Tony is now a manager, tasked with ensuring a high quality of care is delivered to the service users he is responsible for. Like many people working in care, Tony’s first exposure to caring was with his own family.
“I started as an unpaid carer looking after my Dad, supporting him with episodes of mental health deterioration,” says Tony.
While this situation was obviously challenging for Tony, he quickly discovered he was a natural carer.
“I automatically worked in a manner to ensure his needs were met and that he was kept safe,” he recalls.
This experience of caring for his father left a lasting impression on Tony, it was to influence him when he came to decide the direction he wanted to take after he had completed his education.
“I finished at university and thought about what career path to take. After a few days mulling it over, I realised a full time career in social care was the answer.”
Tony’s had 15 years to put that answer to the test and it’s obvious he made the right choice.
“I was 21 at the time and, at 36, I am still delighted with the decision I made,” he smiles.
Tony says he was inspired to work in care and give the same commitment to others as he had given to his father.
“I wanted to continue helping individuals live as freely as possible. I wanted to work in a manner that gave them as much control of their lives as possible.”
He was also attracted by the variety that working in care brings to the working day.
“I wanted to have a career that was different each day,” he explains. “I now seek to enable branches to work in the same manner with individuals, and ensure that core practice is developed and maintained.”
Tony’s career progression also demonstrates that there’s a variety of paths open to people wanting to develop their professional lives in the care sector.
“I worked operationally and became a Registered Manager. I had always had an eye on compliance and auditing, which I chose to focus upon. I would support others with audits and development reviews, this meant I constantly had demonstrable examples of how I had supported others. I wanted to ensure that I stood out for my step into a Quality Team.”
While speaking to Tony it becomes clear that this is a person who has found their groove in their working life. He’s very comfortable in his role, and with the way his career has progressed. “I have, in my current role, found the clear air between core Operational processes and other specialists within the sector. I am able to use all the skills and knowledge of Operations and Quality to ensure I work in a supportive but understanding manner.”
Tony has skills and experience that could take him anywhere, either within or even outside of the care sector. However, it doesn’t look like we need worry, Tony has no interest in leaving the care sector.
“I honestly do not know what I would do outside of Health and Social care.”
We hope this article has helped, informed and inspired you to take up a career in care. If you would like to know more about career progression in the care sector please check out the other articles on our care career tips here. If you’re ready to take the plunge, or you're already working in care and looking for a new role, then you can find our latest job listings here