Mental health experience inspires learner to change career

7 December, 2021 9:29 am

Switching careers is never easy, and often takes real determination. Adult learner, Jodie Parker, built up the courage to pursue a different role at 24 years old after working as a support worker for many years.

Jodie decided to change lanes to chase a career in social work, after realising her passion for making a positive change to people’s lives and supporting individuals with mental health difficulties.

Making a change

Seven years’ experience as a support worker gave Jodie insight into rehabilitation in mental health, which spurred her on to change paths to become a social worker.

“I’ve worked a lot with individuals who struggle with mental health challenges; being able to support and advise them has been something that has really motivated me. Helping people improve their quality of life is such a privilege to me, and I believe that becoming a social worker can support my journey in doing this for more members of my community.

“I appreciate that social work can be a difficult profession, however it’s also incredibly rewarding to know that you can make a difference to an individual’s life or provide a family with the support they need.”

Taking the next step

With a career in social work in mind, Jodie embarked on a new journey at Keighley College to study Access to Higher Education in Social Care Diploma Level 3.

“Returning to college as an adult was daunting at first, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. The course is challenging, however my tutors give me fantastic support and my peers are so encouraging; we always uplift each other in class.

“I’ve learnt that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for. Although it’s been challenging to study this course and work at the same time, I’ve managed to achieve distinctions and positive feedback for my work. The key to success is finding a balance and perfecting time management skills.”

Sights set on higher education

When Jodie completes the course, she’s hoping to study at university to pursue her dream career.

“I’m so pleased that I decided to take the step to go back to college; the prospect of university is incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to progress.”