Ana’s story: New job in aged care can become a second or third career

Working in aged care is a secure and rewarding form of employment, especially in uncertain times. Ana Cetincic and her colleagues at Rye Sands, Japara’s home in Rye, have certainly not missed out on any work opportunities in recent months. Instead, Ana got to pick the hours and shifts that suit her the most at the aged care home of her choice on the Mornington Peninsula.
While she still loves her old profession as a schoolteacher, Ana also values the time she gets to spend with people of the opposite age, our seniors. As a Personal Care Worker (PCW) she has chosen a hands-on role, helping people with their everyday tasks. Yet, it is equally as important to take some time out, sit down, and simply have a chat and ask residents about their day, but also their long lives.
Ana has quickly learned that care does not only need to be provided physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. She believes that there is a lot we can learn from our seniors and that their perspective on life can help us to ground ourselves, to take a step back in moments where we would otherwise stress.

Retraining as an aged care worker

When seeing Ana looking after the residents at Rye Sands, one might think that she has years of experience under her belt when, in fact, she has only been working as a carer for about two years. It was in 2019, when she signed up for a traineeship at Japara that leads directly to a Certificate III in Individual Support.
It took Ana just over seven months to complete the qualification that is supported by Chisholm Institute, one of the most popular TAFEs in greater Melbourne. She loved the experience, meeting new people, and the opportunity to start a new career via our supportive ‘earn while you learn’ program.
Ana, who migrated to Australia from her native Croatia, also enjoys that some Japara residents speak and understand her mother tongue. Therefore, going to work sometimes helps with being home sick and with keeping up her Croatian language skills.
Ana wants people to know that this traineeship, and the care work she provides, can be a new start in life for anyone. No matter what their age or professional background.

Ana Cetincic has started her career in aged care with a traineeship at Japara.

To help others make the right decision, Ana has put some time aside to answer a few questions about the aged care sector and about the traineeship itself that helped her open up a whole new career path.

What did you like about the course?

Ana: I liked the ability to be physically present in the classroom and meet other trainees and interact with them during class sessions. The teacher was very friendly and passed on a lot of her knowledge in the field. The course was well structured and was relatively easy to follow. Being paid to learn was an added bonus.

What did you learn from the course?

Ana: The traineeship gave me all the knowledge I needed in order to work in aged care. Because of the theoretical and practical lessons in class, and the hands-on work experience at the Japara facility, I was well prepared, even for my first exciting “buddy” shifts with some more experienced care staff and nurses.

Why do you think others should complete it?

Ana: This course is the best way to enter the aged care industry with the benefit of being paid for learning. It allows you to get experience in an aged care facility whilst learning so that when you complete the course you can go straight into employment at that Japara facility.

How is your career developing since completing the traineeship?

Ana: I now have permanent part-time shifts at Rye Sands, the aged care facility I did my placement at. I have a regular income and I can pick up more shifts if I want to. I am able to perfectly juggle my work with my family life. This work-life balance is very important to me.



Interested in a new career in aged care?

If you’re keen to explore, check out our useful article on the requirements and qualifications you need to land your ideal role in the aged care sector. Or, why not attend one of our upcoming traineeship information sessions for advice on how to start your traineeship journey with Japara at one of our Victoria homes.

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