A career in community services is about making a living through helping others. It requires you to be empathetic, helpful and a caring person. This is a career field that is vital to maintaining the wellbeing of the community. The health care and community service industry provides an abundance of career opportunities and also provides people with a truly rewarding career to help those who are less fortunate.
The health care and community service industry
is Australia’s biggest employer and employees are in high demand across the whole country. The industry is in need of qualified professionals to help those who need it most. There is a wide range of opportunity available from working with the elderly or disabled, with disadvantaged children and youths, refugees, people struggling with addiction or disadvantaged community groups.
When it comes to leading a community the approach is unique and different. Community leadership is not about managing or imposing your own ideas on others. It is about compassion, responsibility and the desire to empower those around you.
What is a Community Services Leader?
Community service leaders are appointed to take responsibility for the well-being and development of their local communities. Are you someone who wants to improve your local community? If your answer is yes, the chances are this is a great career path for you. Community service leaders are very often self-appointed and can take on as much responsibility for their community as they are able to handle.
Leadership Characteristics and Attributes
A few characteristics that successful community leaders often possess are the following:
- Relate to people effectively and patiently - Various situations can require a vast range of different responses, community leaders need to be ready to adapt and propose new resolutions.
- Genuine interest in people and community issues - People will need to trust you and believe that the words you speak are what you believe and you act upon them accordingly. Gaining people’s trust will make you a great leader.
- Ability to resolve conflict quickly - Leadership means you have to be ready to speak the truth, even if it’s not popular.
- Passionate to assist people - People tend to follow others if they believe you care about them and everyone around you.
- Strong communication skills.
- Ability to work independently and in collaboration with others.
Your Ability to Grow
Many people are attracted to leadership roles as it allows them to grow and expand their professional careers. Leading a group of people can be highly challenging. As a community service leader, you will need to communicate clearly to large numbers of people and be able to negotiate and handle difficult situations quickly and efficiently. Becoming a leader will help you to become more confident within yourself if you take actions and help to lead those around you.
Communication is Vital
Various industries suit different personalities, and the care section has its own specified criteria. Although there are numerous diverse roles across the industry, the core of the care sector is your ability to support people. In order to progress and succeed in this sector, communication is an essential skill that you will need.
The healthcare sector employs those who are interested in supporting people who are living with a disability or in an aged care setting. Whether your job role requires you to be working in frontline support or in a managerial role, great communication skills are essential for all healthcare workers in community services.
Maximise Others’ Strengths
A career in community services will often require its leader to work with volunteers. These volunteers may be elected by members of the community, or may have simply elected themselves to want to help. In this case, many community leaders rarely have the choice of who they work with.
Becoming a leader in community services involves you to be able to identify the strengths and interests of each person and allow them the opportunity to maximise their talents and skills to keep them engaged in their work.
Community leadership requires you to work as part of a team within the community. As a leader, it is extremely important to teach your team the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. An effective leader will ensure that the person will get the support they need to complete their tasks. Community leadership is about building strong relationships within the community but also their team. Show patience and support towards one another in order to build strong relationships.
Start Your Career in Community Services
At Kangan Institute, we offer the Diploma of Community Services (CHC52015) to help you improve your skills and knowledge on community work, development, and care. Our Diploma of Community Services is tailored to provide students with knowledge and skills in community development, casework and group work.
This course prepares students to work as a social welfare worker and provide them with a comprehensive understanding of human rights, cultural inclusion, indigenous culture, issues and strategies for effective service delivery. This course also includes the Statutory and Forensic child, youth and family welfare specialisation required for work in the child protection field, as well as ACWA accreditation.
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