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Should you pursue a career in home and community care?

Home and community care workers provide care and support to vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or those with disabilities.

We’re going to take a stab in the dark and say that you, our precious reader, have been waiting for a sign from the universe or a divine intervention to help guide you down the right path. Or maybe you are sitting on the fence and don’t know which yard to jump into. That’s probably why you’re reading this article, right? The good news is, you’re not alone.

A lot of people are hesitant to uproot their entire lives and start something new from scratch, especially if they’re still not certain that it’s the right choice. Others are deterred by their age or put off by the thought of going back to college.

The reality is, it doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you have worked in a different field or how much time it’s taken you to reach the decision; if you’re still in the workforce, it is never too late to pursue a career in home and community care. Many of our students come from long careers in other industries or sectors and express to us their desire to finally follow their dreams or to make a difference in the world.

Often, it’s something our friends and family mention in passing, ‘You would be fantastic as a carer’. Or maybe you have always felt that you would be great in a support-based role after a stint of taking care of someone else. Whatever drives you or whatever your goal, it is something that is attainable, as long as the motivation is there.

home and community care worker

So, if you have been thinking about making the move to home and community care, we looked at some of the qualities that workers in the industry possess to help you identify if you are a good candidate for a career in this sector. If you would also like to see what undertaking a course in this industry consists of, click here.

Always wanting to help or make a difference
This is arguably the most important characteristic of a home and community care worker, and the most obvious. Nothing is more important to these individuals than making a real, lasting change in their communities, which is reflected in their work.

Exceptional listening skills
Ever noticed how some people don’t really listen, they just wait for their opportunity to speak? This is not indicative of someone who is truly hearing information and processing it. It’s important to be able to lend someone an ear when they need it and to genuinely appreciate and understand what they are trying to communicate to you.

Thinking on your feet
Every day will be filled with new challenges for both you and your client. Sometimes you will be faced with uncomfortable or confronting situations that will require you to act fast, make a decision quickly and think on your feet. This career is dynamic and no day will be the same, especially if you work in residential care and care for more than one individual.

Patience
You will be working with elderly or disabled individuals, so tasks that might be a walk in the park for someone else can often be difficult or challenging. It’s critical that you are someone who can be patient, even if you are feeling frustrated with slow or hindered progress.

Empathy
Empathy is the foundation for every other quality to work from. Being able to understand and appreciate someone else’s circumstance will differentiate you from the rest. If you find that you are naturally empathetic, you are already an awesome candidate for a role in support services.

Having thick skin
And no, we don’t mean physically! It’s not going to be a great day every day, meaning there will be times when you will feel disheartened or shaken up by incidents in the workplace. Being able to bounce back is key, as well as knowing when not to take things too personally. You will hear countless stories from people in the industry who have gone through hard times with their clients and yet, they stay in the role for years and years. That’s because they know when to let things go and not take everything to heart.

A career in home and community care is a truly rewarding one, filled with gratitude and appreciation for the work that you will carry out. However, it’s not easy! We help our students prepare for the workforce with practical training that they can apply beyond the classroom.

If you have been looking for your chance to get your foot in the door or are eager to finally find paid work, get in touch by clicking here and speaking to our Course & Career Advisors about how you can get started.

Posted in: Aged Care Community Services Disability Other Professional Development

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