Can you get a Home Care Job Without Experience?

The Basics of Home Care Work


Home care is a special arm of care that offers service users and patients the gift of staying in their own homes whilst ageing or recovering from illness.


What Home Care Jobs Entail


Home care assistants visit people’s homes to help with an array of jobs from monitoring health issues, to helping with household chores or companionship. Allowing service users to stay living in their own homes through tailored support, home care workers are an essential part of the care network giving independence to thousands of people across the country. 


The Importance of Soft Skills Over Hard Skills


Throughout the interview process we hear time and again that employees are more interested in learning about prospective candidates having empathy and a passion for helping others. Empathy and compassion are skills that can’ be taught. Lots of the tangible procedures can be learnt on the job. Having the right values and beliefs about care are the most important parts of a successful care worker.


Starting Points for Aspiring Home Care Workers

Entry-Level Positions in Home Care


An entry-level position as a home care assistant can be taken on without prior experience. The main responsibilities include helping service users with washing and dressing, food preparation, monitoring health and wellbeing, maintaining records and sharing cups of tea. Training will be given for the more advanced responsibilities. 


Volunteering: A Pathway to Gaining Experience


Volunteering can fit around your existing schedule as lots of organisations will only require a few hours of commitment a week. If you are studying or currently working in another sector it can be a great way to gain some hands-on experience. It will also prove to prospective employers that you are committed to making a move into the care sector.

It can be in almost any area of care, as there is a lot of overlap with relevant skills and practices used in care homes and home care.  


Essential Qualities and Skills for Success


Having good time management, the ability to self-motivate and be organised are additional skills that will benefit this career move greatly. You might be asked to visit homes across your town or run errands, so familiarity with the local area will benefit you. 


Training and Certifications That Can Help


We spoke to Lyla, a home care assistant who told us where she started, 


“I’d been working in hospitality but wasn’t enjoying it. I knew I wanted to use my caring side and got a job in home care. It has been life-changing for me. I love my clients, even those that I only see for 30 minutes a week. I learnt so much shadowing my supervisor in the early days, and filled a notebook with everything she did and the way she did it. Now I’m studying for my NVQ in Health and Social Care and I’ve big ambitions for becoming a supervisor myself.”


Required Certifications for Home Care Workers


There are no mandatory qualifications to become a home care assistant. However, an NVQ in Health and Safety is recommended. When you start out as a care assistant you’ll gain experience on the job, allowing you to progress quite quickly. Training is provided and showing a willingness to sign up to qualifications early on shows your employer you are taking the career seriously. 


Where and How to Acquire Relevant Training


Once you have a role your employer will often support you with signing up to additional qualifications. Most of these will be remote learning programmes, but occasionally you’ll learn with others when it comes to practical areas like mobility support, personal care or administering medication. 


If you want to start a qualification, UCAS or Skills for Careers are both trustworthy sites. Or search online for the qualification you are interested in. 


How to Showcase Your Potential to Employers


If you're new to a career in care, you’ll want to focus on your transferable and soft skills, and use relevant examples to your employer during the interview process. 


If you can list a few soft skills with examples of when you’ve used them it will support your success at interview stages. 

Pick some of the following and make notes of your lived examples:

  • Helping others
  • Good communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Performing under pressure
  • Being keen to go above and beyond
  • Attention to detail


Growth and Learning in Home Care


Observe how your colleagues behave, pay attention to how they speak to people and the way they do things. This is called vicarious learning and will help you learn the ropes the quickest. 


Don’t be afraid to ask someone to be your mentor. A mentor is someone you can go to for advice and discuss job matters with. This might be anything from how to approach your manager with a difficult conversation to advancing your career.


On-the-Job Training and Continuous Learning Opportunities


Getting on-the-job training is essential when you start out as a home care assistant. It is a joint responsibility between you and your employer to produce a training programme that will allow you to get out on your own as soon as possible and gain your own client list. Always be on the lookout for ways to develop yourself, it will be noticed, as a positive attitude is the fastest way to promotion. 


Register with Social Care People today. 


To take the next step in becoming a home care worker, register with Social Care People today and let us support you in finding your perfect role. 


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