I have worked some pretty awful jobs in my life. Once I was a cook at a BBQ restaurant and truly the things you hear and see about working with food is all true. Got treated like dirt from customers and made me feel pretty low sometimes. I worked seasonal hours at a JC Penny in high school, which was again pretty awful. But, when I took a job working with special needs adults , I never thought it would turn into the most fulfilling job I have ever had.
It's funny when I took this job I was dead broke, doing awful in school, girlfriend just dumped me, and nothing was going right at all. But, I saw this position hiring for caretakers online and i figured it would be pretty easy nothing too hard. I had no idea what i was getting into, I was just looking to get paid at the end of it all nothing more than that.
I worked with so many people and I was still really trying to figure out what the purpose of this job was, I felt like a glorified babysitter. Honestly, over these last 4 years this job is so much more than that.
When you take on a position like this, you are in charge of keeping this person alive. They need you to help them make healthy food choices, they need you to help with getting all their medications in order, they need you to drive them to the places that they like to go to, and most importantly they want to be your friend.
The friendship aspect is what you don't think will happen. Sometimes the person or people you may work with may not be able to properly communicate how much you mean to them, but you can see it on their faces. Personally, walking into work and seeing their faces light up with happiness is the best feeling I have felt sometimes. Hearing about their days and being able to take them to the park or the grocery store is not only part of the job, but it's bonding time. You may not realize it, but you make a significant impact on their lives and that has always been the best part for me.
Sometimes all they want is to have a friend just like you and I. Because in certain situations, the staff workers are all that they have. They lean on you to be a friend who can always be there for them and help them grow as people. When I left for school and came back to work, one of the best moments was getting a giant hug from the consumers and hearing how much they missed me. My heart was at it warmest and that was literally a week ago.
Working as a Support Service Specialist has been the most fulfilling job I have ever had. There will come a time when I will no longer work this job and will have to say goodbye, but until then I'm going to leave as bog of an impact as I can on each of their lives.