Have you considered the possibility of working in the caring professions? There are some wonderful and rewarding roles available and excellent career opportunities as well, and as the proportion of seniors in the population rises, so too does the requirement for nursing and elderly care facilities.
People who enter the caring professions tend to fall into two camps. In one camp are the people who see care as their vocation, a career they’ve always wanted because of their naturally caring nature. In another are the people who take on caring roles for more practical reasons, because they need a job and there’s often plenty of care roles available. What’s interesting is how many of the people who start off working in caring roles for financial reasons, then discover they have a talent for it and a previously unrealized affinity for the role.
This shows that there are many people capable of becoming outstanding nurses or carers who don’t realize they have the abilities and the interest to make caring a rewarding, fulfilling job. You don’t have to be someone who is obviously born to be a people person to be a care worker, so if you haven’t considered nursing or other related professions because you don’t feel that vocational imperative, don’t assume that you haven’t got what it takes.
You also may not have realized how many interesting, varied roles there are within the caring professions. For instance, being a nurse doesn’t automatically mean working long shifts in a busy ward at the hospital. You could choose to be a nurse in private practice, working alongside a small team of physicians or a single doctor. Or you could specialize in a particular field of medicine; for example, mental health, sports medicine, chronic pain management, oncology, dementia, or obstetrics.
One field that people who have experience of caring for their own children might gravitate towards is the role of a school nurse. The school nurse plays a vital role in keeping pupils healthy, so they don’t miss school, and caring for the kinds of minor injuries and illnesses common in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. If you want to find out how to become a school nurse, there are many helpful websites where you can see what’s involved in the role and how to gain the qualifications you need.
You might assume that it’s too late to move into a career like nursing because you can’t afford to retrain from scratch, but you’ll see there are plenty of courses that include online learning, and in some cases are mostly completed electronically. Also, you can often work as a support worker in a hospital or other facility while you train, so you’re earning money and gaining experience at the same time.
Whether you’ve always harbored a secret wish to work in the caring professions, or never considered it to be a role you could do, it’s worth considering nursing and other caring roles and not assuming such a career can’t be yours.