Some people know the career path they want to take from an early age, whilst others can take time to discover the perfect role for them. Lucy Kruyer, a Cera Branch Manager, knew she wanted to help others from early on, and shares with us her 16 year long journey from Care Assistant to Branch Manager.
How did you discover and begin working in the care sector? I was introduced to the care sector as a child and spent my early years being brought up in a children’s care home. Even from that age I knew I wanted to help others and so after leaving school, I got a job in a residential care home and I never looked back. I loved my job and I knew the care sector was the right choice for me. It made me feel happy and needed. I looked upon the staff and clients as a family, and it added a lot of what I felt I was missing in my life.
How have you progressed in your time here? For many years, I was happy as a Care Assistant, I didn’t want or even think I could progress in this industry. I also assumed I wasn’t good or educated enough to progress to a more senior role, however, as a Care Assistant, I began helping new staff settle into the role by shadowing them and showing them how things are done. A manger noticed this and asked me if I’d like to attend a ‘Train to Train’ course to step into the role of a Branch Trainer. I felt scared at first, but I was so grateful that someone noticed my hard work and recognised qualities in me that helped me to progress within my career.
I learned fast, as a ‘people person’ I enjoyed the connection between teaching and helping others grow into confident care staff. I then progressed into recruitment as I felt it went hand-in-hand with training. Advancing candidates from their interview stage to successfully completing their first shift felt amazing and gave me a real sense of pride. I then moved on to a co-ordinator role, however I personally didn’t get much job satisfaction from this as I felt it had taken me away from the ‘people’ side of things. Subsequently I moved back to recruitment which was now combined with compliance, due to my previous experience as a Branch Trainer, which involved doing spot checks and having 1-to-1 supervisions with the staff.
I understood what the staff needed and how best to support them whilst also supporting the branch to meet the required levels of compliance and keep our scores high. I never stopped learning, and I achieved qualifications in levels 2, 3 and 5 from Team leader courses, to Train to train to Manual handling and first aid. Now, I jump at the chance of any course offered to me, I love the challenge and the opportunity to improve. My determination to progress has continuously paid off, and in 2020 I became the manager of the Colchester branch. I couldn’t be prouder after 16 years with this company, and hopefully many more to come.
What would you say to anyone considering working in care? Try it. You really have to give it a go, it’s a job like no other - nothing like it’s made out to be. Every day is different, and making a difference to someone's life is the best feeling in the world. The job satisfaction you get is unbelievable and it shows you the real meaning to the words ‘thank you’.
What would you say to someone starting out in the care sector who is interested in learning more about available career progression opportunities? Cera is a company that wants you to grow not only for yourself, but for the business as a whole. Their training and progression opportunities are the best I have known and the support you get surrounding your development is first class. This company is passionate about their carers, and shows you that you matter.
We are so glad Lucy took full advantage of the amazing opportunities a career in care can offer, and look forward to many more years of seeing and supporting her to grow. At Cera, we care about supporting those who are looking to gain new skills. If you’re interested in becoming a care professional with us, click here to view our current jobs.