Career advice from a Care Support Worker
Rory works in one of our supported housing schemes in Chelmsford, Essex. As a Care Support Worker, he supports people with learning disabilities to reach their personal goals and enjoy life to the full.
Looking back at his eight-year career, Rory shares some advice for anyone considering a role in care or looking for a fulfilling career.
Why did you become a support worker?
As a younger man in various other industries, I felt an emptiness: like my work didn't matter, like it was superficial and unfulfilling. I was drawn to support work because the prospect of caring for people felt real - like something that existed at the core of all human experience. As I started working in care, I began to feel something real. Eight years on, I know I made the right decision in making a career change.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love being part of customers' lives and helping them make the most of their days. My work matters now, and I know it always will.
Each day is fresh and a new beginning, and I never feel any dread for the day ahead. I think it’s because I enjoy my role so much. And no day can be taken for granted, as that means taking the people I support for granted.
How do you support one of your customers?
I’ve been helping John (pictured left, above) pursue his passion for music. I recently went with him to the shops to support him with buying some CDs.
Next, I'm planning a trip to Liverpool so that he can have the full Beatles experience. John's a mega-fan, so we’ll do the Abbey Road crossing, the Cavern Club and the Beatles Museum together. This trip had to be postponed due to Covid, so I’m really looking forward to taking him now that it's possible again.
One of the day-to-day activities I support John with is cooking. It’s such a joy to help make his favourite meals. The other day we did a roast lunch, including garlic and sage chicken, roast potatoes, parsnips, peas, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower cheese. He loved it. Afterwards he sat outdoors and had a Magnum ice cream.
When I asked John for some feedback for this article, he said: “Rory’s a good cook, and I think I could do with a biscuit.” That’s high praise!
Who would you recommend this career to?
If you’re a caring person who gets a good feeling when you help someone, I would absolutely recommend a career in care or support. It’s changed my life so much for the better and enabled me to make a difference in the world.
The person who interviewed me in 2013 told me she 'liked my values'. I remember thinking that could be the most self-affirming thing I'd ever heard.
Now, I know my values are the reason I have enjoyed my role so much: being kind, doing the right thing, pulling together, keeping promises, celebrating diversity and loving new ideas.
These values mean I feel excitement and joy for the friends I support, and I cherish my shared experiences with them. They've led me to feel the love that only someone who truly cares can feel. And thanks to my values I continue to feel passion when I’m working with external support partners. Plus, because Peabody recruits people with these values, I get to work in a team of like-minded colleagues who have become like a family. I think anyone who shares these values would thrive in a care role.