It’s not often that a prerequisite for a career or a promotion is a personal caregiving experience. I think, though, that it should. Here’s why:

  1. We budget effectively, somehow making not quite enough be enough.
  2. We negotiate. We negotiate with our help, our caree’s providers and our carees. We negotiate so much that we naturally look for a win-win whenever we engage in a conversation.
  3. You manage a diverse team. The physical therapist, the direct care worker, the visiting nurse, your siblings. You learn about different cultures and belief systems which makes you a great manager for today’s workplace culture.
  4. You empathize with others others can’t understand. You get that life’s challenges sometimes can’t be explained which is why you simply know when another is going through a rough time. The empathy you offer comforts. Who wouldn’t want to work with a colleague like that?
  5. You brainstorm out of the box like no one else. What seems impossible to others is an inconvenience for you that’s resolved through a commitment to trial and error. You make the way by keeping the faith.
  6. You lead others through challenges and difficulties, taking the helm while others look away. You show the way by looking right at reality and then continuing.
  7. Your time management skills ensure projects, decisions and people arrive on time. When you hit a delay, you communicate the plan to get back on time.
  8. You have staying power, perhaps one of the most valuable skills you own. While others scatter because a responsibility seems too hard or overwhelming, you remain. You stay through difficulty after difficulty, challenge after challenge. You know how to stay.

What would you add to my list?


(Note: What to transform your personal experience into a career? Our Certified Caregiving Consultant™ training requires a personal caregiving experience for two reasons. One, you understand what a caregiving experience can be like. Two, you’ll stay with a client regardless of how difficult the challenges your client faces. Those two reasons are great gifts you give your clients. Through December 2, save 25% on any of our training programs with coupon code Friday.)

About Denise

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.


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RobinDonna Thomson Recent comment authors
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Please notify me:

I absolutely love this! It echoes what I wrote about how to write a post-caregiving resume here:

Robin Weeks
Robin Weeks

This is great! I would add; You have patience. When others get frustrated you take a deep breath, pause and keep moving to resolve a problem, accomplish a difficult task, or deal with your caree’s or other’s emotions.