A new career a new start - Ross's aged care story
After a 20-year-long career in recycling, Ross needed a change. But it wasn’t one you might expect.
He was ready for a life changing life.
“When my time in the recycling industry came to an end, I had to take a look at what I was going to do,” says Ross, who ran his own business before working in aged care.
“There’s this quiz you can do. It told me I have a bit of a first-responder type personality. It said I was suited to becoming a policeman, paramedic, fireman – that kind of thing,” he recalls.
The idea of helping people immediately appealed, but Ross didn’t feel joining the emergency services was his path. Instead, he made the choice to go back to study to become a nurse.
“Nursing, I think, is a highly transferable skill. It was more aligned to what I was thinking I might like to do next – a bit more altruistic.
“I really wanted to gain some healthcare skills while I studied nursing, so I decided to look for work in aged care,” says Ross.
“One of the things overlooked about aged care is that it’s a really great entry-level healthcare position, so it’s giving me a lot of skills I can take with me when I go into nursing.”
Ross said his new employer helped with his transition into aged care.
“You get good training and good support. It’s actually not that terrifying. I did a placement in aged care as a part of my nursing study – if you’re doing the certificate to be an aged care worker, you do a placement too – you’re not completely lost,” he says.
Ross believes there are plenty of misconceptions around aged care. He says people don’t understand the breadth of work available, and how it can set you up for the future.
“Firstly, the amount of work available is phenomenal. There are vacant jobs, vacant shifts – if you are looking for flexibility and work available when you want it, there’s a huge amount available in aged care, and it’s only going to increase,” he says.
“It’s also transferable. People are people – if you learn how to work in aged care here in Melbourne, you can do it up in Queensland, or in the Philippines or the UK. You can learn something really great out of this job.”
Having made such a dramatic career change, Ross believes he has made the right choice.
“It’s really rewarding, really humbling. To be able to care for people is great, and they’re really warm, they’re eager to have someone to talk to. Whenever you have five minutes spare, that five minutes is gone,” he says with a smile.
The care and support sector is a dynamic, growing industry with a wide range of roles and opportunities for people with diverse skills, experiences and backgrounds.
See more stories from the care and support sector.