Working as a carer comes with numerous challenges, such as managing difficult behaviours, navigating challenging situations and thinking on your feet when presented with tough decisions to make.  However, for those after a challenging but ultimately rewarding role, working as a carer can be an extremely fulfilling career.

For a start, you’ll need excellent communication skills. From talking with patients and their families to liaising with other members of a care team, it’s a given that you will have to communicate effectively in order to thrive in your role.

Managing difficult behaviour is another thing which you’ll need to think about. Is it something you can do effectively? Maybe you have experience of this in everyday life- if so, then it’s valuable experience. In your role as a carer you may have to look after people who exhibit challenging behaviours, for example schizophrenia or psychosis. In some circumstances, these issues may cause people to act in a way that can be potentially harmful to themselves or others.

And although this might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about working as a carer, youwill need to be physically fit and healthy. Your job is likely to involve being on your feet and helping patients to move, so you will need to be physically able to handle the job.

It wouldn’t be right to mention the likely challenges without talking about the equally likely benefits of this work.

For a start, your role enables you to make visible, genuine differences to people’s lives. It allowsyou to have a positive impact on their situation, which also happens to be one of the main reasons people choose to go into this line of work to begin with.

Because there are many different types of care jobs available, it’s quite likely that you can find one that suits your particular strengths and preferences. It may be that you prefer to work in a hospital setting, or perhaps you feel you might be better suited to a residential care home, or it could be that you would like to work in a community setting. There are jobs available in all these different environments.

And talking of flexibility, it’s often the case that you can choose the hours that you work in this role. If you need to fit your working hours around such things as studies, or a second job, or time spent with family members, this can really help.

Working within a care setting can also lead to other opportunities that you may not have thought of. Given experience and further training, it’s possible to take on management roles or become specialised in an area of care that you’ve developed a particular interest or expertise in.