The 10 characteristics of people who thrive in community services
The truth is, COVID-19 has a lot of people thinking that way, but before you change lanes on the career highway, it pays to find out if you’re really suited for community services work.
To help you on your quest, we’ve curated a list of qualities we think make truly great community services personnel. With over ten years in business, and a few decades more in the industry between us, our experience means we know what kind of person will thrive in a community services team environment.
#1 You love people
This kind of goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. Being suited to community services work means you love working with people. You’ll see people at their best, and it’s seriously rewarding. But the reason we wanted to mention the obvious is because you may see people at their worst too. It’s walking with people through the highs and the lows that make this work so satisfying over the long haul. If you want to meet and work with genuinely great people - both clients and coworkers, this will serve you well in a community services career.
#2 You enjoy variety
While the general principles of support and care remain the same, community services work is known for the variety. Different people, different care contexts, different routines and daily schedules. There is a mix of routine and variety that makes community services work great for anyone who enjoys changing things up from day to day.
#3 You’re adaptable
Variety leads us to adaptability. They go hand in hand - if you like variety, you need to be adaptable to various situations. In community services work, our priority is people, and sometimes people change. You may have to be adaptable to changing care needs from day to day, or changing support needs over time. Because our work is person-centred, we adapt in response to the person’s needs.
#4 You think creatively
Creativity isn’t just about art and craft - more broadly, it’s about using imagination and resourcefulness to solve problems and facilitate quality care. Finding ways to support clients in the most safe and effective ways means that you’ll be drawing on your skills to determine the best options available to bring great solutions to your clients. People who thrive in community services are those who are able to work within a predetermined framework, bringing fun and originality within the scope of their role.
#5 You want to make a difference
The drive to make a real difference is another thing that sets community services workers apart. For our clients, the support they receive from care workers enables them to do things like remain in their own home for as long as possible, hold employment, attend education, or access social activities. If you want to enter a career where you can see real results in the lives of others, then a community services career is second to none.
#6 You’re a team player
If you enjoy working as part of a team, then you’ll go far in community services. Client care is coordinated on a schedule according to need and availability, so it’s rare, even unheard of, that you’ll be the only person providing support to any one individual.
This means that you need to be able to work effectively as part of a team, adhere to instructions, and prioritise communication in order to make sure that person receives the best standard of consistent care.
#7 You enjoy a mix of the practical and social at work
Advances in assistive devices and environmental modifications means that providing support in the care settings doesn’t have to be back-breaking work. The amount of physical work involved in carrying out care will depend on the individual, but the great thing about this work is that there is support out there to cater for the safety of both workers and clients.
The other great news is that you will always have your tank filled with the social and personal aspect that is inherent in the community services industry.
#8 You have a justice streak
Working in this industry means that you’ll have the privilege of working alongside some of the most vulnerable groups in our communities. Whether it's working with older persons, or perhaps persons with a disability, providing individual support involves being an advocate for the person.
Being an advocate is about giving the person a voice, upholding their right to choose, and ultimately playing a part in empowering them to make the most of every opportunity. If you have an inner drive to see every person treated fairly, and with dignity, this is the industry for you.
#9 You want job flexibility
One of the perks of community services work is that there is work available around the clock. So if you’re giving a big tick to ‘job flexibility’, this might be just the work for you.
#10 You consider yourself empathetic and caring
At the end of the day, a genuine care and empathy will help sustain you in community services. If you consider yourself someone who carries these qualities, you’ll be a great asset to any community services organisation.
Remember, as someone who cares for others, it’s essential that you have structures in place to support your own self care.
How did you score?
How many of these characteristics did you identify with? If this list is resonating with you, we’d love to talk with you about a career move into community services.
Get in touch today and take your next step towards a rewarding career where you can make a real difference.