Here's how to properly search for care taking jobs near me and know the right job for you
Home care work is both fulfilling and challenging. It is important to find a home care agency that will support you, value your work, and truly listen to your needs. While you work independently in clients' homes, your agency is your home base, and the quality of that base matters. Whether you are getting into professional caregiving for the first time, or searching for a new job, check out these three ways to vet caregiving jobs and make sure you're taking care of yourself as well.
#1: Research the Company
Before accepting any caregiving job, it's important to do your homework. Look at the company’s website and social media profiles, and ask yourself:
What do these platforms communicate about the company’s mission, vision, and values?Do they align with your own? Are there any red flags or things you don't like?
What services does the agency provide, and do these align with the type of work you hope to be doing?
What kinds of reviews does the company have?Reviews are a valuable point of information, but also one you need to view with a grain of salt. People are always more inclined to post negative reviews than positive ones, and there is often a more complex story behind a review that you cannot see. This doesn’t mean you should discount reviews but rather view them carefully.
Look beyond stars and read individual reviews. This can help you get a better idea of the experiences of other caretakers and whether there are any underlying issues you should be aware of.
If the company doesn't have a website or online reviews, don't be afraid to ask for references. Contact other caretakers who have worked for them before and ask about their experiences. This can help you get a better understanding of the job requirements, work environment, and overall experience.
- Pro Tip: You can Google search your potential employer's name and the words, "reviews" or "testimonials" at the end, and you will find online reviews to vet these companies.
How long has the company been in business?Being a newer or older company is not automatically a pro or a con. Sometimes newer businesses are more flexible and offer more room for creativity and growth. Sometimes more established companies are more secure and offer more consistency. The key here is to consider the type of environment you might be joining and ensure it aligns with your professional goals and desires.
Remember, you are also interviewing your employer to make sure you're comfortable with the company before accepting any caregiving job.
#2: Ask Questions During the Interview
During the interview process, don't be afraid to ask questions. Interviews are also opportunities for you to learn about your potential employer.
Ask about the responsibilities of the job,if they have the schedule that you need and the kind of support you'll receive from the company.
Ask about pay and benefits.What is the pay rate? How much paid vacation time do they offer? Do they offer any benefits, what are they?
If the company isn't able to provide all the benefits you want, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of what they do offer and decide if it meets your core needs.
A smaller agency for example might have a strong culture of support, but because of their size, does not yet offer health insurance. It’s important to ground yourself in your own “must haves” as you assess a new opportunity.
Ask about opportunities for training and/or career advancement.If you are new to caregiving, you may need entry-level training. Does the company provide training? Is it free or paid?
Perhaps you are already a career caregiver and looking for a company where you can grow. Does the company provide specialized training, or opportunities to dig deeper like peer mentorship or advanced caregiving roles?
Perhaps you are interested in moving into administration or going back to school to get a nursing degree. Does the agency offer any pathways or support for these goals?
Ask about supervision and on-the-job support.Make sure you have a clear understanding of what is expected of you and what you can expect in return. If you’ve had negative experiences in another company, share the scenario and ask how they would manage the situation. This can help you see if they would be able to act differently and not repeat the same mistakes you experienced in the past. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons before accepting the job.
#3: Trust Your Gut
If you have any reservations about the caregiving job, listen to them. Oftentimes our intuition guides us in the right direction. Even if everything checks out on paper, if the job doesn't feel right to you, it's important to lean into those reservations. Do more research, ask more questions, and keep your options open.
You should feel comfortable with the company or individual offering the job, the responsibilities of the job, and the pay/benefits. Don't let anyone pressure you into accepting a job that doesn't feel right to you or makes you uncomfortable.
Vetting caregiving jobs can take a bit of time and effort, but it's worth it to find the right opportunity for you. Research the company or individual offering the job, ask questions during the interview, and trust your gut. By doing so, you'll be on your way to a fulfilling and rewarding career as a caregiver.
We, the caregivers at Cooperative Home Care Associates, are also the owners of our business. We make sure we create the best work environment for ourselves and our clients. Click here to learn more about us and our open positions!