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What kind of toll does being a social worker take on you?

I recently came to the realization that I don’t really know if I want to be a social worker anymore. But I’m trying to research and hopefully figure it out. I know that being a social worker, they can be some horrid things to see and I don’t know how well I’d be able to handle that. #socialworker #social-work

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Simeon’s Answer

It greatly depends on the type of social work that you get into. There can be some very dark and difficult experiences in social work along with many sad stories. If you're concerned about it, talk to a professor that you trust and see if there are certain fields of social work that would be a better fit for you, like working at a food center, for instance.
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Janelle Ciapocha’s Answer

There are many different roles a social worker can take on (which varies from state to state depending on licensing requirements) and amongst many different populations. I have been able to work in a variety of settings with my degree and license (MA and CT) which include individual counseling, family therapy, support services finding and connecting people with resources and working currently in a Birth to Three program. All of my work has been with non-profit agencies which I feel has offered more flexibility. If you choose to continue your social work journey the best thing you can do from the start is establish clear healthy boundaries to avoid burnout and maintain a professional work ethic. Best wishes.

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Yaranil’s Answer

I think the work force in general can be demanding in health and human services. Yes, social workers are often unappreciated or so many social workers might think. There are so many fields to go into (healthcare, education, psychiatry, psychotherapy, child welfare, etc.) Some days I feel overworked. We have good days and bad days. Having your masters degree gives you more options as far as job selection and you'd likely have more options to move elsewhere if you were unhappy with a job. If you are fortunate to find a company that appreciates the value of your work you will have job satisfaction. As a social worker I want to help everyone and some times I just cannot do this. I think that's the hardest part of the job for me and that's what takes a toll, being unable to help everyone or having people not appreciate your effort.

Yaranil recommends the following next steps:

Try out an internship so you can see what it's like.
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