For anyone considering a career in care - go for it!

For anyone considering a career in care - go for it!

For the last 20 years I have worked in retail, 13 in a management position. As 2021 continued to be dictated by the pandemic, many places of employment had to adapt to survive. My own role, along with several others was reviewed as the company I worked for decided on a management restructure. Although I was offered a new position, the process allowed me to take some time and decide if I wished to continue with my current career or try something new. At 42, a good salary, a family and mortgage ensured that this would not be an easy decision.

I had always thought that I would love a job where I felt I was making a difference to someone's life and after weighing everything up I decided that I wanted to go into care work. I had not really thought about what sector of care but having talked to a friend who worked with adults with disabilities, I decided that this was what I was going to try. I applied for a few job vacancies and was invited to an interview with Turning Point Scotland.

Although I had no experience in the care sector, I drew on the skills I had developed and was offered a job as a support practitioner for adults with disabilities. I had no preconceived thoughts about what the job would be like and went in with an open mind.

I shadowed a colleague for my first shift and was informed that I could do this for a week but, by my second shift I requested if I could be hands on, as this would help me to understand the role better and I was confident that I would be able to assist.

The first few weeks went past very quickly, and I picked up many of the general day to day aspects of the role. Training was delivered via many different styles such as computer based, practical and 1-2-1 training sessions. Feedback was also provided throughout and was very positive.

To be in care you have to have three things, compassion, empathy and be a good listener. I have those traits, and this has allowed me to build up a great rapport with all the users I support.

I do not look at this as a job, I am supporting people’s lives. The support is everything from assisting with dressing to dispensing medications, the service user needs to be able to put their full trust in me.

Three months into the role and I know I made the right choice. I have continued to develop and progress my skills, and my training covers different aspects of disabilities. I have been fully accepted as part of the team from both colleagues and the service users I support.

My work/life balance is great as I get more time at home as my shift patterns are better than previous role. Financially I am slightly worse off however, the recent wage increase for people in the care sector has brought me to a place where we are comfortable.

For anyone considering a career in care, go for it! It is a very rewarding and fulfilling industry, one where you can make a real difference. They say life begins at 40, for me, make that 42.

Apprenticeships.scot logo Aberdeen Science Centre logo Career Ready logo Moray College UHI logo My World of Work logo Marketplace logo Moray Pathways logo