Hear how people working in other sectors have transferred their skills to roles in the adult social care sector.
Linda - from supermarket work to care worker to registered manager
Registered Manager Linda explains her journey and recommends a career in adult social care because no two days are ever the same. She gains great job satisfaction from knowing that she can make people happy and being there for her team of staff when they need her.
Linda started working in the sector as a care worker and quickly progressed to a management role helped by her previous management experience in an online shopping team at a national supermarket.
She had no formal care experience but had volunteered with her local church and felt she had the right values and transferable skills for the role. She attended an open day and after speaking to the employer was offered an interview. After a few months as a carer Linda asked about progressing into a management role. She was promoted to become a supervisor and completed a level 3 qualification funded by her employer. She was later promoted to a registered manager role and completed her level 5 diploma, now managing a team of care workers for a domiciliary care provider.
Linda enjoys her current role and plans to stay in it until retirement. She’ll continue to learn new ways of working to improve what she does, in the area of business management (finance, HR and compliance) in particular and believes continuous learning is crucial so that she can keep up to date with the sector and learn new ways of supporting people.
“Always give working in care a try – don’t let the personal care aspect put you off as you get used to that very quickly – and you’ll find yourself working in an extremely rewarding role.”
Linda - from kitchen/domestic worker to registered manager
After leaving school with no qualifications, Linda entered the adult social care sector as a kitchen assistant and domestic worker and progressed into a management role.
Now working as a registered manager, Linda is responsible for the day to day running of her service. She started working in the sector as a kitchen assistant and domestic worker, before becoming a junior carer and then progressing to a management role.
While working for this organisation she gained NVQ level 2, level 3 and level 4 qualifications, all of which were funded by her employer.
Mike - From factory/warehouse worker to team manager
Mike had previously worked in temporary roles in factories and warehouses, but a job with an outdoor pursuits company made him realise he enjoyed working with people. Mike now works as a team manager who support people with learning disabilities.
He began working as a support worker with no previous experience in social care and has since progressed into a management role. He wanted a stable career that would give him job satisfaction and security, so he applied for a role as a support worker, working with people with learning disabilities. He felt this role would combine his enjoyment of working with people and his skills teaching people sport and outdoor activities.
At first Mike felt out of his depth so his employer encouraged him to try working with different people in different care homes, and he volunteered to do overtime in respite and emergency services to develop his confidence. He soon found that the job could have been written just for him.
As a support worker Mike was keen to learn new things and try new ideas to improve the care he provided. As a manager he’s keen to continue this and is committed to developing motivated workers in his own team.
Mike started with no formal social care qualifications. He quickly completed the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care, re-took his Maths and English GCSEs and then completed a level 3 diploma. He’s currently completing the level 5 Diploma. This was funded by his employer through Skills for Care’s Workforce Development Fund.
In his supervision Mike mentioned that he would be interested in becoming a team manager. He was given extra management responsibilities, including managing a service, and progressed into a deputy manager role. After 16 months in this deputy role he was appointed as a team manager and is currently responsible for three care homes. Mike feels that his willingness to learn and move out of his comfort zone has really helped his career progression, and he has picked up ideas from working in different settings that he can take back to the care homes he manages.
If you’re thinking about working in social care, Mike suggests ringing companies and asking them questions; arrange a meeting and make sure it’s right for you. Good companies will allow you to come in and spend time in the home to make sure you know what to expect.
Mike - from sales and marketing to sales and marketing for a care provider
Mike used his experience of marketing and sales to secure a similar role in the social care sector
From his mid-20s, Mike had always worked in direct sales. Although he enjoyed his various sales roles, Mike was keen to develop his wider sales and marketing skills. He hadn’t considered a career in the social care industry until it was recommended to him by a friend in the sector. At the time, Mike was considering his options and a possible career change, so decided to take up an initial role of care to get a taste of working in the industry. Although the change of role and sector was a bit of a culture shock at the beginning, within a couple of months of joining the company, Mike was thoroughly enjoying his newfound role and wished he’d found it sooner.
Emma: from student to care assistant
Emma moved into social care after studying health and social care at college
Emma studied health and social care at college and gained a level 3 qualification. She did a variety of placements before deciding her passion lay in supporting older vulnerable people. After college, she joined a care agency as a care assistant and loved it. She found the work rewarding and went home with a smile on her face nearly every day.
Throughout her career Emma has understood the importance of continuing to learn new things and has done lots of short courses including dementia care and parkinson’s disease. Emma’s currently doing a level 5 qualification and is being developed for promotion to a customer services manager. To help her in this promotion, she supports the current customer services managers and provides cover for them when needed. This has helped her gain relevant experience, ready for when a full-time position comes up. Emma’s ambition for the future is to carry on doing what she feels passionately about and perhaps one day become a care manager, something her level 5 diploma will support her with.
Hanna: from the leisure industry to occupational therapist
Hanna started her career working in leisure management and secured a role within health and social care using some of the skills she learned earlier on in her career.
Over the last four and a half years, Hanna has worked as a part-time Senior Occupational Therapist. She supports the six care homes that specialise in residential nursing, dementia and mental health.
Logen: from pub worker to care worker
When Logen gave up her pub job last year she didn’t expect to be working in a national pandemic but like so many other care workers she has met that challenge head on.
Logen is now a home care assistant with Radfield Home Care Wakefield and Dewsbury. Betty, one of the people Logen supports, was upset that her sister in law passed away before her nephew had been born and wished she had a photo of all the family together with her new nephew. Logen used her computing skills to edit a photo of her sister in law into a family photo so it looked like they were all together and Betty was incredibly moved by the photo and the gesture.
Logen said, “Working for Radfield Home Care is more a way of life than a job - I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m visiting clients. It feels like a trip to a relative’s house. When you see their faces light up, that’s when it makes you realise that this is the right job to be in.”
For Radfield this new worker with a big personality is a classic example of the sort of job changer they want to attract. Gemma Bristow, Radfield’s Registered Care Manager noted...
“Logen is a pleasure to have as part of our exceptional care team - she is a breath of fresh air.
“She came to us with no professional care experience, but took all her training on board very quickly, and soon developed in her role as a care professional. Logen is extremely competent, confident and colleagues really enjoy working alongside her.
“This story clearly shows that she listened and understood the worries of her client, and has taken the initiative and done something extremely thoughtful and kind to cheer her up.”