The skills of a support worker are essential when caring for others. Professionals working in social work often rely on a combination of soft and hard skills to take on their responsibility. If you are pursuing a career as a support worker, developing your skills in advance will help you achieve positive outcomes
Consider the following examples of qualities and skills of a support worker you can develop to be successful in your career:
Customer Service and Communication Skills
A customer service mindset is extremely important when supporting people with disability reach their goals, make their own decisions and to live their lives independently. Customer service skills go hand in hand with communication skills. Having the ability to communicate clearly with others is important in a support role. Your ability to listen to others and understand various perspectives is a great skill that can help you better develop support plans, establish goals, and collaborate with others.
Relationship Building Skills
You should be genuinely good with people and have the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships. Relationship building skills are vital for gaining the trust of your client, establishing open communication, and building lasting relationships. It is also important that support workers develop patience, understanding, and effective conflict-resolution techniques to help navigate challenging situations.
Attention to Detail
Time management and organisational skills are critical in the role of a support worker. Many supports professionals work with multiple clients a day, coordinating schedules, files, and care plans with team members and supervisors. An attention to detail is necessary to also coordinate medical care for your clients, work with medical providers, and incorporate any health-related plans when caring for clients.
Life Experience and Transferrable Skills
Our clients look for support workers who share common interests, which can be extremely important when you are assisting them to participate in their local community and to achieve their personal goals. Life experience can also be invaluable, for example, return-to-work parents who have had experience supporting someone with disability, can have great transferable skills.
Providing guidance and motivating others are great examples of how your leadership skills can apply to a career as a support worker. Many support workers take on leadership responsibilities and often develop the skills necessary to succeed in these roles. When working with clients, you are often required to provide input, organise activities, and guide individuals in their performance. In these cases, your leadership skills are necessary.
The Right Qualifications
Most disability service provides require that you have the correct qualifications in disability or community services. This may be a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) or a Certificate IV in Disability (CHC43115). You can get the necessary qualifications from a wide range of registered training organisations including Open Colleges, and TAFE. A Certificate IV in Disability will generally take you 27 weeks full-time to complete and may involve a study commitment of about 22 hours per week (which includes class participation, directed study and any required work placements).
So, do you think you have what it takes to be a great support worker? With the growing need for support worker jobs Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Newcastle’s Nextt teams are searching for new talent to join our community. Visit our careers page to see our current roles available.