Seven top tips to get started in a career in care
Have you ever thought about working in social care?
There are so many different types of jobs available in social care; you could work in a role where you provide care and support such as a care worker, a nurse, or an occupational therapist, you could work in a managerial position leading a care home or another type of provider such as a home care provider, or you could work in lots of other roles such as a chef, a groundskeeper, or in administration. And that’s just a few of the options available!
Working in social care provides an opportunity to work with lots of different people so it’s definitely something to consider if you’re a people person, you could work in a home for older people, you could visit the homes of people who need support to help them at home, or you could work with individuals of varying ages and backgrounds in a community care programme, helping them with different tasks such as going to activity groups, going shopping, or attending college.
Whatever type of career in care may interest you most, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Find out if you’ve got what it takes
We’ve created an interactive challenge that can help you to decide if social care is the right career for you. A Question of Care, takes you through a day in the life of a social care worker to help you think about how you would respond to common situations and provides you with a personalised profile to see if you’ve got the values to work in care.
Try it out.
Think about your past experiences
You don’t necessarily need to have specific qualifications or previous social care experience to work in the sector. Think about the skills you’ve learned from other experiences in your life: maybe you’ve learned how to work well in a team from being involved in extra-curricular activities, maybe you’ve developed great communication skills from work you did at school, or perhaps you have experience supporting relatives who require care and support. These real-life experiences can help you think about the skills you have that could be relevant to a career in social care.
Find out more about transferable skills.
Think about your values
The adult social care sector is always seeking people who want to make a difference in the lives of others. If you think that sounds like you, we have a worksheet that can help you consider if you have the values to work in social care and how you can demonstrate them.
Fill out our values worksheet.
Consider an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship is a great way to get started in your career, and it allows you to work and earn money while completing a qualification. You’d be working alongside qualified staff and would complete your qualification either in the workplace or at a local learning provider. It’s a great way to gain experience and valuable skills. There are loads of apprenticeships available in different areas of social care that could be right for you.
Find out more about social care apprenticeships.
Think about what role would suit you
There’s a role for everybody in social care, including many you might not have ever thought about before. If you love to be around people and have a naturally caring attitude a direct care giving role would be perfect for you, if you’re always on the go and are a great motivator what about being an activities co-ordinator, or if you love one-to-one situations and are super organised you could support someone as a personal assistant.
Find out more about different jobs in social care.
Volunteering is a great way to get a taste for life working in adult social care and gain valuable experience. Look online for opportunities – you might be able to find opportunities through your school, college, or local job centre.
Have a look at volunteering opportunities online.
Apply for a role
If you’ve decided a career in care is definitely right for you and you’re ready to get started, there’s always opportunities in the adult social care sector, so get ready to apply. The Government has a website where you can search for social care jobs near you. To help with your application think about the relevant skills and experience you have which make you a great fit for the role and make sure to include this in your CV and application form.
Have a look for social care jobs in your area.
Find out more about what it’s like to work in social care, how to get started, and the different job roles available on Think Care Careers.