A Career In Social Care? What to expect.

The first of three blogs from Sean Bohan on the benefits of a career in Social Care:

‘What I have come to learn about the Social Care Industry, it provides you with an abundance of career opportunities and it was from one encounter that led me to have just that... a 20 Year career with many wonderful opportunities and exciting roles.”

Are you thinking of a career in Social Care? Not sure what to expect, wondering if it is really for you? Twenty years ago, I was thinking just that. I was in my early 20’s and working in an events company at the time. I was thinking of a change as I knew the events industry was very seasonal and that I needed something more solid in terms of income and sustainability.

When a Door opens walk through it.

The door opened for me one day when I was teaching abseiling to a teenager with Aspergers who was being supported by a social care worker. At the end of the session the support worker approached me and told me he was setting up his own residential support company for young people with extra support needs and that he needed down to earth people like me to come and work there. He said he thought it would suit me as I had connected with the teenager who had rarely spoken or connected with anyone, and so he offered me a job.

I had never heard of ‘social care’ – I didn’t even know what it was - but I did have experience working with disability groups in the outdoor centre. The support worker/owner said that I could try the role for 1 month (‘a test before you buy’) - he would plan the shifts around my current job and if, at the end of the 4 weeks, I liked the work, he would give me a full-time role and pay towards my social care degree as this was a pre-requisite to work in the industry. ‘Absolutely nothing to lose’, he said.


So, I took him up on the offer; and at the end of the trial, I knew this was for me. I loved it from the very first day; I love people, but also the opportunity to support and help people who in society are labelled, stigmatised, devalued and marginalised; it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

Over the years many people I have met ask me what I do for a living. When I reply that I am a Social Care Worker, they ask me what that is. I explain that SCW’s support people with disability in their everyday lives to fulfil their personal goals and avail of opportunities open to them; people often reply that it must be so rewarding, and in the same sentence that they would not have the patience to do that, and that it’s really a ‘vocation.’


“If you do what you love and love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life"

But for 20 years that’s been exactly my experience in Social Care; it has never felt like work. Of course, there are times when you are challenged: at the end of the day, it is a ‘people’ industry and people are complex. There is no doubt that, when working with people, we can and will be challenged to our core. But no day in social care is ever the same, and it’s a career path that offers opportunities into many different roles, such as those that I have been privileged to hold:

❖ Social Care Worker
❖ Team Leader | Day Services Manager
❖ Coordinator
❖ Project Manager| Mentor, Coach|
❖ Trainer, Facilitator
❖ Head Of Quality | Executive Team Member


Now, 20 years later I am the founder of 2nd Mountain; and recently life has brought me full circle back to where it all began: I now deliver Social Care workshops for the OTC!



Career Opportunites / ladder image

WIIFM – Social Care, What’s In It For Me I hear you ask?

Opportunities to:

  1. Leave a Legacy
  2. Facilitate Others to “Live the Good Life”
  3. Facilitate Experiences of Valued Social Roles
  4. Facilitate a Life Not a Service
  5. Endless Career, Role and Personal Growth Opportunities
OTC Graduate

Sean Bohan is an Academic Associate Tutor and a graduate of the Open Training College. He has enjoyed a career spanning 20 years in the social care sector, working in roles at levels from frontline to management - overseeing Decongregation projects nationally - and eventually at executive level as Head of Quality and Quality Improvement across young person services to end of life care; supporting the areas of Intellectual Disabilities, and physical, neurological and mental health.

As well as his role with the OTC, Sean is the founder of his own company '2nd Mountain' and The Legacy Series.

Sean Bohan, Academic Associate Tutor with the OTC

Find out about the BA in Social Care

Enquiries to Conor:  cmurray@opentrainingcollege.com or call  086 0756580 (Business hours 9am-5pm)