Not being afraid to pivot.
It’s always hard knowing when to make a change in your career. But the signs are usually always there. Whether it’s from your academics or a role you’ve had for the past 15 years, being bold enough to step out isn’t easy. The normal questions and anxieties come into play – Will I be any good? Does my age matter? The list goes on. Keep reading to learn how seamless the transition in care work can truly be through Angela Peake’s story.
Angela has been working at Glenholme for the past five years in one of our elderly care services based in Blackpool. We sat down with her to discuss her career path and how she ended up as an Activities Coordinator. Angela is also a dog owner and currently is a carer for her mother along with her sister who happens to work at the same residential home.
Though she doesn’t consider herself a creative person she has managed to consistently, conceptualise events, artsy projects and day trips for the residents of Bispham Gardens. Creating moments of joy for them, staff and relatives alike.
Her journey didn’t begin in care work, she left college and went straight into hairdressing but always had dreams to work at a nursery. Even at a young age, she had an infectious and bubbly personality. Her interpersonal skills, allowed her to help people and for 25 years she worked in salons and occasional mobile work – which she still does to this day.
What made you switch from full-time hairdressing?
“There is more security in care work”, she made a transition by working at a care home, as a support worker and cutting the residents’ hair every so often in a previous home before joining Glenholme. Angela later found that there was a conflict of interest as some of the residents wanted to reimburse her for the styling services. She didn’t want to take advantage of the residents so she made the full transition into care work.
Soon after that, an opportunity arose for progression in her career, after her managers had seen her creating moments for residents that were special. They gave her two options of which she selected the chance to work as an Activities Coordinator, she was swiftly trained as a reflexologist and started on this new avenue in care.
Finding new and abstract ways to entertain the residents, do you consider yourself a creative person?
“No, I don’t think I’m creative. I look at other people and the stuff they create and I think my stuff isn’t very good in comparison”. Even though it doesn’t seem like it to Angela, the innovation and care she brings forth into all her activities is what makes her creative endeavours so special for the residents. From the handcrafted ice cream booth, cooling residents off on warm a summer’s day to getting in festive fancy dress. Angela comes with enthusiasm in all the events she pulls off in the home.
What were your perceptions before working in care?
She spoke about how her first encounters with care homes weren’t always the most positive. She recalls visiting a relative in a home saying “all the residents just sat in rows”, describing it as lifeless and unpleasant. The more experience she got in the care industry, the more positive it became. She said, “I imagine that it’s going to be me one day, who’s being looked after, I think about how I’d want to be cared for and I do that for the residents”.
What does she love about her job?
Angela spoke candidly about how much hard work goes into working in care, but she says it’s a rewarding experience saying “when a resident or their relative thanks you for all you’re doing for them, it’s worth it.” It was clear that the self-fulfillment from this role is what drives her, when she witnesses people enjoying the activity that she’s planned it gives her a sense of pride.
Advice for anyone thinking of a career in care.
“Go with how you feel and be yourself. Volunteer your time and see for yourself. Give it a go, try it.”
What’s evident within this interview with Angela is that her personable, welcoming and honest approach to life and her ability to lean into her natural skills have allowed her to pivot into a career in the care industry and her authenticity has allowed her to shine. She also showcases that you can reinvent yourself and it’s never too late to change your career path.