Why become a support worker?
Being a support worker can be a very rewarding job. Even though the role can be hard and often challenging, making a positive difference to someone’s life and helping them become more independent brings feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s a great career choice for those who enjoy a varied job role and lots of interaction with others.
Some of the best parts of the job are sharing new experiences together, creating new memories and celebrating successes. You’ll enable people to overcome their fears and challenges whilst helping them to build confidence and self-esteem.
“As a support worker, you have to wear many different hats. You’re a professional but also a companion, coach, educator and community bridge-builder. You help people to live fulfilling lives, to be an inclusive part of their community, and you enable them to develop and maintain relationships. Your support means they have choice and control in their lives. Variety is very much part of the role.”
Regional Operations Director
What skills are needed to be a support worker?
There are certain skills that are beneficial to have when working as a support worker, for example:
- An interest in helping other people, regardless of their condition.
- The ability to communicate clearly and sensitively when talking to people and their families.
- Good listening skills.
- Great problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt and act accordingly to situations.
- Good time management skills to be able to support the needs of multiple people.
- The ability to keep up with changing standards and codes of conduct in the social care sector.
- The ability to work both alone and as part of a team.
- A high level of patience and emotional resilience.
- Being empathetic towards everyone.
- The ability to make good, positive relationships with people and their families.
- The ability to communicate with other healthcare professionals.
- Great verbal and written communication skills.
- A non-judgemental attitude regardless of a person’s needs.
- The ability to remain calm under pressure and when dealing with challenging situations.
What qualifications are needed to be a support worker?
Becoming a support worker doesn’t require any specific qualifications. Experience in the care sector is helpful but not required. When starting a support worker role, employers will often provide some form of training, especially for newcomers, which provides an insight into the roles and responsibilities of the job role.
Even though specific qualifications to become a support worker aren’t required, NVQs or similar qualifications in the health and social care sector can give applicants an advantage. The government’s new T Level qualifications – particularly those in Health, would also be a good option to help start your career as a support worker.
For people who may have had personal experiences – whether that’s a sibling with autism, or a family member who has a physical disability, they may find their experiences can assist them with their role as a support worker.
What’s the application process to become a support worker?
The application process to become a support worker is relatively straight-forward. If applying for a role via the Lifeways website, you will need to submit a CV and fill out a short application form. Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview which usually takes place online. All successful applicants will need to undergo a DBS check as standard.
Our careers page has a number of helpful resources to help those looking to apply. You’ll find CV builders, interview tips and instructions on how to use Microsoft Teams – our preferred online communication platform.