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The Six Key Qualities For a Role in Home and Community Care

Aged care worker with client

Home and community care workers provide care and support to vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or those with disabilities.

Perhaps you have always felt that you would be great in a support-based role after a stint of taking care of someone else. Or maybe, it’s something your friends or family mention, “You would be fantastic as a carer”, or “I can imagine you looking after the elderly”.  

There are many skills and qualities of a care worker. Here are the top six required to work in this industry to help you identify if you are a good candidate. 

The six key qualities of workers in the care sector:

  1. Always wanting to help or make a difference
    This is arguably the most important characteristic of a home and community care worker, and the most obvious. Nothing is more important than the desire to make a real, lasting change in your community.
  2. Exceptional listening skills
    Ever noticed how some people don’t really listen, they just wait for their opportunity to speak? This is not indicative of someone who is truly hearing information and processing it. In the care sector, it’s important to be able to lend someone an ear when they need it, and to genuinely appreciate and understand what they are trying to communicate.
  3. Thinking on your feet
    Every day will be filled with new challenges for both you and your client. Sometimes you will be faced with uncomfortable or confronting situations that will require you to act fast, make a decision quickly, and think on your feet. This career is dynamic and no day will be the same, especially if you work in residential care and care for more than one individual.
  4. Patience
    You will be working with elderly or disabled individuals, so tasks that might be easy for someone else, can often be difficult or challenging for your client. It’s critical that you are someone who can be patient, even if you are feeling frustrated with slow or hindered progress.
  5. Empathy
    Empathy is the foundation for every other quality to work from. Being able to understand and appreciate someone else’s circumstance will differentiate you from the rest. If you find that you are naturally empathetic, you are already a terrific candidate for a role in support services.
  6. Having thick skin
    Working in the care sector will mean there will be times when you will feel disheartened or shaken up by incidents in the workplace. Being able to bounce back is key, as well as knowing when not to take things too personally. You will hear countless stories from people in the industry who have gone through hard times with their clients and yet, they stay in the role for years and years. That’s because they know when to let things go and not take everything to heart.

A career in home and community care is challenging but also truly rewarding, and is filled with gratitude and appreciation for the work that you will carry out. It’s common for people to be hesitant to start a new career – some are deterred by their age, and others are put off by the thought of going back to college. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you have worked in a different field, or how much time it’s taken you to reach the decision – it’s never too late to pursue a career in home and community care. Many of our students come from long careers in other industries or sectors and express to us their desire to finally follow their dreams or to make a difference in the world through one of our community services courses.

If you have been looking for your chance to get your foot in the door or are eager to get the skills required for a career in care, get in touch by contacting us on 1300 046 744 about how you can get started.


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