Lemons and Life

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade right?

Thinking about my journey to reach my goal, what made me decide to become a registered manager? ok so let’s go back a few years. Prior to working in care I worked as a fitness instructor and lifeguard however I did notice doing this, that no matter how much you help people to remain fit and healthy other illnesses can pop up to kick us back down again and after all the fitness in the world what will be, will be, I found helping the older generation more rewarding as they actually seemed to think about their health and how to remain active; not just how they looked In a gym which come on let’s agree most do think like that. 

Helping others is extremely rewarding

This then prompted me to look into caring for individuals who are in need of support on a daily basis, I started a care worker position in Domiciliary care which I went on days out and shopping trips etc with service users as well as supporting them with their personal needs.  I did this for around a year then decided to support people in a nursing home as I thought I would be able to spend more time with them instead of just allocated times throughout the day/week. How wrong was I, working in the home I found I was more time based per person than I would have ever imagined, we were all rushed of our feet all day long and I felt I didn’t have the time in any given day to spend that one-to-one quality time with them, not to any fault of the home I just found that 40+ residents to support at the same time more or less just wasn’t for me, this is why I came to the decision to go back into Domiciliary care.

Applications and promotions

I applied for a Team Leader position, who would think I would be becoming Registered Manager within 3 years. I must say this is where my full potential was recognised, encouraged, supported and motivated which gave me the drive to succeed.  Within the first year I started my level 5 QCF and also became Senior Team Leader where I worked alongside my Registered Manager and spent a lot of time working with my Managing Director, this is where the difficult parts started. I had to juggle the work/home life balance and spend every spare moment concentrating on my QCF as well as still doing my job role and on call, now any given day it is hard enough, but this all began just before the Covid-19 pandemic which WOW really through a spanner in works as if the care industry isn’t hard enough. This then changed how we all managed on a daily basis and how to ensure we still supported and cared for our service users keeping them safe from the virus as well as the staff.

I must admit for a person who does not stress juggling everything and with the kids at home too and helping them with school work this did test my patience and the one day I will never forget through all this hard work was one Tuesday morning around 08:30 I was sat in my car and I cried my eyes out, I really did think that was it I was broke, I couldn’t do this, it was all too much. I messaged Helen my Managing Director and within minutes she was there for me.  I have to say that day changed my whole perspective on everything. The support I received that day was amazing and she made me realise how much I had done and how far I had come, we talked about her journey and yes, I get it now we have to get through that wall to get there and I did it that day. From that day forward I got my mojo back and completed my level 5 with exceptional grades I really didn’t expect.

We all know who has completed their level 5 that this course is very regulations and legislations based and more text book rather than thinking about the reality of everyday life within the care industry and to be the best manager I believe you need to know and understand the reality of the day to day operations and how to become the best, this is when Helen enrolled me onto the Aspiring Managers course, and trust me when I say this that this course helped me in so many ways including the main ones for me which were my weaknesses as well as strengths. I went through 6 weeks of studying and implementing the findings of each subject within my job role as trainee Manager as well as had the support from Ian and Joanne the Directors of The In Care Group who contacted me on a regular basis and ensured I got through the course successfully. This gave me not only the knowledge and skill set it also gave me confidence and motivation to be the best I can be.

So this takes me through the last 2 and a half years.

My next step was to get through the interview process which really did hit the anxiety levels, I sat each night running every question possible in my head for 2 weeks, on the day of the interview yes a nervous wreck I will admit, I concentrated so much on the bigger questions my head felt like it was going to explode, getting through the first interview I couldn’t believe I got invited back in I thought my nerves had shown far too much and I had blown it. Happy days a 2nd interview to then do a presentation on CQC oh my days the fear really kicked in then.

Ok so thinking of getting through this I had the support from the incare group once again by being enrolled on their CQC ready course, the course was brilliant and really helped me understand so much more about CQC and broke the whole process down bit by bit which helped me complete my presentation and prepared me for my future as Registered Manager.  I also got the full support from Joanne at the incare group with a mock interview which 100% gave me the confidence and curbed my anxiety for my 2nd interview, which I couldn’t thank her enough. So yes, I got through my 2nd interview and my presentation was brilliant with the help I gained throughout.

So yes I haven’t really painted a pretty picture of the steps to get there but believe me when I say this it was all worth it and the support I have received along the way was phenomenal and I will never forget how much everyone has been there for me through this and hope for anyone going through this gain the same support I received as that is what made all the difference for me to carry on and know I got this and I am so excited to begin my new journey of Registered Manager at end of November.

For anyone who is thinking about their goals to become Registered Manager or going through this process now, I say go for it, keep going, do not knock yourself down when you feel stressed or feel you’re becoming defeated this is all part of the journey and in the end you will win, stay strong use the support offered and ask for help,  YOU CAN DO THIS

Joanne Harrison - Registered Manager