April 14, 2021

Connor’s Story: Career progression in Social Care

By Hannah West

At the age of 24, Connor Simpson secured his first management role at one of the largest homecare providers in the UK.

Joining the care sector at 18 years old as a part time Support Worker, whilst he completed an apprenticeship in another industry, Connor didn’t realise this would lead him onto a career in adult social care.

We sat down with Connor and asked him about his career journey so far.

How did you start your career in social care?

“When I was 18, I was doing an administration apprenticeship in a different sector and wanted a part time job to earn extra money, so I joined CRG Homecare as a Support Worker during the weekends.

“Once I finished my apprenticeship, a temporary role became available at CRG Homecare as an Administration Assistant in their Mobilisation Support Team (MST). Initially, it was a three-month temporary contract which suited me as I thought I would get hands on experience and see if I enjoyed it.”

What is the Mobilisation Support Team?

“We joke that nobody knows! Basically, we had to mobilise a new contract from start to finish that included finding a new office in the local area, setting up the branch, recruiting staff and promoting the brand in the local community.

“I came into MST as an Admin Assistant and completed admin duties, liaised with the branch staff and support services to assist with the mobilisation in any way I could. I was offered a permanent contract and I never looked back really.”

As part of MST, at what point did you think this is really going to challenge me?

“On my first mobilisation! We went to Hammersmith, in London to mobilise a large domiciliary care contract. I had never been to London before; there’s lots of different cultures and it’s very diverse.

“Because it was my first full mobilisation, I really didn’t know what to expect and I underestimated the scale of the project. It was a challenge from day one managing my workload, but I did the best I could and learnt a lot from my time in London.

“Being part of MST meant balancing tasks, spinning a lot of plates at the same time and managing priorities. I have worked on so many mobilisations that each one brings different challenges and obstacles to overcome but there’s never been a mobilisation we haven’t completed on time.”

Did you progress in the Mobilisation Team?

“Yes, my roles and responsibilities in the team changed. From Admin Assistant I was promoted to a Recruiter and then onto a Coordination role before I landed the role of Project Lead, where I took overall responsibility of mobilising the contract.

“Each role came with different pressures and has helped me develop different skillsets that I will use in my future job roles within the sector.

“I am very ambitious and when an opportunity becomes available, although it may seem challenging and out of my comfort zone, I do take it because I want to progress and I know with the people around me I can rise to the challenge.”

Are their opportunities in social care?

“Yes I have seen so many people been given opportunities. Some haven’t taken the opportunities and I think you have to seize the opportunity; even if it means you will be out of your comfort zone. You can develop into the role and learn from the people around you and absorb the knowledge they hold.”

What role did you take after working in MST?

“After my time with MST, I was then seconded into the role of Operational Support Manager. I worked closely with the Regional Directors to help develop their branches. I would create an action plan for the branch and liaise with the Branch Manager to achieve this.

“I have a broad skillset from working in MST that I took into the role from growing hours, recruitment, and quality.”

Tell me how you became Branch Manager?

“An opportunity to become a Registered Branch Manager for the Prescot branch was advertised and I thought why not go for it.

“I have always wanted to become a Branch Manager, but I didn’t realise I would reach this within 5 years of working in social care. My ultimate goal is to become a Regional Director and taking on the responsibility of a Branch Manager is another step towards my goal.”

What are the responsibilities of a Branch Manager?

“In my new role, I am responsible for overseeing the delivery of safe, effective and quality care as well as the recruitment and retention of employees.

“There are different pressures that come with this role; I have targets and budgets to achieve but my experiences at CRG Homecare have certainly helped me so far. There’s still a lot to learn but with a supportive team around you it is achievable.”

If someone is considering joining social care what advice would you give them?

“I would say do it! It’s a sector where you don’t necessarily need the qualifications before you start; you can learn and complete qualifications on the job. There are opportunities to progress and develop your skills, whether that’s to work towards a different job role or enhance your skillset in the role you are in.”

If you are inspired by Connor’s story and are considering a career in social care, take a look at our careers page here.

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