The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Be the Best Carer You Can Be With These Top Tips
Care can be an extremely rewarding and fulfilling field to enter into, but it’s essential to get the right experience before you find paid employment if you want to give yourself the best chance of getting a great job when you’re ready to embark on a professional career. If you’re currently considering a career in care then follow these five tips to find a fantastic work placement which will look great on your CV and help you gain the skills and knowledge you’ll need to become a second to none care worker.
1. Know Your Stuff
Whatever career you choose it’s always helpful to have as much knowledge about your particular field of work before you start. If you’re studying for a care qualification then ensure you put as much effort into your course as possible and go the extra mile to find out information that goes above and beyond what you’re expected to know. Make sure you have a comprehensive CV which details your current qualifications but also explains the skills and experiences you have had which are relevant to care. For example, if you’ve worked as a youth leader, babysitter or hospital aide.
2. Choose a Niche
Care work covers a whole gamut of different things from working with vulnerable young people, to people with learning difficulties to the elderly. If you’re not sure which type of care work would suit you best then looking for work experience in different environments such as a home for senior citizens or a supported living home for young adults. Once you’ve tried out a few different environments you’ll have a much clearer idea of which aspect of care you enjoy most.
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3. Get your CRB
You can’t work in care unless you have an up to date CRB or Criminal Records Bureau Certificate so apply for your own before you start looking for work experience as this will make the process of finding work quicker and easier. Once you start a job they may require you to get another CRB but in most cases they’ll pay for it so you won’t have to pay twice.
4. Be Proactive
The best way to find out if you can undertake work experience in any care environment is to ask, so if you’ve found somewhere that you think you’d like to work get in contact with them and ask about work experience. They can only say no and showing the initiative to ask for your own placement will create a great first impression for any potential employer.
5. Get Help
If you’re taking a care course then your tutors should be able to give you all the help and advice you need about getting work experience and tell you which type of placement would be right for you. These days most care courses include work experience as part of the curriculum and many colleges are affiliated with care homes and other institutions so it’s fairly simple to find a placement.
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Jo Windibank is a consultant at St George’s Care Agency. As a manager who is responsible for filling care job vacancies in the local area, she meets with dozens of potential nursing candidates every week to help them discover whether or not a career in care will suit them.