How Being A Caregiver Has Given Me New Experiences and Goals

Since high school, I had talked about wanting to get a job, but I never actually applied for one until the summer before sophomore year of college. Wanting to go into health care, I was appreciative of any job that I could get that would give me experience. For this reason, I applied to be a caregiver for children and young adults with special needs. Initially when I accepted for the job, I was excited and a bit scared to start. As this would be my first job, I was afraid that I would make mistakes or that I wouldn’t be a good enough employee. However, after working for approximately five months, I’ve gained experiences that have shaped my personal skills while expanding upon my aspirations for my future career.  Animal crossing Photo by Sara Kurfeß from Unsplash

Being a caregiver isn’t easy, but the experiences I have gained from working with children and young adults has been incrdibly rewarding. While working as a caregiver, sometimes I get new clients that I only see once, while more often, I have regular clients that I see on a weekly basis. Because I see my weekly clients on a regular basis, I’m able to form a relationship with the client, as well as a relationship with their family. I really treasure the bond formed with my clients because I consider these bonds friendships. With each week, we get to know each other better and try out new activities to make the time more fun. Although being a caregiver is my job, I’ve learned to enjoy it as more than just work.

My experiences as a caregiver have shaped my own personal skills as well. For instance, when meeting new clients and their families, I introduce myself and start small conversations about the client’s likes and dislikes. I’ve gotten used to this communication, and thus this job has improved my interpersonal communication skills. Furthermore, oftentimes during my time with clients we switch to different activities, and I have to be creative with transitioning to keep them engaged. Moreover, I’ve had to learned to quickly adapt to different situations, especially when a client becomes upset or begins engaging in self-injurious behavior. With these situations, I’ve gained experience in quickly coming up with solutions to calm the client and to make them feel safe. Overall, these experiences have led me to expand upon my personal skills in being quick on my feet and thinking fast in different situations. 

Woman looking into a microscope Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels During my time as a caregiver, my career goal of working in the healthcare field has only been strengthened. After my time with clients, often their parents thank me, and I am always appreciative of their kindness in treating me like family. In interacting with clients, I enjoy conversing with them and engaging them in activities they enjoy while forming a friendship with them. For this reason, I want to work in the healthcare field to interact with patients of all backgrounds and all stories. With my experiences from my first job, I’ve learned that I really enjoy social interaction and interpersonal communication, and thus I want to bring these two aspects to my future career in the health care field.