Finding work/life balance through care and support work – Izzy’s disability support story
For Izzy, the desire to make an impact in people's lives has always been a motivating force. It was one of the main reasons she was drawn to health as a career path.
After working in a fast-paced hospital environment, however, Izzy realised she needed a career that was better suited to her need for flexibility, balance, and grounded connections with the people she supported.
“As a disability support worker, you see the same NDIS participants once or twice a week, you're in their home and it's a lot more connected. You get to build trust and a deeper relationship with them. I really, really like that,” Izzy says. “I like being able to directly see the difference that the support I'm providing is making.”
Izzy finds the personalised nature of disability support work to be a benefit to both disability support workers and the people they support.
“I find that because this work is more flexible, it gives me the space to take better care of myself,” she says. “This then means I’m in the best form for the job. It’s a meaningfully collaborative effort where we are all working in tandem to create the best possible outcome for the NDIS participant.”
Izzy adds, “As well as care and support workers, there are occupational therapists, speech pathologists and psychiatrists. I feel that we're all in communication with each other.”
For Izzy, one of the best parts of working in the care and support sector is seeing the positive impact her work has on the people she supports.
She says, “When the person I’m supporting says to me, ‘that was really helpful’, or when they express to me how helping them through communicating their needs or even daily activities around the house has really benefited them or improved their quality of life, seeing that I've made it easier for them is beautiful.”
Izzy finds that the flexible nature of the work also allows her the freedom to explore her other passions, like singing and playing drums in her band.
“I can go to gigs, I can go to band rehearsals or I can travel for our performances that are out of Victoria,” she says enthusiastically. “I like having that flexibility, it's really good to feel like I've got more time to do the things that I want to do.”
For those interested in pursuing a career in the care and support sector, Izzy recommends approaching it with the right intentions – namely, with empathy and an open mind. She has found that the work has challenged her to step outside of her shell and be more confident, allowing her to grow as a person.
“I have figured out how to be a bit more chatty, and I've become a bit more extroverted as well, because sometimes I need to be this for the person I’m supporting,” Izzy says. “All these daily interactions that I wouldn't usually have has made me a lot more outgoing and confident in myself.”
Izzy says the secret to being a successful care and support worker is to be kind, organised and empathetic, and ultimately having the desire to make a difference in people's lives and help them achieve their goals.