If you love taking care of people and are searching for a “unicorn” job that will fit your lifestyle, wardrobe, preference for variety, and need for purpose, a career as a direct support professional (DSP) may be for you. DSPs (sometimes called direct care professionals or direct care workers) work with individuals who have intellectual or developmental disabilities to help them become more independent.
Direct support professional jobs are currently in high demand. Here are five excellent reasons to become a DSP:
1. Making a positive impact. Easily the best benefit of working with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities is that it allows you to make a difference in their lives. You’ll meet people from a variety of backgrounds, bond with them, and help them reach important milestones as they become more independent.
2. Flexible hours. Most agencies offer a range of shifts. You can most likely schedule your work hours around pre-existing commitments in your life, such as a school or work schedule. As a DSP, you’ll benefit from a career that works with your life and offers plenty of work/life balance.
3. Casual wardrobe. Because you’ll be physically active and on the go as a DSP, you won’t need to buy expensive or uncomfortable office clothes. You should look clean and presentable, but you’ll enjoy getting to work in your favorite casual clothes.
4. Gain skills and experience that can help your career. If you’re interested in psychology, social work, nursing, or therapy, becoming a DSP is a great hands-on way to explore these career paths. You’ll need a high school diploma and driver’s license to get started, but your employer can offer training that will benefit your career and may even help you acquire important certifications.
5. Variety of work environments. You’ll never be stuck in an office all day as a DSP. Instead, you’ll support people with disabilities in their homes as well as various places in the community. You may even get to know the places in and members of your community better as a DSP than you would on your own!
Become a Direct Support Professional With Progressive Lifestyles
Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is dedicated to providing innovative support services for people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Oakland County, Michigan.
A primary focus of our organization is to interact with the individuals we support through the “Culture of Gentleness” model. We seek to create a positive environment to help them feel safe and valued by maximizing praise, limiting demands, maintaining consistent structure, and reducing stress during transitions.