2011 was a life changing year for me. I was 33 years old and after 16 years in hospitality and obtaining the position of Hotel Manager my circumstances changed and I had to give up my job and relocate to Wales. On relocating I started looking for another job.
A chance meeting took place in a launderette, where I met a lady that managed a care agency. We got chatting and she started to explain what it was to be a care worker. I had never considered a career in the care industry before and was concerned that I wouldn’t be any good at looking after people. She explained that working in hospitality, I had lots of transferable skills, i.e. communicating with people, working under pressure, organisation skills etc. I wasn’t sold but agreed to visit the offices the next day to get more information on the position available. After meeting the team in the office and talking to a hand full of carers that came in that afternoon I was inspired. I had an interview that afternoon and was booked onto the training the following week. Within five weeks I was ready to go it alone as a trained care worker.
I worked for two years as a care worker and absolutely loved it! I left for work every day with the purpose to make a difference to at least one person.
I was not only learning new skills but felt like I was part of a bigger family. Within the first two years I decided to undertake a level 2 qualification in care, and before I knew it I was starting my level 3. This is when I got my first opportunity to move into a senior role and became a field care supervisor.
By 2014 I was a coordinator and worked full time in the office. Although I missed my service users this was an opportunity to gain my level 5 management qualification. This was a massive deal for me as I didn’t sit my GCSE’s until I was 23. I passed! And I went on to take my first appointment as a branch manager. By 2015 I was managing my own branch delivering 2,500 hours of care per week and had a workforce of 140 carers.
I would never have believed that in the space of four years I would have done so well in the care industry. The progression is there if you are willing to work hard enough for it. I feel so lucky every day to have such a rewarding job. Please don’t misunderstand me, it can be stressful, challenging and exhausting. The reward is when you see your workforce and service users overcome the biggest challenges and you make a difference to people’s lives, ensuring they can remain in their homes safely.
So it’s 2020 and I am now a Regional Manager for the South West and look after a company called HomeLife Carers. My job now is to oversee six offices, 500 care workers and 30 operational staff. I love it!