Finding a job to help people can be like a life calling for some individuals. However, transitioning into it can be a little tricky. So, here are some of the first things you should consider beforehand.
Identify a Sector You Would Like
The list of sectors for helping people with their issues is almost endless. From hospital porters to residential psychiatric care, you can find somewhere to fit in. Of course, it isn’t all medical, either. Police, security, and drug rehab clinics offer excellent careers for people who like to help others. After a brief stint working with young offenders, my first full time job after university was working with drug users seeking treatment and support.
Address Salary Concerns
Money isn’t everything when it comes to helping people. First, you should be employed in a caring, advisory or medical role because you want to be there. Not for the money. However, you also need to make sure the money you are to be paid will meet rising costs, inflation and energy prices. Especially if you have a family or are the sole breadwinner. In short, it only makes sense to take a salary cut on a new job if the money is substantial and will still provide enough.
Develop the Skills for a Job to Help People
Across the board of all kinds of care and advisory roles, there is a wide range of skills you must learn. Some are people-based, others are academic, and a few you will learn on the job. For example, even as a financial advisor to financially struggling families, you will need good people skills and some capacity for care. These will help you empathise and comfort someone through a hard time. Other skills often include conflict resolution, bond building and team management.
In all the help and support roles I had in the past the most important skills were always empathy, communication, and the ability to think broadly and holistically.
Talk It Through with Your Family
It can be a trying time when looking for a new job. Often, you will need to attend classes for new skills and education, which can be costly. Then there’s the chance you will have to relocate. Therefore, it is always advised that you consider all options. Moving and starting a new career can be hard on the entire family. Your partner might need to make special arrangements for their job, and your children may have to move schools and begin all over again. You have to ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Ensure Your Mental Health is Up to It
There’s a saying in medical care that you can’t look after someone else if you don’t look after yourself. This is more relevant than ever these days. Careers where you help others, from law enforcement to working with children with special needs, can place a lot of strain on you mentally. This is because you might see people at their worst, at their lowest, or even be attacked. Of course, you are human and will be affected. But consider if you can handle it first.
When I worked with drug users I struggled over weekends when I was at home as weekends were often hard for them. I would worry about them all the time and struggled to switch off.
When you are considering moving to a job to help people, there are some things to think about. Find a sector you would like, then work towards new skills, and consider your mental health.