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Candidate Advice

What makes a good support worker?

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Discover if you’ve got what it takes to make a difference to people’s lives

It takes a special kind of person to be a good support worker. Some would say it’s more than just a job, it’s more of a calling. If you’ve got a burning desire to help people and improve their lives in every way possible, then you might have just found your perfect career! Read on to see if you’ve got the personality traits to make a great support worker…

The role of a support worker

 

The work of a support worker is extremely varied and extremely rewarding. Even though no two days are the same, every day you’re making a difference to someone’s life. 

As Chantel Ferguson-Giles from Safehands Recruitment, a recruitment company specialising in social care and care assistant roles, explains, the role of a support worker is rewarding for both the carer and the clients receiving the care:

“Not only is the job extremely rewarding, as you see your care being beneficial to those vulnerable people you are helping, but each situation you will come across is unique. Your daily work life can differ as you care for different people each day. Yet, your presence for each person is so impactful.” 

Whether you’re working with vulnerable adults, children with disabilities, or the elderly, your role will involve carrying out everyday tasks to empower your clients to live a more fulfilling life for themselves. 

This might mean assisting with light housework duties, shopping, preparing meals and helping clients get dressed and set up for their day. But as well as offering physical support, it is the emotional support that makes such a difference when working with clients. By the very nature of their disabilities, many of the clients you work with could feel isolated, so your presence offers companionship and friendship to the people who often need it the most.

Like any job, some days will be tougher than others but if you’ve got the right characteristics and personal skills to work in care, and you’re interested in your own personal development, then you’ll thrive in this rewarding role.

 

Top ten qualities that a good support worker needs

 

Working in care isn’t about how many formal qualifications you have. And while there are some training routes into care work, these aren’t always that relevant for everyone. 

Instead, you need to be able to show that you possess the sort of soft skills that highlight your caring nature and your natural desire to help people. Here are the top ten traits that our team look for in support workers:

Good communicator:

communication is a two-way street so active listening is as important as talking. Many clients don’t often have the chance to be properly heard, so it’s a really good way of showing them that you care about and value their opinions. These sort of interpersonal skills are how you can quickly develop a bond with the person you are caring for.

Problem solver:

because the work of a support worker is so varied, you will often have to think on your feet. You may have to find creative solutions to challenges that arise in your day.

Adaptable and flexible:

when you work with other people, you can never assume you know what the day will hold. A good support worker can change their plans to suit their client’s needs and be able to go with the flow at times.

Empathy and compassion:

empathy is the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. It means taking the time to understand the challenges and emotions of who you’re working with, allowing you to act with genuine care and kindness.

An interest in others:

to be a good support worker you do need to be a people person. You should really want to get to know your clients and learn what makes them tick: be prepared to put their needs before your own.

Positive outlook:

they say a smile is infectious and when the people you are caring for are going through difficult times, they will need all the smiles they can get. It can be tough to see people you care about in pain, but your positivity will help them.

Remaining calm under pressure:

there will be days that are challenging, especially when clients take out their frustrations on you. But if you can remember it’s nothing personal, you’ll be able to bounce back from difficult situations all the stronger.

Sense of humour:

it’s a real gift if you can make people laugh and it helps to develop a sense of connection and companionship with those around you. Even in heavy situations, laughter is a great way to provide some light relief. 

Organisational skills:

with such a varied workload, the ability to prioritise tasks, not just for you but also for your clients, is essential. Good time management skills will enable you to carry out all your tasks efficiently and on time.

Honesty and openness:

to develop a good bond with your client, you need to be authentic. That means showing up as you are and communicating openly and honestly with your client. 

 

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a support worker, then find your perfect role at Safehands Recruitment. We’ve got hundreds of job opportunities for caring and supportive people who want to work in care. And our team can offer guidance and advice to help you apply for your new role.

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