Care workers are amongst the happiest in their jobs according to a new survey. A huge 77 per cent of employees polled described themselves as happy in their work. Three quarters of respondents felt valued by the person they supported.
An overwhelming 88 per cent felt they had learned key skills, particularly improving their medical knowledge, problem solving skills, creativity and patience.
The survey of 530 care staff was carried out by the not-for-profit organisation Dimensions which supports people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. It is part of the charity’s Take Care of Others Take Care of You campaign – aimed at encouraging people to consider a rewarding career in the sector.
Kim Corsinie, Head of Resourcing and Volunteering at Dimensions, says: “Those of us who work in care know that roles are frequently life changing, both for the person being supported and the support worker too.
“Dimensions’ figures show that our support workers much prefer their current jobs to their previous work in other sectors.
“This research shows you are likely to be happy in your work, feel valued and learn important new skills.”
The survey also rated support work against previous sectors in which respondents had worked. A total of 81 per cent preferred their current role to catering, 84 per cent preferred it to sales and marketing and 69 per cent would rather work in care than in an office.
Sarah Sikorey, 39, left a job in a fast food restaurant to start as a support worker at Dimensions two years ago. The mum-of-two from Reading, Berkshire, says: “This is so different. Here I am giving something to society and I’m helping people to do something for themselves.
“It may only be a small thing like learning to make a cup of tea – but these small steps are big results for those who we work with.
“Those moments, they make me smile and my heart burst.”
Sarah is so impressed by the level of care delivered by her team she says: “If I needed to send my child in to be cared for by Dimensions staff, I would be very happy.
“What I see is wonderful. At Dimensions they really support the people they work with in every way. They are giving clients real choice and opportunities.
“I love sharing my day to help teach people how to be independent. Care work is definitely about what you can do for others, how you can improve their lives and that feels good personally.”
The Dimensions survey asked staff about perceptions of care work in the wider world; 61 per cent felt it had an undeservedly bad image.
Sarah says her job can surprise people when she tells them what she does: “Sometimes they say ‘What? You do that for a living?!’ They look down at you as if it’s not a job. I explain I change people’s lives AND pay my bills.
“I feel more than proud about what I do. I wake up and I look forward to going into work.”
She adds: “Many don’t believe me but when I am off – I really miss work. I wonder what they are all doing without me.
“Sometimes when I arrive in the morning the people I support are there by the front door ready to welcome me. That is just lovely.
“As a team we all do our best – together.”
Asked about what you need to work in care Sarah answers: “You need have compassion. If you don’t have that – forget it. You need to put yourself in their position and imagine what you would want someone to do for you.
“For me care work is all about giving people the best possible life. Giving them their dignity and in return you get so much back.”