If you work in (or aspire to join) the disability, aged or community care sector, you may wonder about the career trajectory. It’s an industry that experiences a high turnover of staff due to a lack of career advancement, but there are opportunities available for those who look, according to recruiter Graham Wynn, CEO of Superior People Recruitment.
“The disability, aged and community care sectors are seeing extensive growth in staffing needs, and it is expected that this will continue for the foreseeable future.”
“An ageing population means these industries are showing signs of being among the strongest for future career opportunities.
“However, these are demanding and challenging roles, and the industry sees a high turnover of staff due to the lack of advancement opportunity.
“Those looking for long-term careers in this sector have the opportunity for advancement if they can position themselves correctly to be able to grasp those opportunities as they arise,” said Mr Wynn.
So, how do you advance your career in the disability, aged and community care sector?
Engage in Regular Training
It’s important to regularly update your skills when you work in the disability, aged care and community sectors. This may include taking courses, both accredited and non-accredited, as laws and requirements change regularly in this industry.
“Non-accredited courses can revolve around your ability to deal with a challenging workplace as well as things such as difficult and demanding clients, improvements in technology to assist in the work, people skills and more.”
Establish a Relationship with a Mentor
Finding a mentor who has been in the industry long-term creates an important learning opportunity for those new to an industry.
“You will understand the changes they have seen in the industry and this will help you deal with changes as they arise and prepare you for what’s ahead.”
Join Professional Organisations or Associations
Join or align yourself with relevant professional organisations or associations to gain valuable information and to discuss issues and challenges affecting the industry.
“Professional organisations are a great place to network with others, which could also present career opportunities in other workplaces.”
Attend Networking Events and Meetings
There are many networking events and meetings for all industries which provide an opportunity to network with people who are in the same position as you.
“It (attending) allows you to be up to date with innovation and advancement that is being implemented in other workplaces and provides high-level insight into the state of the industry.
“Networking meetings also allow you to raise challenges you’re currently experiencing and give you the ability to bounce ideas off others.”
Go Above and Beyond
If you want to advance your career, do more than what is expected or required.
“Don’t just do what is on your job description, do extra. Volunteer for extra duties and strive to be the best employee possible.
“Many people think that going the extra mile goes unnoticed, but it doesn’t!
“This is what those that are successful in careers do, they will always go above and beyond what is expected and better their knowledge and skill set.
“Make yourself as indispensable as possible.”
Be Prepared to Move
If you’re not gaining the career advancement you’re expecting (or feel you’re ready for), consider moving onto other opportunities in your industry.
“Not all opportunities are advertised, so you need to ensure your name and details are at the forefront of people’s minds, so when opportunities do arise, they think of you!
“A handy tip is to keep in touch from time to time.”
Connect on Social Media
Connect to organisations relevant to your industry on social media, such as LinkedIn.
“You’ll be able to connect with senior people within these organisations, who often list career opportunities via social media! And make sure your digital footprint showcases a professional appearance,” said Mr Wynn.