Raymond left school at 17 and started role at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. It was here that he realised a career in adult social care was a great fit for his abilities and strengths. During his career, he’s worked in a variety of roles that has led to his recent appointment as Team Manager within the Caltongate facility.
“I have been in the health and social care industry for 31 years, starting off as a domestic in the Royal Infirmary. The ward sister was insistent that I worked on the care side of health, as I had the ‘gift of the gab’ and the personality to brighten people’s days. From here, I worked in a facility that supported people with disabilities closely followed by working with the elderly. However, I soon returned to support people with learning difficulties, as this is where my passion lies.
“I started off my career in adult social care at Caltongate eight years ago whilst working part-time during my studies. It was during this time that I fell in love with the facility and our clients as well as the progression opportunities I was given.
“I have seen the job from all levels which is extremely useful. I’ve been able to gain an understanding of the frustrations both from the support and managerial sides but notice that we all enjoy the experience with our clients and find the same reward.
“I made the personal decision to undertake SVQ qualifications, as I always felt that things could be done better, however I knew that you needed to be in a senior role to achieve this. Going back to night-school allowed me to complete these qualifications and achieve my goal to work in senior level roles, implementing what I believe is best practice.
“My favourite thing about working in adult social care is the achievements. This includes our clients’ achievements, my own personal achievements and my team’s – who are absolutely fantastic. Most of the team had never worked in adult social care before, which meant I put in a lot of time and effort into mentoring and sharing my previous experience and skills to equip them to be the best they can be, for our clients.
“I don’t think that there is necessary training that is required to be a suitable candidate for a career in adult social care – albeit beneficial – as it is all down to the person and their ability to tackle a challenge head on whilst learning from the experience. I would recommend people do research so that they have a basis of knowledge which will also show their commitment to the role.
“I believe that all the free online resources that are now available are great to give people a flavour if this career, however, this is not something I consider essential when I am recruiting as our questions are value-based to ensure we find the right candidate who is going to make a difference. I love to know what brought a person to a career in adult social care, as it allows me to see what their drive is.
“I think somebody who has drive, compassion, empathy and is willing to put in the work would be a perfect candidate for a career in adult social care. It can be a challenging job, but also incredibly rewarding.
“I have noticed that throughout my career, people have an apprehension towards people who require care and often have a fear of the unknown. I think that people need to understand that everyone you meet in the industry is just like you in some ways and we are all humans living our life.”
Raymond’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position:
“Give it your best and put 100% into it. It is key to take the time to get to know the person you are caring for as they will thank you for that, resulting in a healthy working relationship. It is important to remain professional but have a personal connection.
“I think it is important to be bold and break down boundaries if that is what you believe in, as ultimately you are responsible for the welfare of your client.
“A piece of advice that I wish I was given would be to not take things too personally. When a client has a difficult day, you can be the target as you are closest to them, but it is important to try and fix their problem rather than adopt it as our own”.