We caught up with Kim for a quick chat about what brought her to the care industry and why she decided to become a self-employed carer.
Tell us what brought you to carework.
I spent a lot of time with my nan when I was younger. I’d go along with her to different clubs and I got on really with elderly people and this really stuck with me.
I actually wanted to work in care about 20 years ago but my son was still so young and you could only get shift work in care homes back then. Also I didn’t drive at the time so it wouldn’t have worked out. So I went a completely different path and became an office manager and got a teaching assistant qualification. Then I did that for a number of years but the company relocated, so I then looked for part time work and joined a local care agency.
I started with them and built up my experience working in care, and then I saw Curam advertised and decided to join up. People had said to me that I should try working for myself so I decided to go for it and it went from there.
What type of care do you do?
I’ve worked with lots of different clients with various needs. I don’t really specialise in one particular area, I offer all-round care.
What do you enjoy about being a carer?
Making a difference to someone’s life. You get as much back as you put in. You really do learn from them, hearing their stories, it’s amazing.
You now manage your clients via the Curam Carer app, instead of the website. How have you found this?
It’s brilliant, it’s quicker now and very easy. It’s really good.
How did you feel going from PAYE to self-employed?
I was terrified, I’ve always been PAYE, I’d never worked for myself ever but I got on top of it. I’ve got an online accountant, it’s very straightforward. With Curam you have a record of everything which is helpful so you can just tot everything up and send it to the accountant and for me personally it’s been really easy to understand so far. I do know making that jump can be scary but it’s fine and works out better in the end.
What would you say to anyone thinking about making the leap to becoming a self-employed carer?
Go for it, it will all be fine in the end, you can submit your own tax return and you don’t have to have an accountant but if you do there are so many online services. At the end of it you are better off. There’s loads of help and advice on what you need to submit to HMRC, so it’s straight forward.
You mentioned you previously worked for an agency, how does this compare?
It’s better, number one, you get to choose your clients. You can meet them, see if you’re a good match, you also choose your hours, it’s much more flexible and the pay is much better because you set your rates. All round it has been a really good experience.
I have to say Curam has always been very supportive. When you leave somewhere like an agency you feel like you’re going out there on your own it can feel quite daunting at first. I’ve always found that I could call up Curam with any queries and everyone has always been very helpful there. You can even drop them an email and ask them a question, they always get back to you.
Do you have any top tips that you’d give to someone starting out with Curam.
Concentrate on your profile, make sure you’re putting across all your skills, you want to stand out. Get used to using the app. Once you’ve done it if you have any questions, Curam will help you. Always, always reply to your clients if they get in touch, even if you aren’t available it’s always good to be polite and go back to them.
We’ve loved getting to know Kim and hear her experience of working as a self-employed carer with Curam. If you’d like to know more about becoming a carer, you can start your journey with Curam by downloading the Curam Carer App.