Member of the Month June 2019 – Vitalija
Welcome to the first post in our new blog series ‘ Member of the Month’!
This is a chance for you to share your stories of using our platform and for us to showcase our members and their unique, inspiring stories.
Our inaugural Member of the Month is Vitalija. With no prior experience working in the care sector and lacking confidence in her English skills, Vitalija was still able to successfully find a job on EYJA and began work in early April. Here is her story – one of courage and hard work…
EYJA: Vitalija, what made you decide to look into working as a live-in carer?
Vitalija: I have a friend who works as a live-in carer in the UK and it looked like a very attractive opportunity. You gain experience, earn money and improve your English, while still keeping close to your home country and loved ones there. You don’t have to make a difficult decision around emigrating because a live-in job allows you to fly back home and visit family at the end of your work shift.
EYJA: You felt that your knowledge of English wasn’t great when you first joined EYJA. Often people in this situation feel discouraged that they won’t have much luck finding work because of this. What motivated you and what was your own experience?
Vitalija: My big dream was – and still is – to learn English fluently. I started taking private classes at home at the same time as I signed up to EYJA. It comes down to your priorities; for example giving up a leisure activity to be able to pay and find the time for language lessons. You don’t have to go on this journey alone, surround yourself with the right people; those who will encourage and motivate you.
Obviously things were quite stressful for me at the beginning, especially that first Skype interview and the early days of my work trial. But practice makes perfect and my English is getting better with every passing day.
EYJA: Despite your level of English and a lack of work experience you received quite a lot of messages from potential employers on EYJA. What do you think was the secret to your success?
Vitalija: I got my first message three months after I joined EYJA – it was right after I completed the ‘More about me’ section on my profile. I provided a lot more information about myself and tried to make my profile feel more personal.
More messages began arriving over the following days and weeks. Quite quickly I began communicating with one lady in particular, who invited me to come and work for her for a couple of ‘trial’ days.
I really think it’s worth putting some effort into your profile making it more honest and personal. I think clients appreciate if you’re honest about your abilities and your limitations, but demonstrate the will and determination to succeed. This makes them want to give you a chance to show what you’re capable of.
EYJA: We found out before this job in England you worked on some Caritas projects, which included working with victims of human trafficking, homeless individuals and prisoners. Do you think this type of experience can be relevant to private care work?
Vitalija: Absolutely. First of all it shaped my attitude to people – being able to fully understand and accept their unique situations. This gives you the ability to create a good rapport with your client – then things just naturally fall into place. I would also mention tolerance, patience and stress management as soft skills that can be important in the care sector.
EYJA: You’ve just started working in the UK. Tell us three things that you’ve enjoyed about life in Great Britain…
Vitalija: Nature – it’s absolutely beautiful here where I work in Gloucestershire. I also love how polite and tolerant drivers are and have been impressed by the public transport network; it feels very easy to travel about. That’s three, but I’m sure more pleasant discoveries are still to come!
EYJA: And what about using EYJA? What did you like most about the platform?
Vitalija: For a beginner like me it was an amazing tool. You really have this feeling that everything you need is in one place. It also provides a sense of safety – you have full control over who to share your details with. It worked very well for me and there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for anyone else!
EYJA: Finally, what advice would you give to other people who are considering, but hesitant, to try care work for the first time?
Vitalija: This may sound a bit abstract, but I would say that things are not necessarily as they might first appear. For example, I received some messages from people whose profile said they prefer to employ native English speakers. Despite this they still contacted someone whose English is far from perfect! Some things may not always be black and white – with a little bit of courage and effort almost anything is possible!
Our thanks to Vitalija for speaking with us – it was a pleasure to hear her story and we wish her all the best in her current role!
Member of the Month is our way of rewarding those members who’ve taken the time to carefully fill their profiles and share interesting information about themselves. Each month we’ll pick an interesting member and share their story on our blog. If you’d like to be featured in the future then please read this blog post, which shows you how to help your profile stand out and get chosen!