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If you’ve ever wanted greater meaning in your work day, Tim Dormer understands.
After feeling dissatisfied with his job, Tim was drawn to support work. “I wanted something that gave me a sense of purpose,” he says.
It’s how he ended up becoming a support worker on Mable.
Tim sat down with Mable as part of the Care Factor Report and shared his insights into what makes a good support worker, why he enjoys it and how a ‘giving back’ career has enriched his life.
A new role for Tim
You might recognise Tim from Big Brother. The charismatic former housemate is now putting his heart and energy into a very different role. And it’s one he is passionate about.
“Support work has given me a sense of satisfaction in my job,” says Tim, who feels the relationships he builds with his clients is the best part of work.
“Over time, they really become like friends or family. And to work with them on their goals and watch them succeed — that’s the most rewarding thing,” he shares.
These days he tries to live his life by “giving back” and feels suited to support work, both in terms of his life values and personality.
While Tim has indeed found the meaningful work he craved, he knew he had to have one quality to be successful.
When it comes to support work, Tim believes that being a caring person is the most important quality.
“Being caring is such an important part of being a support worker,” he says. “I’d like to think that I am quite caring.”
He isn’t alone. According to The Care Factor Report by Mable, 71% of Australians also have caring qualities. This could make them well-suited to a career in support work, too.
As Tim explains, “When it comes to clients needing assistance in their lives, there’s a big difference between just getting the job done, or having someone who cares for you alongside and doing it with you.”
As well as finding support work in itself rewarding, Tim loves the other bonuses that come with running his own business.
Freedom, flexibility and fun
Tim values choice and control as an independent contractor on Mable.
“With Mable, I get to choose my hours, my pay, the clients that I fit best with and the locations that I work,” he says.
What’s more, Tim loves how diverse his week is with support work, “encompassing a huge range of activities”.
“No two days are the same for me and that’s what I love about it,” he says.
“Some of the things I do include getting outdoors, bush walking, going to the beach, helping with tasks around the house like cleaning, meal preparation, shopping and gardening.”
Tim has even “played matchmaker” by helping one of his clients set up a dating app profile before!
Give it a go
If you’re now thinking a career in support work could also suit you, because like Tim, you also care, then he encourages you to take the plunge.
“I say go for it, you won’t regret it. It’s given me so much freedom and choice and it’s such a rewarding role,” he says.
Although Tim has done training in certain areas and gained certificates in manual handling, first aid, medication administration and personal care, he says not all clients need those services, and that’s not necessarily the starting point for a support worker.
Support work, he says, can suit people with all sorts of life and work experience. “There’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to what skills you can bring to support work,” he says.
There’s only one thing you do need — and that’s the care factor.