career prospects.
Career progression plays a significant role in satisfaction in most jobs. Fortunately, there are multiple options in social care, so you won’t have to stay in one role. The fact that you’ll have several routes open to you means that you can pick the one that best suits your requirements. If you want flexible working, to stay more in touch with the people you’re supporting or to innovate, there are options.
If you’ve started as a Care Assistant or Support Worker, you can stay on the frontline in a supervisory role while still progressing your career. You might continue to progress to the role of Care Coordinator or Registered Manager.
Your experience in care can help you progress to administrative roles, too. Your understanding of the service will be invaluable, and you can still contribute while exploring other skills. You could work towards additional qualifications to take up a role in compliance, learning and development or facilities management.
Some carers choose to take their calm and compassionate manner and pursue a career in nursing. Much of what you learn in other roles in social care can help start you on your way with this qualification, which can lead to Nurse Assistant and Nurse roles in social care.
Social care involves all different types of work. Working with adults from age 18 and upwards, you can support a diverse range of people with various needs. While there’s a need for people in frontline care, which can be the most rewarding, contributions can be made through IT, marketing and administrative roles.
Although social care is required at different times of the day, you don’t have to work unsocial hours, and the flexibility of shifts means you’ll have time for other life priorities. Interesting work that involves fun tasks and the incredible potential for progression make a career in social care a rewarding and promising prospect.
We hope that our shortlist of the top reasons why care is a rewarding career has inspired you to take a leap into the care industry. As a next step, why not take a look at some of the opportunities available by visiting Care & Support Jobs, a website dedicated to the social care sector so that you too can be a part of transformational change.