It doesn’t matter what your career background is or how old you are, if you have a passion for helping others there’s a job in Social Care to fit your skills. You don’t often need to have qualifications or previous experience to get started, what’s more important is your attitude towards those who need care and support and that you have the right basic skillset. Many of these skills can be developed in other sectors and are easily transferrable to a career in Care. 

So what are the skills you’ll need to make the transition? 

Communication skills 

You’ll need the ability to read, write and speak in English. These will be used to communicate with the people you provide care for, write up care plans, read and follow risk assessments and report incidents or accidents. 

Great communication skills are a requirement for almost every profession, so the chances are you’ve already had a good bit of practice developing them. If you’ve worked in Customer Services, Retail or Hospitality you’ll have great experience of communicating with the public and crafting a warm and friendly persona. This experience will serve you very well in a Social Care role and you may find that having a chat with the person you’re supporting is much more preferable than explaining the intricacies of returns policies to a disagreeable customer. 

Numeracy skills 

You’ll need to be able to do calculations, record numbers, understand measurements and use timetables. You’ll use these to record fluid intakes and outputs, count and administer medication, measure and record height and weight and help the person you’re caring for look after their finances. 

The numeracy skills you’ll require are basic, so you don’t need to worry if you’re not a master mathematician. If you’ve worked in a job where you have to take stock, cash up or keep track of a budget these skills will be more than enough to secure you a job in Social Care. 

Digital skills 

You might not think of Social Care as being a digital industry but these days many records are online, so you’ll need to have basic computing skills. You’ll use these to update digital handover notes, check care plans and medication records and assist the person you’re caring for with their own digital activities. 

These kinds of digital skills are easily picked up from most jobs, school, college or everyday life. Although if you feel like you want to brush up on these, there are many free courses available through local councils and charities. 

Problem solving 

The ability to think on your feet and react well to change will be invaluable when working in Social Care. When your role is structured around someone’s life and their needs it’s no surprise that things will change, sometimes daily. 

Problem solving isn’t just about coming up with solutions to problems, although that will come in handy too, it’s also about how well you can adapt when things change. You may need to adapt to changes in medication, the level of support required or being assigned to care for a new person at short notice. Having previous experience of a busy and ever-changing environment such as a restaurant, bar or call centre would certainly be an asset for anyone looking to move into Social Care. 

Team Working 

Working well with others is a big part of working in Social Care. You may find yourself part of a large team in a care facility where you’ll need to be able to work to support the rest of the staff. 

Even if you’re providing one-on-one care you still need to work as a team with the person you’re supporting and often members of their family. You’re there to support them and help them get the most out of life so you’ll need to come up with a way of working together that enables you to do just that. 


This one is less of a traditional skill and more of a personality trait but being able to show empathy and compassion is arguably the most important skill you need when working in Social Care. You’ll be working with people who are vulnerable or are going through a challenging time in their life so it’s important that you can be there for them emotionally as well as helping them with their physical needs. 

The relationship between carer and client is a special one and you’ll find that you get a lot out of it too, making Social Care a unique and rewarding career path to follow. 

 Ready to start Caring? Search all the latest jobs in Social Care from top employers at