Caregiving is like a double-edged sword: it is demanding and rewarding, stressful yet fulfilling. If you have been in the industry for a while (whether as a part- or full-timer), you might be wondering about your next move. Should you continue on your path right now? Or perhaps you should consider working as an independent contractor? What about school? Maybe you could specialize in a particular field in caregiving?
With the New Year on the horizon, a new chapter in your life awaits. Here are a few options on how to move forward professionally.
Switching From Part-time To Full-time
This decision is going to radically change your life. If you were used to a corporate environment and you suddenly switch as a full-time caregiver, you may need to adjust emotionally and mentally before the actual transition. You may feel frustrated or resentful at first – although you hate to admit it – but acknowledge that these are natural during this time. Caregiving will open new skills and opportunities that you didn’t even know existed. Now that you are going full-time, there will be more demands for your energy and talents, but at the same time, you’ll see how valuable your services are to the people you care for.
Going Half and Half
If you’re not ready to go full-time just yet, you could always use the extra time (if you have any) to learn other abilities, sharpen your skills, or earn additional income. There are plenty of online jobs nowadays that you could easily do at home after your shift or on your days off. Some of these include: writing, secretarial duties, virtual assistance, and online marketing. Do your research and ask around. For instance: if you’re good at creating cover letters or editing business plans, you may accept clients for short projects.
Shift To a Specialty
Some caregivers usually decide to go back to the work force armed with their years of experience. A good number of them pursue healthcare degrees (like nursing), while others study physical therapy, senior nutrition and fitness, medical transcription, as well as other careers that is both emotionally enriching and financially rewarding. One thing to remember if you choose this type of alternative is to never underestimate your skills.
Caregiving makes one as versatile as any other corporate job (if not more). When updating your resume, don’t forget to include your skills in planning, budgeting, and crisis management. Align them for the job you’re searching for. Make sure to cite specific examples and how these abilities can benefit your potential employer.
Transition To The Nonprofit Sector
Maybe you feel that your talents could be of use to a bigger cause. The nonprofit sector is always open to people who have passion and a dedicated set of skills. Depending on what you’re good at, you could be useful at the talents acquisition, financial, or sales management divisions. If you’re interested in shifting to the nonprofit industry, look at all your options first and get to know the people working there. Volunteer to get your feet wet. If you like the experience, you may accept more responsibilities to up your chances of being hired.
Are you thinking about exploring jobs abroad? There are plenty of people around the world who need good caregiving skills such as yours. However, take a look at their requirements before you apply. Most would need at least two years of caregiving experience before you could be considered. Some of these jobs are handled by an agency, so your pay would depend on their guidelines. But the best part is that you get to see new places and meet new people. Plus, you might also get a chance to learn new valuable skills during your stay.
Just remember to bring your patience, humor, and positive mindset with you as you take a step into a new continent.
Handle It with Care
Caregiving is one of the most stressful professions today – and yet, it is also the most rewarding. While you take care of others, you also learn how to pay attention to yourself. Suddenly, you become more in tune with how you handle people and how they respond to you. Aside from being sensitive to a person’s needs, your every move now communicates a sense of warmth, gentleness, and genuine concern. These are all indispensable talents to have – no matter where you decide to go in the future.
Whether you choose to pursue it as a lifetime profession OR you want to begin your own business, caregiving will always be a big part of who you are. Handle your decisions with the same care that you give your patients – be kind, listen to your heart, and you’ll know where you should be once the new year begins.
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