According to recent estimates, there are approximately five million direct caregivers in the U.S., many of which assist clients in their private residences. As an in-home caregiver in Orange County, climbing the caregiving career ladder takes planning, preparation, and perseverance. Whether you are new to the home care game or a seasoned pro, what follows are ways to find personal fulfillment while getting the most out of your caregiving experience.
Set Clear Goals for Your Home Care Career
Whether your goal is running a marathon or making more money, having something to work towards is motivating and encouraging. Knowing where you want to be six months, one year, or even five years down the road can help ensure you’ll do what it takes now to get there.
Whatever your caregiving goals might be, rather than merely thinking about them, consider what, when, and how you’ll need to achieve them. For instance, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Home Health Aide (HHA) so you can open new career doors may require additional training.
Find a Caregiving Mentor
There’s nothing more valuable than having a mentor who can take you under their wing and show you the ropes. Every caregiver faces different situations depending on where they work and what they do. Find someone with the experience and insight to guide you where you need to be.
Welcome Additional Responsibilities
Some caregivers end up in dead-end jobs simply because they never ask for more challenging roles. If your employer doesn’t offer any training or education opportunities, request them or seek them elsewhere. If you are eager to embrace more responsibilities because you professionally feel capable of doing so, volunteer to take them on before being asked.
Bottom line: Demonstrating to management that you are a dedicated, reliable worker will typically get you the career breaks you deserve!
Embrace Constructive Feedback
Nobody likes to be criticized in the workplace, including caregivers. However, constructive feedback is a useful tool when trying to learn, grow, and progress. It identifies areas you excel in, along with those that need work.
Don’t take it personally. Instead, use feedback as a motivational tool to improve your performance. Write down the things you need to do to get better so you can remember them later and strive to achieve them during your next home visit.
Specialize in Your Home Care Career
Although there are many career paths to take in the homecare industry, all deal with different aspects of client care. Becoming an expert in a specific area, for instance, pediatrics or dementia care, could help you progress up the career ladder much faster. Find a home caregiving area you are truly passionate about, one with the potential for you to excel and get noticed.
It’s Okay to Fail
No caregiver is perfect, and things in the healthcare world go wrong all the time. Instead of shying away from your mistakes, admit them, learn from them, and correct them. Then, avoid making the same mistake again.
As they say, “The road to success is always under construction,” and there will most assuredly be potholes along the way. Trying – and not being afraid to fail – is the best approach to growing and improving within your profession. Learn from your mistakes by asking for guidance, finding a viable solution, and applying it successfully.
Choose the Best Home Care Company
No matter your experience level, another key aspect of career success is working for a home care agency that openly supports its employees. Before “signing on the dotted line,” learn all you can about each agency by using this job search guide:
Especially when you are a part-time student or new parent, job flexibility is an important consideration. Look for an employer that allows you to set your hours and schedule. Whether you’re a CNA, LPN, RN, therapist, or something else, you’ll enjoy a healthier work-life balance by working for a company that offers its employees flexible scheduling options.
Like everyone else, you have bills to pay. Does the home care company offer consistent hours on a regular basis? Given that assignments may vary, be sure the agency has plenty of opportunities to work and that maintaining a set number of hours every week won’t be an issue.
If you place a high value on workplace diversity and inclusion, you’ll want to choose a home care company with a culture that aligns with your own beliefs. Working with like-minded people in a family environment that encourages the open sharing of ideas will keep you motivated even on days when nothing else seems to be going right.
Another way to gauge whether your decision is sound is by learning what others say about the agency in their own words. Discover all you can about the agency’s reputation by speaking to current and past employees, reading online client reviews, and checking out any awards or certifications they have received within the past few years.
Does the agency provide employees with professional development and growth opportunities, including education and certification courses? Look for an employer with staff training programs that will enable you to expand your skills and advance in your career.
For instance, the company might offer staff education programs on topics like how to prepare meals for someone with dietary restrictions or effectively communicate with those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
According to Payscale.com, the average hourly pay for a direct caregiver in the U.S. is $13.00. Based on variables like experience, geographic location, and employer demand, caregiver salaries range from $10.00 to $18.00 per hour.
As a trained in-home caregiver, you’ll want to be well-compensated for your efforts. Look for an employer that offers you the ability to make a good income upfront, along with the potential to increase your earning power through education, training, additional work responsibilities, and performance bonuses.
Exciting Home Care Career Opportunities in Orange County
Are ready to make a difference in the lives of others while serving as a professional home caregiver? If so, Colonial Home Care invites you to join our winning team in Orange County. Due to our expanding client load, we are currently seeking qualified individuals to fill several exciting caregiving positions. While proudly serving communities in Anaheim, Brea, and Orange we support clients and their families with services that include personal care, respite care, private duty care, 24-hour care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and more.
As a highly valued member of the Colonial Home Care team, you’ll enjoy a fast-paced, positive work environment where your input is valued and hard work rewarded. We also offer competitive pay, flexible scheduling, ongoing staff training, and career advancement opportunities galore. No matter your experience level or education, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about our agency and our open positions, please visit us today at www.colonialhomecare.com.