The skills learned through caregiving are in high demand.
Caregivers who take time away from paid work to provide care often face challenges when job seeking. They may worry that potential employers will see gaps on their resume and believe that they are not skilled or motivated enough for a position. However, many people gain valuable skills while caregiving that are highly sought after by employers. A study published by LinkedIn in 2020 identified the top five soft skills employers are looking for, including creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. We think these sought-after skills make caregivers top candidates. Here are some reasons why:
One of the top skills employers are seeking is creativity. Creativity allows employees to come up with innovative solutions and look for new opportunities when tackling complex problems. Caregivers practice this skill frequently while managing diverse care responsibilities and responding to day-to-day challenges with hands-on care, system navigation, and resource management. Often the creativity of caregivers goes above and beyond the by-the-book training of some paid professionals. Caregiving demands the opposite of jobs that rely on automated processes, as caregivers need to constantly problem-solve to improve the circumstances of themselves, their families, and their care recipient. Employers will find the ingenuity of the caregiver invaluable, and it will undoubtedly help them stand out from the competition.
Consider using examples of creativity like:
- A novel solution to a problem you encountered while providing care, for example using a hook above the door to stop your loved one from wandering.
- How you innovated or worked with limited resources to ensure the best care for your loved one.
Adaptability is another sought-after strength of many family caregivers. Employers look for candidates who have the skills to succeed in ever-changing environments and who adapt quickly when things don’t go according to plan. Not only do caregivers need to adapt their various professional and personal roles to learn new caregiving skills, but they are often faced with changing health conditions and support available for their care recipient. Caregiving requires flexibility, and caregivers can respond quickly in the face of different and difficult situations.
Emphasize your adaptability by talking about:
- When you encountered a new or unexpected care challenge and had to alter your action, like responding to a new behavior from your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- A new skill or technique that you had to learn quickly to provide care, for example, a new task post-hospital discharge.
More than ever, workplaces are recognizing the importance of having employees and managers who can understand the perspectives and emotions of both their team members and their clients. Many caregivers become exceedingly skilled in this area, managing their own stress and emotions in a caregiving context, and also considering the care recipient’s perspective daily. Many caregivers are closely in tune with the feelings and needs of their care recipient, and can tailor their decision making and communication accordingly.
Great ways to talk about your emotional intelligence include:
- When you have tuned in to the emotions of other people to make effective decisions about care.
- Times that you have been able to effectively manage your own emotions during difficult care situations.
Other In-Demand Caregiving Skills
There are many more skills that caregivers develop including collaboration, decision making, time management, effective communication, and conflict management. What skills have you gained as a family caregiver that have proven invaluable in the workplace? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
To learn more about how Trualta helps family caregivers, contact Leda Rosenthal our Director of Growth at Leda@Trualta.com or 1-800-214-5085 ext 1.