If you have given up work (or not worked at all) because of your caring responsibilities you may want to work or return to work once your caring role ends, or you may decide you want to combine care with work.

Recognising skills

If you are not sure what you would like to do, start by recognising the skills and interests you have. Think about what you have learned from:

  • any paid work that you have done
  • tasks and responsibilities involved in your role as a carer, a parent, and running a home
  • any other activities that you do, for example, voluntary work, committees etc.

Then identify your interests; think about:

  • what you enjoy doing
  • how you would like to use your skills
  • things you miss doing that you once did, e.g. previous work.

You may feel that you need to gain confidence to use your skills in new ways. There are training courses available on topics like confidence building, assertiveness training and managing stress.

Think about what employers want and value your own experience. Identify the transferable skills you have gained through caring and match these to employers’ needs. Skills you may have developed include:

  • managing a budget
  • time management
  • planning and problem-solving
  • prioritising, organising and negotiating.

Think about short and long term goals and make a plan of what you would like to do. Make sure the plan is achievable – include small steps as well as your long term goals. Once you know what you want to do, you can look for the right kind of support to help you.

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