If you consider yourself to be a particularly caring and empathic individual, you might well decide to commit your professional life to helping others. There are so many ways in which you can do this, and so many types of jobs which you can get into in order to do so, and it can be one of the most rewarding possible ways to make money. Of course, it is not for everyone, and you do need to have certain qualities if you are going to be good at it, make it work as a career choice for you, and above all enjoy it. In this article, we are going to look at some of the qualities and qualifications that you might need in order to succeed in a caring kind of career. Do you have what it takes to care for others? And if so, how can you get started in a career of your choice? Let’s take a look, and help you to help others.
It can be hard to define compassion, but above all we can say that it is the genuine ability to feel for one another’s pain and other emotions. Having compassion means that you genuinely care about them, that you are keen to help them improve things, and that you are personally invested in some way in ensuring that their life improves. Compassion, it’s important to note, cannot be faked. Either you genuinely have compassion in your heart for others, or you are someone for whom this is not so active. It is also worth bearing in mind that compassion does not quite look how a lot of people tend to think it looks. It is not always kind and friendly; in fact, often the most compassionate thing to do is to give someone a little dose of tough love, and that is often the opposite of what a lot of people think compassion really is. Real compassion empowers you to do what is right and what is best by your client or patient, not what feels good for them necessarily. If you think you have strong compassion, you could well be the kind of person who can make a career helping others, perhaps in a therapeutic or emergency setting. You shouldn’t need to ask whether you have compassion on. If you do, you will know. However everyone except a genuine psychopath has compassion to some degree, and it is worth remembering that you can always develop it more if necessary.
Empathy differs from compassion in that it is more of an ability to actively and acutely feel the emotions of another person. Everyone is empathic to some degree, but some people have a particularly strong ability to feel what is going on inside another person. It is also not only related to emotions, but more generally anything that might be going through someone’s head. Highly empathic people can sense a kind of vibrational quality from others depending on what their presence is saying to them. Many even say that it is akin to being telepathic in some cases, although of course it might not be helpful to think along these lines. If you consider yourself to be highly empathic, it is likely that you will make a good therapist or something along those lines. However, it might also prove to be necessary for you to not let your empathy take control of you too much. This is a common problem for empaths, and it can actually hinder your ability to help those you are trying to help. With the right level of empathy, however, you can find it an extremely useful and even powerful tool for helping and understanding the inner lives of others.
Because of the nature of care work, you will often be working with people who are not necessarily quick to improve. This means that having a good degree of patience is definitely going to be a major help. If you don’t feel that you are already a very patient individual, you can develop this skill – and you will need to if you want to actually help people as much as possible. This can be a hard one to develop, however, and it might be that you need to patient even with your attempts to become patient. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s true, and it is something to consider if you are thinking about a career in care of any kind. With greater ability for patience comes a greater ability to be in the caring space with your patient, and that is hugely valuable. Patience is an essential on this front.
Whatever particular kind of care you are hoping to get into, you need to make sure that you have the required knowledge to succeed in that area. What this means is that you need to look into what qualifications you are going to need for the area you are hoping to get into. If you are looking to get into generic care work, then something like an msw degree will give you a good basic understanding to work from. However, if you are going for a more specific area of care, then you will probably also need something more specific to have on your resume before you try to land those kinds of jobs. For instance, if you are hoping to be a psychotherapist, you will need to get the relevant qualifications for psychotherapy. If you are keen to help people suffering with particular problems, mental or otherwise, you will need to make sure that you are well versed in those particular problems. Having the knowledge to back up your other skills means that you are not just pretending to help people, but actually helping them. It is hugely important to gain the knowledge that you need for whatever area of care you are hoping to get into.
There will inevitably be times when the people you are attempting to help frustrate you. This is going to be a real example of occupational hazard, and it is worth preparing yourself for that experience rather than pretending that it won’t happen. But the key here is to make sure that you are able to deal with those annoyances in the most even way possible. As long as you can do that, you will be able to keep on helping people even when they are frustrating you. Therefore, be sure to try and develop an even temper with people, however hard you might think that is, as it will ensure that you are able to care for those people to your fullest ability. That, after all, is what you are trying to do, so it is important that you focus on this element as much as any other elements which we have already discussed.
It can take a lot of effort to try and keep your own self out of the situation a much as possible, but this is vital if you are to both help your patients and keep yourself happy, sane and above all safe. Essentially this is a way of ensuring that you are looking after both yourself and those who you are trying to help. If you are someone who struggles with this kind of process, you might need to find a way to develop your will, as this will be necessary in achieving this as best as possible. With a strong iron will and the ability and resolve to keep yourself separate, you will be doing what is best for both yourself and those you are helping. This is true care in the real sense of the word.
There will be many occasions when you need to read between the lines and delve below what you are being told or shown. As a therapist, for instance, it will not always be the case that your patient will inform you of the truth, as they might be hiding it for a number of reasons. This is why it will be helpful for you to be as perceptive as possible, as in that perceptiveness you can see through what they are saying and understand what they are really trying to get at. This will make your car more efficient and effective, will save time for both of you, and it will avoid a lot of frustration in the long term as well. If you don’t think you are already very perceptive, you can take tests and so on to improve this. You will probably also find that it is one of those things which improves over time as you forge your career anyway.
As long as you work on developing the above characteristics or making the most of those you have, you will find that you are in a much better position to care for others, and that you will be able to much more easily make it your future career. Work on improving these for a stronger start to your career.