Five Easy Steps to Start Your Caregiving Career
If you’re thinking about a career in caregiving, you’re not alone. It’s one of the fastest growing occupations in the country – with nearly 600,000 projected job openings through 2030.
“With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the need for dedicated, compassionate professional caregivers will continue to grow,” said Teresa Steinfatt, Vice President of Business Performance for the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “If you’re looking for a rewarding career that offers more than a paycheck, I encourage you to consider caregiving.”
Steinfatt said the most successful caregivers share these qualities:
- Problem-solving capability
- Good communication skills
“It takes a special person to be a professional caregiver,” Steinfatt said. “For most, it’s not a job, it’s truly a calling. They’re passionate about making a difference in the lives of seniors and their families.”
If you think caregiving might be your true calling, here are five easy steps to jumpstart your career.
Define your motivation
Ask yourself why you want to be a professional caregiver. Be honest with yourself when assessing your ability to perform essential job skills and your desire to work with seniors who need assistance with activities of daily living.
Talk to people in the field
If you know someone who currently or has in the past worked as a caregiver, ask them about their experience – what did they like or dislike, are staff members friendly, does the agency have a good, professional reputation, etc.?
Do your homework
Before applying for a caregiving position, do some online research. Check out agency websites and social sites to get a feel for their mission, values and culture. Also, be sure to check for client and employee testimonials and reviews.
Attend caregiver-related events
Many agencies hold regular job fairs and other recruiting events. Attending one or more of these events will allow you to learn more about the job, salary, professional growth opportunities and more.
Understand the requirements
For most caregiving positions, organizations typically don’t require education beyond a high school diploma. However, they should provide the training you need to feel comfortable in any caregiving situation. At HCAN, we provide our caregivers with world-class training – when they first accept a position with us and beyond.
“If you visit the HCAN website, you’ll see that one of our most important values is to pursue the genuine success of others – that’s especially true for our amazing caregivers,” Steinfatt said. “It’s important that our caregivers know that we genuinely care about them, their happiness, their work/life balance and their overall success.”
For more information about caregiving careers with HCAN and HCAN-supported agencies, visit hcanthrive.com.