I recently finished training to be an in-home caregiver and started my first job as a professional caregiver! One of my instructors suggested setting caregiver goals for ourselves. I like this idea a lot, but I’m not sure how to get started.
Can you share a few things I should consider as I start working on my goals?
Setting Goals When You Are a Caregiver
That’s a great suggestion from your instructor! We often get so busy with the day-to-day demands of our jobs that we forget to set goals for ourselves. It makes sense to start now while you are brand new to the caregiving profession.
Here are a few things I would suggest you keep in mind as you set goals for yourself:
- As you care for seniors with different types of illnesses, do you understand their disease? If not, one goal might be to learn more about specific diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or heart disease.
- What areas of caregiving do you feel confident in? Which skills do you feel you need to improve? Being honest about both can help you identify areas where you need additional training.
- Do you have colleagues in your home care agency who you admire and respect? Think about the skills and abilities they exhibit. Are there any you see as your personal weaknesses? Your colleague might be willing to mentor you or offer suggestions for where and how you can enhance your skills.
- Are you able to attend a caregiver conference each year to further develop your skills? If you can’t attend one in person, there are numerous online opportunities—many of which are free—for you to take advantage of.
I would also suggest you set long-term goals for yourself. A few to consider are:
- Moving into a managerial position or a trainer role
- Going back to school to earn a nursing degree
- Joining a caregiver association so you can become an advocate for seniors and their families and promote the caregiving profession
- Purchasing and running your own home care franchise
My final tip would be to keep your eyes and ears open these first few years in your new profession. Make notes on what you enjoy in your work and what you don’t. It can help you set goals that will allow you to feel confident and content in your work.
Best of luck to you, Haley! Welcome to the field of caregiving.