When a big birthday prompted Annmarie Doherty to assess her life, taking a new direction was “the best decision I ever made.”

Annemarie had worked in retail for 22 years but, when she turned 50, she realised a new direction was needed.

She said: “I knew deep down that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my career in retail – it was changing, and so was I. I had to make the break and I had to challenge myself and it was then that I saw a recruitment advert for a home carer with South Lanarkshire Council.

“As I read about the job, I couldn’t help thinking that it was the job for me – it just felt right.”

Moving into a completely different sector could have been a daunting prospect but Annmarie, from Rutherglen, was put at ease both by the information in the job advert and by what came after she had applied.

She explained: “It said I’d be put through full training for what I would need for the job, which gave me the confidence to apply, and once I was in the process I gained an SVQ and qualifications in moving and handling, palliative care and first aid.

“There are other advantages I’d never expected, too. For instance, I never considered pension benefits before I started but since joining I have been delighted with that aspect, and the discount on using South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture gyms has been brilliant for my husband and me.”

The best part of the job for Annmarie, however, is the people – both those she cares for and those she works alongside.

She said: “I work in the Reablement Team, dealing with hospital discharges, and it is hugely rewarding to be able to help people in a situation that in many cases they never thought they’d have to deal with and were not prepared for.

“Another major factor is that I work alongside a fantastic bunch of carers who helped me settle in so easily when I first started and even now I know I can call them with questions, for help, advice – you name it, nothing’s a bother to them. I can’t thank or praise them enough, and I’m very lucky and grateful to them all every day in my job. It makes such a big difference when you all get on so well and are there for each other.

“I absolutely love my job. Look at it this way: I never in my life had a CV, I went for my first interview in 22 years, and I thought what am I doing? But four years on, I have never looked back, and I enjoy every day. It was the best decision I ever made.”

This case study was originally developed for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s ongoing recruitment campaign for Care at Home.