If you want a rewarding career where you can really make a difference to peoples' lives, consider jobs in social work. Although it can be a very demanding, working in social care can also be extremely rewarding. The expanding need for social care workers means that those with experience in this sector are likely to find themselves employable.
Changing career path to work in social care - what do you need to know?
Although jobs in social work don't always require you to have previous work experience in a similar role, or any prior training or qualifications, there are some basic skills that you'll need. Jobs in social care require at least basic numeracy and literacy, so that you can both understand and update patient care plans and records, and use health and safety information as required. Employers may also require you to have at least some relevant experience of working in stressful situations or demonstrating that you can make decisions.
Employers will also be interested to know whether you are reliable and can communicate well. If you've previously worked in a different industry, these skills are transferable to your new career in social care, so make sure you highlight these points on your CV and cover letter. For example, if you worked as a bar manager then you will have experience of busy shifts and difficult customers which show you have the robustness required for social care, and you can perhaps diffuse difficult situations through communication.
Social care employers may ask for references in order to check whether you are trustworthy and reliable. You can also expect to go through DBS checks (these were previously known as CRB checks). This is a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously these checks were handled by the Criminal Records Bureau) to make sure you haven't any previous convictions that would prevent you working with vulnerable people.
When you're first looking for jobs in social care work, your lack of experience may not be as significant as you think. Employers may typically ask competency-based questions, such as 'how do you handle stress?' or 'tell me about a time when you had three important things to do at once'. You can draw on experience from your own life or volunteering experience. Employers will also be keen to know why you want to transfer to working in social care, so make sure that you understand your motivations in order to explain them at interview. It's also essential that you research the role you're applying for. If it's working with elderly people with dementia, spend some time understanding what their requirements may be before going for interview.
Leave a Reply