I am so glad that you are asking this very important question. If you are expressing to be a social worker, it is important to understand the nature of the social work field. Just to let you know that the social work field is becoming very broad to the point where you have the opportunity to explore different areas of social work. I am a Licensed Social Worker and I had the opportunity to learn multiple skill sets working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings. Presently, I am working as a Social Worker for the Adult Protective Services. Being in the field of Social Work can be very rewarding and challenging at the same time. There are times where I feel overwhelmed because of the nature of my job responsibilities. I am always figuring out coping approaches to help me get through the day at work and to deal with stress. This field is never a dull moment; it is fun and demending. There is a lot of paperwork and note taking involved. You have to make sure that the social work field is a suitable fit for you and that you have the compassion and interest to pursue this field. I enjoy the social work field because I am able to think outside of box to help individuals to develop ways of coping with their presenting issues. I enjoy counseling; connecting people with resources, information and providing education. I plan on continuing to work in the field but I want to expand my career to be a therapist and an educational consultant/academic advisor as a Licensed Social Worker. You have to keep up with the changes because this field is constantly evolving.
In order to become a Social Worker, it takes patience, compassion, dedication; being a listener; problem solver, being genuine; having empathy; having organizational skills; detailed note taking; being a team player; adhering to professional ethics of social work and having excellent professional boundaries. You must obtain a bachelor's degree; however most social work opportunities requires a graduate degree and to be licensed especially if you want to make more money. I hope that I answered your question. If you need additional information or if you have other questions, please do not hesistant to reach out to me.
Nija recommends the following next steps:
- Please continue to do your research about the field of social work. Continue to ask questions.
- Explore the type of setting and client population that you express an interest to work with.
- Interview more than one Social Worker. Also, speak with the college faculty who are experts in the social work field.
- Consider volunteering for a social service organization under a social worker.
- Make sure that you have a desire to work in the social work field.