While Michelle Wade knew that being a support worker wasn’t going to be an easy job, she has risen to the challenge over the past year and is now completely indispensable to her clients. She has spent time cultivating successful working relationships and has thoroughly enjoyed supporting them with the growth and development of their businesses. Which isn’t a bad achievement for a year’s work really!
As a support worker Michelle needs to be multi-talented (which fortunately she is) and has developed her skills over the past twelve months to be able to offer a huge range of tasks, including (but certainly not limited to):
Admin related tasks including finance, marketing, social media, research, website maintenance and development, e-mail management and meetings management.
Developing and implementing systems to help clients with the management of their businesses and providing training on how the systems work.
Attending meetings, events and training sessions with clients to take minutes and notes.
Attending stalls at fairs to offer a helping hand and sell products.
Providing general welfare support and encouragement.
Phew, what a list! When writing it all down Michelle was quite surprised to see exactly how much she had accomplished but was extremely proud of both herself and her clients.
The job does come with its ups and downs however, as does every job really, and this year has been a slightly unusual one with the global pandemic causing the lockdown from March. Along with each of her clients, Michelle has had to very quickly find a different way of working whilst still ensuring the same level of support. This has been difficult at times as although using Zoom and other video software are a fantastic alternative to meeting up in person, it can be very difficult to train someone on a new system without being with them physically.
Michelle has also been keenly aware of the effects of the lockdown on her clients’ mental health and has tried her best to keep them motivated and enthusiastic through their weekly meetings. Having spent time building the relationships in the beginning she feels like she is aware of their strengths and weaknesses and is now more able to pick up on when they are struggling with something or when they are feeling a bit down even through a camera lens.
Despite all of those challenges Michelle is extremely proud to see how her clients have managed to develop their businesses since she first met them last Spring. They work as a team and she gets very excited when they achieve their goals. One client is gradually transforming his business to be more online based and she has provided support to help make this happen. Another who was initially in a start-up period when she met him has now recruited several clients, is delivering training and collaborating with other businesses. Her third client’s business has been completely transformed and Michelle is loving being part of it from the very beginning and can’t wait to see how it evolves.
Being a support worker has challenged Michelle more than any other job and has really taken her out of her comfort zone. Learning new skills has been key to making that work and she is constantly looking for new ways to improve her knowledge. She also listens to her clients and learns from them. Prior to last July Michelle had never written a blog and didn’t have a clue where to start but getting the chance to work with a blog writer (which was handy) has given her the skills to write basic blogs for a different client. She also works with an Accessibility Consultant who is continuously teaching her about online accessibility. She now finds herself constantly auditing e-mails, social media content and everything else with regards to accessibility which is not something that she had thought about before starting the role.
A lot can happen in twelve months and I think it’s fair to say that Michelle has certainly achieved a considerable amount! I’m so incredibly proud of the way she has absolutely taken on new challenges and been an all-around fabulous support worker!