Catherine’s Story

Middle aged woman laughingI’ve had a lot of experience working in social care all over the world. Having worked initially as a social worker in the USA and the UK, I moved on to a senior social worker role in New Zealand. After that I worked as a Grief Counsellor in a hospice in New Zealand. Over the course of my career I had developed a wide range of skills including management experience, and qualifications to post-graduate level.

“I’ve had a lot of experience working in social care all over the world”

I hit a period of time where my personal circumstances were extremely challenging. This had an impact on me not only personally, but professionally, and I had to leave my job. I was finding returning to work very difficult, and made an appointment with the National Careers Service for some support.

Our initial meeting focussed on building up my knowledge of job roles and job areas. We reflected on my previous experience and started to think about whether staying in the social care sector or moving into another work area in the short, medium or longer term was the way forward.

“We identified that I would need to take the CELTA qualification”

Following our first meeting I went away to Spain. That trip made me realise that working abroad is an important factor for me; especially given my experience volunteering overseas in the South Pacific. When I next saw John, my National Careers Service Adviser, we discussed working abroad in more depth. He suggested I consider Teaching English as a Foreign Language, which really interested me. We identified that I would need to take the CELTA qualification; John helped me to explore volunteer opportunities in teaching, and target my CV for teaching roles.

“My prospects, confidence and self-esteem have all improved”

I’m now planning to complete the 4-5 week full time intensive CELTA course in Melbourne in the New Year – with a view to TEFL teaching abroad. While I’m in Melbourne I’ll also complete my Scuba Dive Master qualification.

My prospects, confidence and self-esteem have all improved greatly. Thanks to support I received, I now have a clearer plan and confidence about my future prospects.

The National Careers Service provides free, up to date, impartial information, advice and guidance on careers, skills and the labour market in England to anyone aged 13 and upwards.

To speak to a National Careers Service adviser, call 0800 100 900 or use our webchat (8:00am to 10:00pm, 7 days a week)

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