New To Care: Mental Health Team Leader Kim talks ’emotional resilience and incredible transformations’

Mental Health Team Leader Kim McGinley doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges she faces in her role, but even allowing for the ‘peaks & troughs’, she insists a career in adult social care is one you should consider.

Kim, who works for Includem in Glasgow, has been employed in adult social care for 16 years, progressing her career thanks to the range of training opportunities and support available.

”I have experienced a variety of different issues in my life and I wanted to use my experience to help others. I decided to get into adult social care and within my first year I had received recognition for my progress from the Lord Provost of Glasgow, which reinforced my belief that I could flourish in this career.

“Now, as a Team Manager, I’m responsible for seven full-time staff and five session staff. Not only does this mean I provide support to them, it means I oversee support to areas across Scotland. It’s fast-paced but very rewarding.

“No two days are the same in social care. Typically, I deal with some office work, internal meetings and staff training. However, the priority is to ensure that there is support for the frontline team and they have the resources for any challenging issues. We need to be flexible to support our staff and react to any sudden issues that may arise.

“I’ve had a very rewarding career and I’ve seen some wonderful successes. I met a young man years ago who had lost all hope and was very depressed, but he is now a fully qualified deep-sea diver. His transformation has been incredible, and he is just one of many people who have turned their life around during my time in social care. It’s touching to be part of their journey.

“You have to be self-aware in this line of work and understand what you can and can’t do. A big part of this job is being emotionally intelligent and resilient. You can’t take problems home with you and you must disassociate yourself from work at times, which can be hard. However, it is important, and you learn that skill over time. I’m definitely much more balanced and resilient now than when I first started.”

Kim’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position: ”I would encourage people to prepare for the role as it’s a dynamic job. There are challenges and rewards in equal measures so they need to be realistic about what they are going to be doing.

“People might not be attracted to a career in social care because they don’t understand what it entails and the career opportunities that are there. However, I’ve received a lot of support in my time and managed to further my career.

“You need to understand that you can have a big impact on other people’s lives but that you need to face the challenges too. There are peaks and troughs and you need to understand that. I think if people are true to their values and are confident in themselves then they can make a huge difference and be fulfilled.”

We spoke with Kim on the eve of the Scottish Government’s campaign to encourage people to consider a career in adult social care.

You’ll already know there are plenty of career related articles on our site but what you might not know is there is a new campaign site packed with lots of information and advice to support your first steps in the sector.

There’s also a free guide which you can download here.

Picture (c) The Scottish Government.

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