To celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary, we are going to be sharing an insight into how various members of staff across the organisation have progressed internally.

At Care in Mind, we are passionate about investing in our people and helping them to achieve their professional goals. We achieve this through staff support sessions, in-house training, and other career development opportunities. Across the organisation there are many inspiring individuals who have advanced through roles, whether solely residentially or starting in the Residential Team and moving through to Head Office. Here, Karen Nairi shares an insight into her own journey.

What initially attracted you to the organisation?

It was my daughter really (who also works at Care in Mind), she just kept talking about what they do here, about the least restrictive policy and things like that. I had never worked with young people before, although I have worked in mental health for 20 years or more, so I decided to try a few bank shifts with Care in Mind.

How have you transitioned through roles and reached your current position?

I started as a Bank Support Worker, and I absolutely loved it, so then I started doing a little bit more, and then a Team Leader position became available, so I thought I would give it a try and apply… and I got that role, so I did that for a couple of years and then from that point, I was asked to become an Acting Deputy Manager whilst the previous Manager worked in a different home temporarily.

At that point, I had to leave the home I was working in, but the Residential Team in Head Office were looking for someone to manage the Bank Staff, so that then become my job. I looked after the Bank Staff and managed them, and then from there, someone left, and I had the maintenance side of my job added and that’s how I ended up moving towards my current role as Technology and Estates Manager.

How have you been supported by your managers and colleagues through your development?

At Care in Mind, we are really good at supporting our staff. From my different roles, I have had lots of different managers and they have all been quite different, but I have always felt that there was someone there that I could go and talk to. I remember my first Manager, he was all for internally promoting people and pushing them in certain ways to empower us to do things, and I think that’s the thing, as you go through the different stages, you do feel supported and empowered to go further, and even now, I feel supported to go higher.

I feel really valued, I love the company and I love our values! I am such an advocate for Care in Mind, and I am always talking about us. I’ve got 11 years left of work, and I am hoping to spend those 11 years here because I love it. I’ve always felt like if I am having a bad day, there is always someone’s door I can knock on.

Over your time with Care in Mind, how do you feel the organisation has changed?

It’s gotten bigger! I think when I started working in Head Office, I really noticed a change because when I was in the house, I didn’t see as much, but in Head Office, I could see that departments were expanding…We started with one house, then it was three, then six and now we’ve got 11!

What has made you want to remain with the organisation?

It’s everything, for me Care in Mind was really unique when I first decided that I wanted to work here. I have worked in a lot of different care roles where restraint was the norm and I knew that the people we were restraining had certain behaviours because of it, and when I came to Care in Mind and I learnt about Therapeutic Risk Management, I remember feeling so excited in my training… Just the fact that you are encouraged to talk to a person, and if you work the right way and you follow the Therapeutic Risk Management training, the Breakaway techniques and the TRUSST training, it works.

It’s the people as well, and the way Care in Mind look after the staff, and how they look after the residential teams – I’ve just never known a company like it and I can’t imagine ever working anywhere else. Care in Mind just really live by their values.

Do you have any advice for fellow colleagues who are keen to develop within Care in Mind?

Whenever I’m interviewing, I always tell them a bit about myself and how I have grown within the company and stepped up in different positions… Wherever I’ve been, I’ve always had a Manager or a Deputy Manager looking at what I do and saying “Oh that’s brilliant, well done” and then if something’s come up, it’s always been “Go for it, you’re brilliant!” It’s just the encouragement you get and you don’t have time to doubt yourself because there’s that many people encouraging you and saying that you can do this.

I just feel that you can do anything when you put your mind to it, and when you’ve got an organisation that is constantly supporting you, you just have that much more confidence. I would encourage everyone to do their job the best that they can, and if you feel you want to make a long-term career with Care in Mind, look for challenges, think outside of the box, look for a career path and just go for it.

What would you say to someone who is interested in a career with Care in Mind?

Go for it! I think it’s the best company I have worked for, and I can’t see myself working for anyone else.

If you’re interested in a career with Care in Mind, check out our current vacancies here.