Sam joined Care On Call 6 years ago to help out in the accounts department.
“My mum was the nurse at Care On Call at the time in Central. I’d just recently had a baby and moved back to the country, and I was asked by my mum if I wanted to help in the accounts department clearing timesheets. This was something that I could self-manage and do at home, so it fitted in perfectly with where I was in life at the time. And so that’s how I started.”
Since then, Sam has worn many hats across the company, and has become an integral member of the team.
“After I started working again I wanted to do some caregiving, so I was helping in accounts part time and support working part time. And then the coordinator who had worked for Care On Call Central left, so I applied and I got the coordination position. Later I progressed to the Client Services Manager position, and I’ve been doing this for around 2 years now."
“Currently I am the Service Manager for Central and I’m also part of the Individualised Funding team. But my main job is to ensure that all clients and support workers are happy. I manage issues, build relationships with clients and funders, and try to engage in community things that clients can get involved in. And then obviously try to support the coordinators as well.”
Sam says that on a professional level, her greatest achievement during her time with Care On Call has been her journey from a data entry position to where she is today. However, that’s not the main thing that motivates her about her job.
“On a personal level, what I’m most proud of from my time here would be being part of a team that enabled a lady in her 30s to be able to live in her own home. She was living in a rest home, and then due to Enabling Good Lives, ourselves, and the support worker at the time, she was actually able to live in her own home. So that was probably my biggest “wow”.”
“Knowing that we’re making differences in people’s lives and the relationships I’ve built at Care On Call are what’s important to me. That’s really what motivates me – the relationships I have with my colleagues, the relationships we have with our funders, and the clients and the support workers.”
Even the best things come with their drawbacks and difficulties, though, and Sam does admit that she has at times struggled with finding a balance, due to the importance of what she does.
“I’ve had to learn not to take things personally. We’re dealing with really vulnerable people and you cannot take things personally. You’re not the issue, but you are going to get the brunt of some emotions. I think that’s probably one of the biggest things, like if you took everything personally it would just eat away at you.”
“You’ve got to learn not to take things home as well – I struggled with that. It’s probably only this last 6 months that I’ve stopped working from home as much and tried to stop thinking about work from home. I mean, I still do, I’m only human, but my work-life-home balance is something I’ve definitely struggled with.”
“It’s hard to switch off sometimes when you know you’re holding a responsibility over someone else’s life. If you know someone can’t get out of bed you can’t just go down to the park and eat an ice cream, or at least I couldn’t!”
Despite the difficulties, she says that the team she works with and the life-long friendships she’s made at Care On Call – not just in Central but across the region – are what keep her coming back everyday.
“The people I work with, my manager, and the flexibility I have… I’m not probably going to find that culture or understanding in many other work environments. For example, if I’m late for the kids it’s not a big deal, I just make it up somewhere else, or if the kids are sick my manager is so supportive. I laugh every single day because I just feel I work with the best people in the world. It’s been hard, it’s been a very struggling journey especially with Covid, but it’s been cool to all stick it out and work together.”
Sam’s colleagues also have only wonderful things to say about her and their experiences working together as a team;
“I have had the privilege of working alongside Samantha since she started 6 years ago. Watching her go from strength to strength in her roles has been amazing. From a caregiver to working in a data entry position, all the way through to now the superstar CSM role. I consider myself lucky to not only have her as an amazing colleague but a fantastic friend.”
Congratulations, Sam, on your 6-year work anniversary. We are so proud of what you have achieved!