The aged care industry presents a fantastic opportunity for those looking for job security, better fulfilment and enviable flexibility. But what’s it actually like being an aged care worker?
One thing’s for certain, having a career in aged care means you’ll never be short of an opportunity.
Demand for aged care jobs has doubled in the past two years with predictions the workforce will need to triple in size by 2050 to meet care needs.
On top of that, many newcomers to the industry – both students and career changers – are finding the industry has a range of advantages not necessarily found in other sectors.
SEEK’s Laws of Attraction research shows a quarter of Healthcare & Medical workers place a higher importance on work-life balance than other industries. This includes higher expectations around flexible working hours, time in lieu and additional leave arrangements.
Balance for students and parents
Nurse Enid Newie began working in aged care when she just an 18-year-old student. She has now been working at Blue Care in Brisbane for 16 years, starting as a personal carer and now a nurse.
“While I was putting myself through my diploma they were so accommodating with shifts around my school,” she said.
“Being a mum now, I can’t really give myself to a hospital rotational roster, so my workplace is so accommodating of the shifts I prefer.”
“And if I want to pick up extra or knock back extras, it’s completely fine and there’s no judgement.”
Cameron Elliott was a sports physiotherapist before a career swap into aged care. Today he is the residential manager at Anglicare’s Farer Brown Court in north-west Sydney.
He said the rewards of the job have made his career change highly worthwhile. “I think aged care is a wonderful industry to be part of,” he said.
“Every day I get to visit someone in their home, It just so happens that it’s a home with 134 people. The experience of going into someone’s home every day and spending the day with them is different to the regular workplace and in many ways, it’s better.”
“You’re contributing, even in a small way, to a greater whole. You are caring for others and there’s an enormous sense of satisfaction and personal value that can come from it.”
Complementing the job satisfaction is the strong job security. The aged care industry is one of the largest service industries and with strong future jobs growth expected, it is predicted to be one of the largest employers over the next 20 years.
On the job training
Dee-Jay Garland has only been a community care worker at HammondCare in western Sydney for 18 months, but her shift to aged care feels right for many reasons.
One of the major factors is the training she has received from the company, which has bolstered both her confidence and her expertise.
“I thought it would be a lot more challenging, but with HammondCare you feel supported with the training they give you,” she said.
“You never feel like you’re walking in not knowing what to do.”
To learn more about roles in the aged care industry and get expert advice on making a change, visit SEEK Career Advice.
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