CHOOSING A CAREER / NOV. 04, 2014
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Top 10 Careers for the Supporter

Some people just seem to be born to be supporters. They’re the ones who look after all of the other kids in the class. They’re the first ones to run to a younger child with a scraped knee. They’re the ones friends call when they experience life’s bumps in the road. If that sounds like you, maybe you should turn that love for taking care of others into a career. Here are 10 career options that might be right up your alley:

#1 Care assistant


Care assistants work with people who need help handling life’s daily activities (like toileting, showering, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.). The person who needs care may be elderly, sick, or disabled. This job requires patience, empathy, and a sense of humour.

#2 Victim care officer


Victim care officers work with victims of or witnesses to crime. They listen to their feelings of victimization, anger, and sorrow, and they explain legal processes. They might help both victims and witnesses emotionally prepare for testimony. The job requires excellent listening skills, empathy, and objectivity.

#3 Animal care worker


Not all supporting professions revolve around humans. Animal care workers tend to the needs of animals in shelters, sanctuaries, or rescue centres. They take care of tasks like feeding, grooming, cleaning kennels, exercising animals, etc. The job requires patience, persistence, and the willingness to perform a number of unpleasant tasks.

#4 Palliative care assistant


Palliative care assistants (called hospice workers in the U.S.) provide end-of-life support to people with terminal illnesses. Typically, these patients have stopped seeking a cure and are simply focused on quality of life for the time they have left. The job requires patience, empathy, and the ability to deal with painful situations without breaking down.

#5 Registered care home manager


Registered care home managers are in charge of all aspects of long-term care facilities. Responsibilities include assessing residents’ needs, making a plan for care, and making sure that plan is carried out. The job requires empathy, patience, interpersonal skills, and attention to detail.

#6 Care home advocate


Care home advocates work with residents of long-term care facilities to make sure their needs are met and their wishes are respected. They encourage family members to consider the resident’s perspective, liaise with care home workers on the resident’s behalf, and negotiate decisions involving residents. The job requires patience, tact, interpersonal skills, and a lot of empathy.

#7 Mental health nurse


Mental health nurses assist and support people with mental health issues and their families. They work with doctors, nurses, and sometimes pharmacists to direct care, and they advocate for the patient to make sure care is what the patient really needs. The job requires patience, empathy, and strong interpersonal skills.

#8 School nurse


School nurses work in schools to make sure students’ medical needs are met. They educate both children and faculty on health issues, administer immunization and screening programmes, and contact parents when children are sick. They may also contact child protection services when they feel a child is in danger. The job requires patience, empathy, and strong interpersonal skills.

#9 Special needs care assistant


Special needs care assistants support patients and their families in managing illness, disability, and aging. They provide respite care when a family member needs to run errands (or take a vacation), they work in schools to assist teachers, and they work with therapists for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The job requires patience, empathy, humour, and the ability to connect with a variety of different people.

#10 Hospital doctor


Hospital doctors treat patients who have been admitted to the hospital and work with families to ensure continuity of care. Responsibilities may include diagnosing illness and disease, performing surgery, prescribing medication, and facilitating therapy sessions. The job requires strong people skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to sift through a variety of data to come up with a diagnosis.

If you’re a natural-born supporter, you don’t have to squeeze that drive into your off-duty hours. There are a number of careers that are perfect for your big heart and willingness to care for others. If you know you’d be happiest making a difference in people’s lives, one of these could be the perfect career option for you. 



image: flickr via World Bank Photo Collection, 2013

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