Earlier in the week, as a result of the Care Ambassador scheme that I am a party to, I had a meeting with a someone from Skills for Care who is involved in setting up some of the meetings and training sessions with schools.
The Care Ambassador scheme is something I had been involved with for a few years, although somewhere along the line it has changed from the Health and Social Care Ambassador – but the Health part seems to have fallen along the wayside – my guess would be something to do with the funding being provided now from Skills for Care.. with the changes to the way that its being run it has been relaunched now – hence the meeting.
The idea of the scheme is to promote careers in Social Work and Social Care to younger people who might not have even considered it as a career path. It is part of a longer term strategy to bolster up an ageing (thanks!) workforce and promote positive images of social care and particularly career opportunities that are available in social care to people who might not have even considered it as an option.
One of the things we were discussing was things about the career that I found to be positive – and I almost surprised myself by the ease in which I was able to reel off the things I like about my job.
I also had to write a short piece that will potentially distributed to the kids that I work with about myself, my own career path. I was asked where I wanted to be in five years time.
I gulped. I know I was probably expected, in the context of this being about promoting career paths and wanting kids to ‘aim high’ to say that I wanted to be some kind of manager. I really don’t though and couldn’t bring myself, in all honesty to put that down. In the end I said I’d like to see myself doing the same thing that I’m doing now – because its true – possibly in a different setting or a different area – but not fundamentally different. Or some kind of academic work – research or teaching.
I also needed to come up with some ‘interesting’ facts about me that might spark interest.
The woman I was speaking to was giving me examples about all the strange and exciting things other people had written, one, she said, had worked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Another had been skydiving.
I tried to wrack my brains for ‘interesting-things-I-have-done’ and offered up a rather pathetic story about an old and rather uninteresting summer job I’d had one summer at school.
And then, as we moved onto other topics, I realised I’d completely forgotten to mention my I’m-quitting-my-job-and-grabbing-a-random-flight-to-the-sun moment a few years back which resulted in a two year ‘sabbatical’. But that’s a story for another day – sometimes it takes effort to remember I’m perhaps not as dull as I think I am!
It’s an interesting programme and I like the idea of it. As I said to my manager yesterday, I think it’s a good thing for me to do because I have to remind myself frequently about the genuinely positive reasons I do the job and why I chose it. Also, on the basis that I’m going into exclusively inner city schools (we ‘operate’ in the area in which we work) I think there really are opportunities in the sector that people might not know about.
As I was told, some of these kids (and not just kids!) might have very poor ideas of what social workers are and what they do.. so its a chance to at least change some of those perceptions.
Variety is the spice of life, so to speak and it keeps things interesting for me too, as, I noted in the piece I wrote – one of the things I like about the job is that every day is different..