A primary school teacher for over 30 years, Julie Gilligan is a natural born care giver, but the education sector had changed considerably over the course of her career and with it, her role. She says, “the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns made me reevaluate my work-life balance. I loved working with young people, but my job had become much more complex in recent years so I started to look for ways I could use the skills I’d gained as a teacher to support adults, instead.”
Julie realised that her life experience and background in teaching had equipped her with a whole host of transferable attributes, and when she noticed an ad for vacancies with ECL she saw an opportunity to pursue a new path. “I liked the idea of being able to get out in the community and care for people who needed short-term reablement support,” says Julie. “The fact that I would be able to work part-time also appealed, as a driving force behind my career change was the desire to reduce my workload and get some much-needed balance back.”
During her interview, it was clear to Julie that ECL appreciated the value people like her could bring to the business and its customers. She felt confident that her lack of direct experience in the home care sector wouldn’t hold her back, and the team wholeheartedly agreed. “The interview was relaxed and friendly, and I could tell that my skillset would stand me in good stead for this new challenge,” says Julie.
On being offered the job, Julie attended three days of face-to-face training and completed a number of e-learning modules before shadowing experienced Community Care Assistants for several weeks. She’s now comfortable working on her own and has completely settled into her new profession. She says, “I really enjoy getting to know my customers and supporting them as they work towards recovery. Making this move has given me a new enthusiasm for caring and I finally feel like I’m making a difference again.
In fact, I’m such an advocate for ECL that I encouraged one of my daughters to apply! We’re both at very different stages of our working lives, but age is no barrier to progress here if you have the ambition.”