New Year New Career

New Year New Career

Our incredible staff at Creative Support have all had different journeys leading them to a rewarding career in care. They honed their skills and compassion in other industries before joining us, and now use their abilities to make a difference to the thousands of people we support. Read about their unique journeys below.

Richard in Warwickshire

Richard, a Support Worker in Warwickshire, joined Creative Support six months ago. Before joining us, he’s worked as a police officer, an estate agent, and a national sales manager for a pharmaceutical company! He talks about the most important asset someone can bring to Creative Support: caring.

Could you tell us a bit about your journey to Creative Support?

When I left school, I joined the police force and became a copper for five years. When I left the force, I worked as a Registered Nurse in Mental Health for another five years. I then became an estate agent, before working in pharmaceutical sales for thirty years.

I’m 62 now, and I always said when I reached this age I would retire, but I didn’t actually want to stop working as I knew I would drive myself up the wall! Instead, I thought to look for part time work doing something that would give me personal satisfaction. I saw the Creative Support advertisement on Indeed and applied for it, and was fortunate enough to be contacted soon afterwards and interviewed, then offered the role. I’m now a Support Worker, and work part time over three days a week.

What made you decide to change career paths?

I wanted to still work part time and do something valuable and worthwhile, but in a role that was completely different. For a long time at the pharmaceutical company I led and managed people and their business, and one of the things I wanted was to leave that responsibility behind. It was very hard work leading and managing people, both mentally and emotionally, and if I wasn’t going to retire, it was an aspect of the job I wanted to change.

When I look at the likes of the seniors and managers at my service, I think that they’re remarkable people, not only because they provide incredible care, but because they also have to lead and manage the workforce too. I consider myself very lucky to have been taken on by Creative Support.

What drew you to the care sector?

I always had an interest in helping and supporting people. One of the aspects I enjoyed most in my previous role was coaching my cohorts and encouraging their personal development. I’ve always been a great believer in that leadership is about getting people to commit rather than comply. You do this by building strong relationships with people so they feel valued and respected.

Have you used the skills you developed in your previous role while working here?

I believe that the job we do as Support Workers is not so much about previous roles and the transference of skills, as skills can be taught and learned, but this role is much more about the values, beliefs, and drives of a person.

What makes you a good Support Worker are the values and beliefs you have. Our job is to care about people, and the people who are good at this job (I work with several!), enjoy helping others to live the best lives possible. They understand that their main function should be to support our service users to enjoy their best possible lives. In my team, I work with someone who used to work in a chippy, an ex-hairdresser, an ex-architect, an ex-teacher, and an ex-chauffeur. They all have this one thing in common, and that is the innate desire to help our service users. It’s not about what the team learned in their previous jobs, but about what they have inside of them.

All of the people I just mentioned are incredible, and I have the great privilege to work with them. Everyone comes from such different backgrounds, but they all offer and give what they can to the people we support.

What’s the best part of your job now?

There are two aspects- one aspect is working as part of the team with truly remarkable people. They are all so interesting, and we all have the same motivation in life and work. That is a really satisfying part of the job.

The other aspect is helping to improve the quality of life for our service users. There’s a lot of personal satisfaction that comes from that, but when you see someone smile because they’ve achieved something for the first time, you feel like you’ve had a positive influence on someone’s life. In the commercial world, you don’t have as many good days like that, where you can feel that you have done something good with your day, but being here, I have those days every day.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of joining the care and support sector?

I would say know that you are needed. Don’t procrastinate, show that you care, and be useful. Also know that you will be making a difference to people’s lives.

What was your dream job growing up?

I think I was like 90% of all boys and wanted to either be a professional footballer or a pop star!

Sophie in Sheffield

Sophie, a support worker in Sheffield, joined Creative support in July 2020. Sophie has a degree in Beauty Therapy and previously worked as a beautician, as well as in a card shop, phone shop, and call centre!


What made you decide to change paths to care?

I had an auntie who had Downs Syndrome, and I used to look after her a lot when I was younger. A family member from the same side was already working in care, and referred me. She recommended it by saying it would be quite rewarding.

What do you enjoy about working in the care sector?

I enjoy being with the people we support- I’m sat with someone right now, and he’s really chatty so it’s nice to spend time with him! I also like doing one-to-one support, being able to go out and about with people and help people to do things they want to do, and doing different activities.

How did you find adapting into the new role?

I found it quite enjoyable as it was a lot of things I’ve never done it before, everything was quite new so there was lots of learning! Everyone here has been really helpful, both the management team and my colleagues. One person uses Makaton, so I’ve had to learn that which has been really interesting and useful.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to come into the care sector from something totally different?

You’ve got to be open minded for all the different needs that people have, and be able to adapt. You also have to be able to interact, so your communication skills are key. You need to be able to build a good rapport with people!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little I wanted to be a beauty therapist! But it was hard to build the clientele. I’d definitely recommend support work. If I ever have a query, my management are really helpful!


Adam in Doncaster

Care Support Worker Adam in Doncaster was a Head Chef for eight years, before giving up his apron to change paths to a career in care! 

What made you decide to change career paths?

I joined my service in Doncaster last June. As a Head Chef I was doing a lot of hours. We’ve got two small children, so by the time you have your two days off I was too tired to do anything. My partner also works for Creative Support, so she suggested I should apply. She said I have a good attitude towards people and that I have the right skills.

Are there any skills from your previous role that you’ve been able to use?

If you can run a house pretty easily, you can put those skills into support work. Time management and organisational skills are useful, as well as being able to sit down and talk to people. It’s also being able to use life skills, like doing people’s food shopping for them.

How did you find adapting to the new role?

My cheffing was definitely more physically and mentally draining. Support work is a lot different, it can be challenging some days, but it’s definitely a lot more rewarding. I had a lot of support from my management team, and the people I work with helped me a lot. I got full training on everything, including my care certificate. There are a lot of people you can turn to for advice here.

What’s the best part of your job now?

It’s being able to help people. I like helping people to do what they want in life and not be sat at home. I can take them out and help them to do things they want to do, and to take them out on holiday. I can also spend more time at home with my kids- I’ve never had a work life balance before I started as a support worker. I didn’t realise how much better it would be for me, my manager can work around me and my childcare so it’s very flexible. I used to work all through Christmas, it was just expected of you. This time I’m able to spend so much more time at home.

What advice would you give for somebody thinking of starting in the care sector?

Don’t be frightened in doing it. There’s always somebody around to help, and loads of people to go to for advice. I would never go back into a kitchen now!


Emily in Stockport

Emily in Stockport talked to us about changing career paths from a Bar Manager to Creative Support’s Reception, Facilities and Purchasing Manager, and what she most enjoys about a rewarding career in care.

Why did you decide to change career paths?

I’d worked in bars since I was 18, so I’d been in hospitality for about 12 or 13 years! I joined Creative Support in January ‘21 as an Office and Customer Manager, and in the last few months I’ve been able to take on some additional responsibilities.

The main reason for my switch was because I had my daughter in 2019, and in hospitality both the shift patterns and amount of hours per week (60+ hours!) just wasn’t feasible. When I was on maternity leave I started looking for a different role. My mum is on the board for a different social care company and had heard of Creative Support before, so she said I should go for it.

What do you enjoy about working in the care sector?

The company is great, and you’re treated like an actual person! They care about each of their employees, rather than in hospitality where you’re just a number to make money for them. Coming into a sector where you actually matter, and where they support their employees is great. Working within the social care sector, especially since COVID, has made me realise what a massive part of society social care is.

Is there anything you’ve carried with you from your previous role that you’ve been able to use?

Mainly my managerial skills. I managed a large team with a variety of roles, which has helped me in my current role, where I’m managing different teams. It’s massively transferrable. Also the customer care side of things, and being able to give customer service and people-facing communication.

How did you find adapting into the new role?

I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. The only thing I found slightly difficult was some of the terminology, like for the machines, but you get used to it and learn quickly. Everyone is really supportive, like my line manager and the reception team when I started, they all really helped me.

What do you most enjoy about your current role?

I enjoy that I’m still quite busy; I’ve come from an industry where it’s crazy busy, so I’m used to it. It keeps me occupied and it’s very varied, no day is ever the same!

What advice would you have for someone wanting to come into the care sector from something totally different?

Just go for it! All the skills you have are transferrable in some way, and it’s not something to be scared of. It’s a really amazing sector to be a part of, and Creative Support are a great company to work for.


 Megan in Manchester

We spoke with the lovely Senior Support Worker Megan in Manchester about her journey from fashion to support work, and how transferable skills really are when moving between sectors.

Could you tell us about your path to Creative Support?

I studied fashion and textiles at college and university, and then had a career in fashion for around six years. As I worked hard to get my degree and get to the level I was at in my career, I felt that I needed to pursue this. However, I was fed up and would often dread going into work.

I decided to start volunteering as I wasn’t fulfilled by my 9-5 job, so I volunteered as a Brownies leader, a peer mentor for teenagers, and at a contact centre for parents and children. All of these roles were very different, but what they all had in common was directly working with other people, which is what I really enjoy.

During the pandemic, I decided I didn’t want to work in fashion anymore. A friend of mine had been working with Creative Support for a few years and she really enjoyed her job, and said I should give it a go as she thought I would be a good support worker. As I enjoyed working with people, this seemed like a great idea and I applied to work in south Manchester. I’ve since been with Creative Support for a year and a half.

What drew you to the care sector?

Getting to work with people and having no two days the same. Being bored isn’t a thing here, unlike past office jobs.

Have you used the skills you developed in your previous role whilst working here?

The main skills you need to be a support worker is to be patient, understanding, and approachable, which most people have from personal experiences. Doing my volunteering and working with a wide variety of people helped me to learn how to adapt my approach when working with people with different needs.

What’s the best part of your job now?

Knowing that you are making a difference in people’s lives and seeing the people we support grow and accomplish their goals are some of the best things. I also do not dread going to work; you never know what the day ahead of you holds, but you will always have a few laughs and the days fly by.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of moving into the care and support sector?

Give it a go. If you’re sick of being in an office or doing the same thing day in, day out and want a change, then support work is the best option.

Kizzy in Stockport

Kizzy is the Reception Manager at Creative Support Head Office in Stockport. She sat down to chat with us about her journey into health and social care, including acting in TV adverts and PA work for a medical technology start-up!

When did you start working at Creative Support?

I started January 2021, so a year ago! Before that, I used to work for a music university on reception. I then worked as a PA for two and a half years for a medical technology company. It was a start-up by the guy who invented blister packs!

What made you decide to change paths?

I worked on reception at the university for 4 years, managing a team similar to here. When I was a PA it was a lot more of a solo role, doing research and travelling. I preferred being as a part of a team, so I applied here to be on reception.

What is the best part of your job now?

Definitely the team, there’s 8 of us right now so I really enjoy being part of a bigger team. I also like the varied responsibility, we do a lot of different stuff- a lot more than you’d think!

What do you enjoy about working in the care sector?

I really like that you know that you’re always helping people and working towards something. You know you’re contributing to the bigger picture. I learned a lot about social care since starting in this role, it’s something that’s always ticking away in the background but you don’t realise just how important it is until you get involved and you see how much goes on.

Is there anything you’ve carried with you from your previous role that you’ve been able to use?

I’m able to use my customer service skills, having dealt with different situations and people from all walks of life! At the university I managed a much smaller team, and it was very structured. Here, it’s a lot more broad and reactive- social care is ever-changing, and I’m still learning about the sector!

How did you find adapting into the new role?

It’s definitely a ‘sink or swim’ environment, it’s helped me to build resilience as it was quite overwhelming at first. But it was worth the wait. It took me a good few months to sit comfortable, I think that’s down to all the systems we use. We got a lot of training and support, the communication is great. I think the good thing is that you’re never on your own, and there’s always someone willing to help you.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to come into the care sector from something totally different?

I would say go for it, 100%! It will be quite a big leap, but it’ll be worth it in the end because it’s such an important sector. It’s unpredictable, exciting and ultimately rewarding.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an actress! I studied acting at university and went on to do some theatre work. I toured with Macbeth, but I realised theatre work is very intense! I then went on to do some TV adverts. I may go back into it later in life, who knows!


Bernie in London

Bernie has shared her story about her journey to becoming a Housing Manager for Creative Support, and her experiences and travels she had before joining the team.

Can you tell us about your path to Creative Support?

I had worked in charities previously, including as an Events Assistant at Action for Children and briefly for another, and then I took three months off to go traveling. When I came back I started working in the finance team at the Anna Freud Centre, and then moved to Australia for a little while. When I came back to the UK, it was at the very beginning of the pandemic and I was searching for a job and came across Creative Support.

I initially applied for a different role, and came really close to getting it, but it was offered to someone else. They said they had another role we’d like you to interview for, which I did, and here I am now! When I first saw the role of a Housing Manager I wasn’t sure if it would suit me, but I had a really good handover from the person who was doing the role before and I’ve been supported ever since. The first week or two was really busy and I wasn’t sure about it, but when you settle in and become confident, it becomes much easier.

What made you want to join the charity and care sectors?

The first job I had was an internship at a charity. Prior to this I’d never thought of working in a charity as I’d not really thought of it as a sector. I’d always wanted to work somewhere I thought I was helping, or was for a good cause, and I’ve not looked back since.

I don’t think I’d find working for a corporate organization very motivating, especially now. When I saw my current role at Creative Support, I’d not really thought of care as a sector and didn’t know about Extra Care Services and things like that. Creative Support was a company doing something I hadn’t seen before.

Have you used the skills you developed in your previous roles whilst working here?

I think time management is a big one. At one of the first charities I worked for, I did a lot of training on time management and it probably is the biggest transferable skill I’ve used. There’s lots to stay on top of in my role, especially with two services!

All of my previous roles have helped me to develop my people skills which is also integral to my role. I speak to people we support every day so it’s definitely a big one!

What’s the best part of your job now?

I feel like the client interaction is the best part of my job. A big part of my job is getting repairs done for the people we support, which is really nice when you organise something for them and they’re happy with the results.

The role is also incredibly varied and I never wait for the day to end. I really enjoy it, but the people we support really make the job.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of working in the care and support sector?

I think that you have to be prepared that issues will arise that you have to solve and to not let it stress you out. It’s something that my director Mahip taught me when I joined- that problems will crop up, but to handle them and not to stress about them.

Another thing I’d say is to always make time for the people we support. You might be busy or in the office, but speaking with our tenants and having a catch-up is really important to them, and can make their day.

What was your dream job growing up?

I think I wanted to be a teacher! I always wanted to be organised, and I always wanted to do the register in class.


Would you like to make a difference to people’s lives and work in a meaningful career? We have roles to suit everyone’s skills, and provide on-the-job training to support you on your Creative Support journey. Check out our current vacancies via the link here, and search by your area or your interests!