Are you a carer thinking about returning to work? It may be that you are no longer a carer or your caring responsibilities have reduced or are able to work part-time, around your caring duties.

Whatever your situation, entering or re-entering the workforce can be daunting. We have and are currently working with carers with a variety of different situations who are looking to make their entrance into the workforce and the single, most common question we hear is “where do I start?”

Whilst most are excited and optimistic, for some, the thought of the process of getting a job, is so overwhelming that they give up even before they’ve started. Many of the carers suffer from feelings of guilt, low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in their abilities due to skills gaps and being away from the workforce for an extended period.

At Working For Carers, our aim is to provide a comprehensive carer support service for carers trying to back into employment, whether full time or part-time to fit around their caring responsibilities.

We thought we’d share some of our top tips for carers keen to get back into employment.

1. Think about what you want to do
What sort of job would you like to do? Would you like to work with children, or in an admin role, or would you like to work in retail or in a technical/IT role? Once you narrow down the type of work you would like to do and you have the skills for, you can focus on looking for a role in those areas.

2. Volunteer
Volunteering is a wonderful way to get into an industry or sector that you don’t have previous experience of. It not only builds your skills and adds to your CV, but it gives you the chance to understand what kind of job you would like.

3. Recognise your skills
The National Careers Service has a Skills Health Check which involves a set of quizzes and activities designed to help you explore your skills and interests. This might be useful to help you decide what job might be right for you.

4. Be organised and systematic
Keep a diary or notebook on hand to jot things down so you don’t forget.

5. Be communicative and responsive
If you have meetings or interviews scheduled, make sure you get there on time. If you need to cancel or are going to be delayed, inform the person you are supposed to meet.

6. Network and talk to as many people as you can.
Don’t isolate yourself. You never know; your neighbour or sister’s friend or friend’s acquaintance might have a role that would suit you perfectly.

7. Retrain to update your skills
There are sometimes specific education grants and bursaries that you can apply for – the website has some information on grants and bursaries for adult learners.

8. Free Workshops
Attend free workshops that will get you job-ready.

9. Prepare a CV
Without one, it’s almost impossible to get a job. CV writing takes time and you may need some guidance. Think about attending our CV writing workshop to get the support you need. (link to cv writing workshop)

10. Prepare for interviews.
Job interviews can be intimidating, especially if it’s the first one. Our interview workshops are designed to give you the confidence to ace the interview. (link to interview workshop)

The good news is that there is support available for carers in the UK and we would encourage anyone looking to get back into work to take advantage of these support services. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on 020 8868 5224 if we can help in anyway, to guide and support you in finding flexible employment that will work around your carer responsibilities.