Wangmo is a 45 year old support worker with One2One. Wangmo moved to Perth in August of 2018. She lives here with her husband and two of her children, while her eldest daughter pursues medicine in Bangladesh. She has been a support worker with One2One for about a year.
We ask Wangmo what drew her to a career as a support worker with One2One.
What brought you to Perth and how long have you called Perth home?
I have been living in Perth since August 2018. I was born and had been living in Bhutan for my whole life. I came to Perth to follow a dream of living and studying in Australia. It took me about 8 years to fulfill this dream as I needed to finish studies in Bhutan first before I could come to Australia to pursue my Masters degree in HR.
Did you work while you lived in Bhutan?
Yes, my career in Bhutan was as a teacher to primary and middle school.
What made you decide to become a support worker?
I always had an interest in helping people out.
How did you get your start at One2One?
I knew someone who was a support worker at One2One and they recommended One2One to me and introduced me to the job. They said One2One was very supportive and the skill development was excellent. They said to contact One2One directly as they are very friendly and they will get back to you, which was true. Everyone made me feel very warm and they were all so friendly.
What did you do for work/study before support work (past study or careers)?
I had been working as an educator in childcare at Charles Gairdner. I was doing that from November 2018 until I joined One2One as a support worker.
Are you currently studying?
Yes, I am currently studying at ECU Joondalup and pursuing a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management.
Would you say it’s a flexible career – can you fit the job around your daily life and other commitments?
Yes. Being a support worker is a very flexible career which gives you a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction at the end of the day.
How would you describe support work to someone who isn’t familiar with it – or thinks it’s just about personal care?
I would say that support work is a lifestyle where your everyday living gets blended with supporting someone to encourage them to create their dream lifestyle. For me, it is beyond personal care because I get to enhance the growth in different areas of someone’s life.
How would you describe a typical day?
I support two people at the moment. With one, I help encourage exercise and join in with them so it becomes a part of our routine. Sometimes, we go to the shops or the library which we both enjoy a lot. Our days are very flexible and sometimes we get a coffee when I finish work to build our relationship with one another.
How would you describe the relationship you have with the person/people you support to someone who doesn’t know much about support work?
I would tell them that I get to work together with the person I support to build a strong bond that grows as time passes. I would tell them this because connecting with the person I support is important to be able to do my job well.
What do you find most rewarding about support work?
To me, the most rewarding thing about support work is extending my social circle and getting an opportunity to explore different communities. One person I support loves meeting new people so we go to her local community events and sometimes I invite her to spend time with my friends and share my network with her, which she loves and I get a lot of joy out of too. Both our networks benefit from this.
What do you find most challenging about support work?
Sometimes the desire of the people we support doesn’t match up with the expectations of their family. This can be tricky to work through.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t thought about becoming a support worker but might be a great fit for a career in support work?
It’s a role where your heart and compassion play a great part of the role.
What ‘s the one thing you wished you’d been told about support work before you got into it?
Support work is about multitasking and requires you to jump from task to task sometimes to help the person you support. When at work, I like to work by the principle of 3H which means to use your intelligence (your head), be compassionate (your heart) and always lend yourself to others (a helping hand).
What are your hobbies outside support work?
Outside of work, I enjoy doing Zumba dance, reading books, catching up with friends and giving back to my community.
Any final comments?
I just love working with One2One. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such great people.