I had never really known what I wanted to do in life.
I followed a well-travelled path: school, uni, then full-time corporate. When the goal of climbing the corporate ladder lost its appeal, I experimented across roles and industries. I supported leadership then front-line teams, worked at both billion-dollar organisations and start-ups which had yet to turn a profit. Like a single person unsatisfied with their Bumble matches, I continued to swipe.
Then along came Aged Care. I’d always loved older people, and a previous project had piqued my interest on the industry’s potential for change. But it wasn’t until I took a career break that I seriously considered it. There were challenges, sure. Finding a first role that helped me learn broadly about the industry (many entry level roles can be limiting in what you’re exposed to). Accepting a pay cut. Scaling back on my previous lifestyle. But I did it. For the first time, I’d found a career with meaningful problems to solve and a sense of purpose.
To those who are led by the heart, I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to serve older people. This is a population with rich life experiences, who are still eager to contribute in their own ways. To those who are driven by a challenging career or monetary gains: this industry is sizeable and will achieve near double digit growth rates over the next decade. Aged Care is also a greenfield – there are many more big, interesting problems than there are people to solve them.
Of course, any big career moves involve risk. Here are some tips to consider before you jump:
- Understand what drives you – what sort of problems do you want to solve? What type of people would you like to work with?
- Understand the industry – talk to people who already work in the industry. What career paths would best suit you? What is the best entry point?
- Have a financial plan if you need one – will you need to start off in an entry level position? What is the financial impact of this, and can you sustain it?
Steve Jobs was right: “the only way to do great work is to love what you do…As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Candy Wong is the Business Development Lead at Coviu Global.