Getting Back into Work

Getting Back into Work

After taking some time to care for somebody, it can be difficult getting into the habit of having more free time to yourself and wondering how to get into work. There are a lot of emotions you might run into whilst trying to find a job, from worrying about the caring you were previously doing and how to fulfil your time, to wondering what it is you want to start doing again, it might perhaps be something brand new, or could be in an industry you have worked before?

To kick off your job search, whether it is paid or unpaid, it is worth reflecting on the skills you have gained from your role as a carer, and what it has taught you. Additionally, it is also important to highlight where you see your new role taking you, and thinking about the following questions:-

– how can you best apply these skills you acquired being a carer to the role you see yourself doing?

– when do you find yourself most happy? Take this into consideration when you are applying for new roles

– Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Consider this both professionally, and personally

Once you have an idea of which avenue you would like to take, it would be helpful to research search various job profiles of what is usually required to then integrate into your CV and whilst talking to recruiters. Creating a LinkedIn profile is also super helpful, as you have direct access to jobs that are available and can also make yourself directly available to both relevant recruiters and companies who have roles available.

A few LinkedIn tips:-

– Always have a profile photo

– Change your settings to allow recruiters/companies to message you, should they have relevant roles available

– Write a short biography for your profile which aligns to the roles you see yourself fulfilling

Emotionally, it can be difficult getting back into work, and starting a new routine, especially after dedicating so much of your time to somebody else, however it is also important to look after yourself. It is important to find what is right for you and whilst job searching and beginning a new routine may be challenging, it will be beneficial in the long-run. This does not mean we dismiss any feelings of being nervous, scared and anxious, it does however, mean that we find ways of dealing with these negative feelings; this could be exercise, meditation, cooking, reading. Everybody is different, everybody is on their own individual path, and it is important to focus on yours, get yourself where you want to be, and enjoying the journey.

Getting back into work By Priya Tank 

                                                                                                       

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

The job market now and how it affects carers

The job market now and how it affects carers

Evidence that the pandemic has affected carers significantly more than non carers is growing, and it points to carers being affected in all areas of their lives. The Office for National Statistics has just published a report that shows hard hitting evidence about the ways that carers have been affected, all to their detriment. You can read it here:

In terms of work, it shows that carers are more likely to work part time, and more carers have had to give up work during the pandemic. There are also more carers in the 55 to 64 age bracket than other age brackets. If you are a carer, this means that you will have to break several barriers to work in a competitive market. In addition, if the main caring activity is to be available at all times (ONS Report, cited above), this will impact on your being able to physically be in a work place.

However, the job market itself has changed massively due to the pandemic. We know that there are vacancies in all sectors, especially hospitality, health and social services, IT, food production, manufacturing, especially in terms of protective gear, and information and communication, to name a few. Now that we are starting to open up again, demand for staff is growing. In addition, the traditional office workspace is undergoing a sea change, with more employees working from home, and employers implementing blended work patterns.

This then may be an opportunity for carers looking to get back into work. Reed have reported that 91% of all job applications at the moment are for `work from home’ jobs. This may be ideal for carers who want to work, but do not want to compromise their caring responsibilities. The urge to fill job vacancies may mean that employers are more willing to consider flexibility in terms of hours,  and may pay more for certain skills. This is where the valuable transferable skills that carers have could come in.

If you are thinking about returning to work, think about your transferable skills, not least being able to juggle several tasks at once. Many people now are thinking about working in sectors they have never worked in before, and there is willingness on the part of employers to consider everyone on their merits and ability to do the job, as opposed to real experience in the industry. You can also gain virtual experience in some sectors, so think about your skill fit. This is a time of enormous change for the job market, and it would be well to position yourself to take advantage of new opportunities.

Most employers are now conducting virtual interviews, and there are techniques for doing these interviews well.  Here is one website that will give you tips for how to do these: How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview: 10 Tips for Success (wikijob.co.uk)  There are many more.

You need to think about how you present yourself, and how you can put your points across succinctly and powerfully. The Working for Carers Programme offers advice and support to get carers back into work, and have had success in getting carers back into the workplace despite the pandemic. In addition, they offer workshops on workplace resilience, workplace rights, and coping with new circumstances.  They are a valuable support if you want to go back to work, but do not know how to go about it.  You can find out more about them here:

Working for Carers – Carers Trust

Many carers are worried about whether they will lose their Carers Allowance if they go back to work. This is not the case, but there is a cap on earnings for Carers Allowance. You can earn up to £128 per week before Carers Allowance is affected. For more information, please see here: Carer’s Allowance – Citizens Advice or go to the Citizens’ Advice website.

It is a changing world out there for people in work, or who are looking for work, but there are opportunities. This could be the time that you, as a carer, could get something back for yourself. You have nothing to lose by trying, and a lot to gain, for yourself and your community.

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. Contact Working for Carers on 020 8868 5224 Ext 218/208.

How Could Life Be Like For Carers After Lockdown?

How Could Life Be Like For Carers After Lockdown?

As the nation is moving into step four of the easing of lockdown, the government is removing COVID-19 prevention measures as we try and return to normal life.

As of July 19th, wearing masks in most public spaces will no longer be a legal requirement but the government is still asking  people to take caution and responsibility for keeping themselves and others safe from infection.

Guidance published by the government says they “expect and recommends that people continue to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.”

This guidance also applies to factories, construction sites, offices and close contact services like hairdressers. Businesses will now be responsible for making and enforcing any face mask rules from Monday 19th July, if they deem necessary.

Here are some of the main operators and places that have specified their rules on face coverings:

Bars, pubs and restaurants

Pub chains like Wetherspoons have said customers are no longer required to wear masks, but they still require staff to wear face coverings in certain cases.

Other famous pubs like Greene King have promised that punters will be allowed to walk up to a bar and order a pint, without being asked to wear a mask. Both pubs also confirmed that they will no longer use the Test and Trace app to check customers for COVID symptoms.

Masks will also no longer be obligatory in public spaces. This means those dining at restaurants will be able to do so freely without wearing a mask.

Supermarkets

Supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s will be encouraging workers and customers to continue wearing face coverings if they can. Others like Lidl will have signs at entrances to remind shoppers that mask wearing is recommended by the government.

How does removing the preventive measures affect carers?

Getting vaccinated

All eligible unpaid carers are in Priority Group 6 and should have no been invited for a vaccine. If you are an unpaid carer, check here if you’re eligible for the vaccine.

Alternatively, give Harrow Carers a call at  020 8868 5224, and we’d be delighted to find out for you.

Support

As a carer, it’s vital you receive support and you know what’s available to you.

You may also be entitled to additional benefits as a carer that you may not be aware of. Give us a call at 020 8868 5224 if you’re unsure, as you may be missing out on financial support.

You don’t need to feel guilty about accepting help. Remember that there is only so much you can do – try to accept that sometimes you may need help.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

If you are a carer, it may be important to take some precaution measures as you don’t want to endanger the person you are caring for.

If you are also transitioning away from remote work, the government are offerring free PPE for COVID-19 needs to unpaid carers who don’t live with the person they care for. PPE is equipment that will protect you against health or safety risks at work. If you don’t live with the person you caring for, it is recommended that you wear PPE when delivering care.

Maintaining relationships with family and friends

Now that restrictions have been lifted, we may eventually want to connect with our friends and family again (not through Zoom anymore!)

Keeping in contact with your friends and family can be a great way to let off steam. You can talk about your emotions and what you’re going through. If you don’t feel like talking, you could catch a movie or even attend a fitness class.

As always. we’re always here to help. If you are a carer and unsure about how you’ll cope after the pandemic, call us on 020 8868 5224 for free consultation

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. Contact Working for Carers on 020 8868 5224 Ext 218/208.

How to Balance Caring Responsibilities With Work

How to Balance Caring Responsibilities With Work

Looking after someone while working can be a lot to handle at once. You might be concerned about the person you care about while you work, and this may a negative impact on your well-being. It can be helpful to know about some of your rights at work and think about what can help you manage your caring and work responsibilities

1. The right to flexible working

Looking after someone can be exhausting and take up a lot of your time. If you also have to work, you may be entitled to request flexible working arrangements from your employer to help fulfil your responsibilities.

Flexible working can involve changing your work hours – you could start work earlier or finish later to help juggle your caring responsibilities. It could also mean to work remotely part-time or all of the time. You’re allowed to make a single request for flexible working each year. Your employer is legally obligated to consider your request, but they are allowed to refuse provided they have good business reasons. Therefore, it’s important to consider how the business will be affected, and how your manager may take it. Provide as much as information as possible about how you can continue to help the business from home, or how you can deal with any negative impacts your manager may be concerned with.

2. The right to time off in an emergency

There may be times when you can’t go in to work because of an emergency situation involving the person you’re caring for. If you’re responsible for another person, you have the right to time off in an emergency. You must inform your employer as soon as possible after the emergency has happened. These situations could include your normal care arrangements being cancelled, or if the person you care for dies or suffers an injury.

It’s also no surprise that happy employees produce better work. Employers who take active steps in taking care of their employees’ physical and mental well-being at work can help to keep staff turnover rate low. Here are a few tips:

Create a positive environment for carers

Research conducted by Carers UK show that carers really value having an understanding line manager and a supportive employer. Create a supportive environment where there is no stigma attached to carers identifying themselves. Display posters and newsletters on staff notice boards, outlining some of the carer-related benefits that they may not be aware of, such as carers allowance.

Having a carers’ support network

Identifying carers can be difficult. In fact, one in seven are responsible for supporting for their loved ones who are older, disabled or in a serious condition. Chances are you may have a few carers in your workplace, and perhaps they would feel more comfortable if they had someone to talk to about it – someone in a similar position to them.

Employers should try and provide information to carers about existing workplace carer support groups and what external support is available. Even if this isn’t exactly the type of support they want, it can still be helpful to communicate regularly via company polices or signposting posters to let them know that support is always available. It could also include contacting carers’ centres to receive personal advice on how to make the workplace a reassuring environment

Prioritise training for carers

A carer may feel that they are lacking progression at work, and perhaps forgotten about (even more so due to remote working). They may find it difficult to concentrate on their career, because they aren’t provided with the right support. Make it easy for people to understand what support is on offer for carers – provide additional training courses, seminars and subscriptions to further their learning. The people are the most valuable resource to a company and developing individuals and teams is the key to keeping people and organisations moving forward.

As always, we are here to help. If you feel you need more support with your role as a carer so that you can stay in employment, contact Harrow Carers at 020 8868 5224. We can offer you individually tailored support regarding your career, application advice, interviews, benefits you may be entitled to and much, much more…

Working for Carers are running a session on Balancing Working and Caring on Thursday 19th August – please click here for more information.

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of 24 partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. Call 020 8868 5224 Ext 218/208

 

 

Transferable Skills For Carers Returning to the Workplace

Transferable Skills For Carers Returning to the Workplace

Carers often express that they have little to no skills or experience to offer when they are considering returning to work – “I’m just a carer, I don’t have anything to offer”. The truth is, being an unpaid carer and looking after your loved ones gives you a wide range of experience, knowledge, and skills that you can bring to the workplace. It can be helpful to take a step back and look at all the transferable skills you’ve gained over the years.

There’s a simple exercise to this.

Make a list of your daily tasks

On a piece of paper, list out all the skills you have developed through your caring role that you think would be useful in the workplace. If this is a struggle, write down exactly what you do on a daily basis for an entire week.

“I have to pick up medication every Monday and book an appointment with our doctor every Wednesday”.

So, you may have superb organisation and time-management skills. It could also mean being able to locate documents quickly, or maintaining an up-to-date calendar. Staying organised can help one identify and prioritise what tasks need to be complete and when.

You could consider event planning or being a personal assistant, especially if you’re great at arranging appointments and running errands on behalf of others. Take a look through these fifteen job ideas; they’re suitable for organised people like yourself.

“I regularly communicate our situation to our doctor, and listen attentively to their advice”.

These are examples of excellent communication skills. These are vital in helping you get hired, land promotions, and be a success throughout your career. Being a good listener goes a long way too. This means to pay close attention to what the other person is saying, asking clarifying questions, and rephrasing what the person says to ensure understanding (“So, what you’re saying is…”). Your colleagues will love this as it shows you can truly engage in conversations.

If you excel at communication, you could consider a role in human resources. These specialists are usually responsible for finding the best candidate for the job. You’d be responsible for interviewing potential candidates or setting up meetings with managers. Although a degree in management or human resources is preferred, employers can consider your application if you have a degree related to marketing or communication.

If you don’t have a related degree, don’t fret. Here are more examples of careers for people with good communication skills.

“I help with personal care such as support with showering and dressing”.

So, you may have a tremendous amount of patience. A large portion of careers need some level of patience. For example, if you’re handling a customer complaint it’s important that you try to understand and sympathise with their situation.

Perhaps you’re not interested in sales or customer service, that’s perfectly fine. There are plenty of other jobs out there that require patience. You could consider being a childcare worker. Often your role would entail helping children with their school work, or being required to feed or bathe them if they’re younger.

If you don’t want any jobs that are similar to your caring responsibilities, you could look into animal trainers. These require a great level of patience as you’ll teach animals to recognise and respond to various calls and commands. If you love interacting with animals, this might be the job for you!

Here are more jobs that require patience skills.

We’re always here to help

When you think about it, the skills, qualities and experience of an unpaid carer are extensive. Writing out your daily tasks and the skills associated with each one makes it easy to identify which ones are transferable to the workplace. You’ll also find out which of your skills are more developed, as these would relate to the tasks that are often repeated.

We hope that by reading today’s post and completing the exercise above, it has helped with your confidence and given your CV a boost. If you need any help with job applications or interviews, give Harrow Carers a call at 020 8868 5224 for free consultation.

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.  Contact Working for Carers on 020 8868 522 Ext 218/208.