Makings of a manager: Emily's Consensus career

We’ve been chatting to Emily about her career, and her development at Consensus. From joining as a Support Worker 10 years ago, to now being a Service Manager, Emily talks us through her experiences and shares her top tips for those interested in a career in social care.


2000-2013  My first time in social care

Having worked previously as a midwife, I made the decision to switch careers and move into nursing, with a view to becoming a Mental Health Nurse. Starting at entry level to learn more about nursing and social care, my first role in social care was as a Carer in an elderly care nursing service.

Having moved to a new role as a Senior Carer, I was offered a promotion to Deputy Manager – but at the time, I just didn’t feel ready for the responsibility of people management. I felt I had more to learn about the role I was doing and had just started my degree in Mental Health Nursing.


2013: Joining Consensus

Whilst studying 3 days a week, I took a part time job at Consensus as a Night Support Worker. I didn’t know a lot about Learning Disabilities, and certainly didn’t know that this was going to be my future. I was just looking for a job to support me and my family alongside my degree, and working somewhere that meant I could help and care for people who need it was perfect.


Top Tip from Emily: If you are compassionate and you really care about people, you should consider being a support worker because those are the main things you need. People look for a truly caring person who has patience and who is willing to learn and that is more important than qualifications and experience. We can teach you those things if you’re ready to learn.


2014: Moving up

I’d been with Consensus for less than a year when I was offered a Team Leader role. I’d completed my degree and was also working on my Level 5 Management course. Despite still being on a learning journey in my role, I felt ready, I felt supported, and I felt this was the right level of responsibility that would mean I could continue giving the best possible care to the people we support whilst on shift.

And I found myself really caring deeply about what we did – I loved being around the amazing people living at Frinton House, and really wanted to support them to achieve and succeed. I started to realise my goals were changing. I’d found somewhere to work who wanted me to succeed and progress, and even though it wasn’t where I’d expected to end up, I felt this was where I belonged.


2015: Making positive changes

I love self-development and enjoyed learning how to motivate and manage a team of my own. Whilst Team Leaders weren’t responsible for the administrative side of the service management, I was given opportunities to shadow and support to prepare me for my future progression. The more I learned, the more I felt that I could do it.

At the time, there were some improvements needed throughout the service – but there was so much potential for good, and I did not want to let the people down who lived there. This meant I readily supported when there were problems I could assist with, and I enjoyed seeing all the positive changes we made having a real impact.


Top tip from Emily:If you’re a support worker and you want to progress your career, the best advice I can give you is to tell your manager you’re ready for the next step. Ask to shadow, ask to support with management tasks. Find out the requirements for the job you want, and while it might look like a lot if you break it down into small pieces, you can try and get the knowledge from the people around you bit by bit. As long as you’re happy to develop and you’re willing to always keep the people at the centre of what you do, you can succeed.


2016: I made it!

I was SO EXCITED to be offered the Service Manager role at Frinton House. A lot of study and preparation went into my registration with CQC – with in-depth interviews and visits at work to ensure you’re the right kind of person. I was then able to build a strong team, including existing colleagues and new team members, too. I wanted to manage my team the way I would want to be managed – and all the things I’d learnt on my journey so far gave me the confidence to shine.

With a lot of enquiries, we made plans for additional rooms so we could offer more support and make other improvements to the building to suit those living there. Whilst it could have been risky to increase the occupancy levels, I was confident in the service, the team, and the people living at Frinton House that this would be a positive addition – and I was delighted to welcome two more people to live here.


2020: Developing a team   

I always ask my team what their career looks like. Some people love being a support worker, some people want to progress – so I’ll work on a plan with them to ensure they’re equipped to reach their next goal. By 2020, the entire management team at Frinton House were people who had worked and trained here as Support Workers. They’ve achieved recognised qualifications, but I’m always here to help with whatever support they feel they need to grow in a way that’s right for them.


2023: Where are we now?

We’ve come a long way since I started at Consensus, and this year I was very proud when both my deputy manager and myself received highly commended awards for the initiatives we’ve put in place, at our annual awards ceremony. We’ve been rated as a Good service by the CQC and even though we’re very happy, we also know there’s always room to keep getting better.

I’d never dreamed that I would ever be a Registered Manager, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. The care and compassion that I see every day makes me know I made the right choice.

Thank you for being a valuable part of #TeamConsensus, Emily.

At Consensus, we're committed to building a culture of inclusivity and respect. We believe that everyone should be able to bring their authentic selves to work. We foster a collaborative and supportive team environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included. Following feedback from our colleagues, we’re proud to have been recognised as a Great Place to Work® and one of the UK's Best Workplaces for Women™ 2023 - and we're looking forward to welcoming you to be a part of it, too.

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