With over 64% of young people aged between 18-34 interviewed by the Department of Health and Social Care admitting that they would be open to care careers, it’s very encouraging for us as a sector.
Since we need a predicted 580,000 more care workers in the UK by 2035 to meet demand given our ageing population, young people need to seriously consider social care as a potential vocation, rather than just a stopgap.
It works both ways. The government needs to ensure that social care is an attractive option. This is what they are attempting to do with their “Every Day is Different” campaign.
But why would you, as a young person reading this, even consider working in social care? You probably think it’s all about getting your hands dirty administering personal care. And yes, that’s one aspect of it. However, that certainly isn’t the whole story and no reason to reject the potential benefits of a long and varied career as a social care worker.
No Two Days Are Ever the Same
One big criticism of work-life is the mundanity of waking up every day going through the same routine, performing the same tasks on-repeat. Some people love knowing what to expect from their work, but if you like more spontaneity in your working day, social care work has it in abundance.
Social care work isn’t just about washing and dressing a person. They might need help with medications, keeping their home tidy, or perhaps they want some companionship. You may even get to go on days trips with them or help them bake a cake for a beloved family member. If you want a job that is never boring, you’ve come to the right place.
With a variety of clients, many of whom have unique characters and stories to tell, you cannot predict what will lie ahead of you on a given day – It really is an adventure. There’s no danger of finding yourself on auto-pilot, that’s for sure!
You Can Make a Real Difference
It may seem a cliché, but it’s not to be underestimated. Many people sleepwalk through their lives wondering if how they spend the majority of their waking hours really does make any jot of impact on the world. Some may reconcile themselves to the fact that, as long as they’re able to put food on their table and take care of their families, that’s a good enough reason to get up each day and work. Yet others find themselves depressed because it’s human nature to want to know your work matters on a grand scale.
With social care, you never have to worry about your work being unimportant. Every day you can see the direct effects of your labour. Helping someone to feel cleaner and happier. Making sure they take their tablets so that they don’t get sick or feel in pain. Chatting to them so they have some human contact. Enabling them to live in their own homes for longer. These are just a few of the ways a social care worker makes a difference.
And it’s not just the client who benefits; the relatives also gain advantages from knowing their loved one is being looked after. Or they get to have a break and take care of themselves for a little while understanding their loved one is in safe hands.
When you think about it, social care work is one of the most important jobs there is.
Career Progression is a Reality
People have this habit of thinking of care work as a stopgap instead of a promising career path in its own right. But do you realise that care, just like any other sector, requires a vast array of professionals to keep care businesses running, making sure they are compliant with all current standards, and a whole host of other business functions. Those managing care companies like to expand into other areas and need people with on the ground expertise to help them get set up. You need marketing, HR, payroll and training. You could be the one to manage your own care business one day! Don’t think that your career starts and ends with home care visits if you have skills you want to develop in other areas. Health and social care isn’t going away any time soon – There will always be a need for the care sector, which makes it a promising and secure area to get involved with.
While you’re young, you’re in a great position to build your future. Choose a solid foundation to establish a career that can grow with you as your life changes. You can develop so much in social care where you might stagnate in other professions, so when you’re looking for your first job, or a new job, don’t forget to read up on what opportunities are available to you with care work.
For ideas on care jobs, careers and apprenticeships, check out our recruitment page.