2 answers

What is it like to be a Social worker?

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How stressful is your work? Do you plan to stay in this career? What do you think it takes to be become come one?

#social-worker #social-work # #psychology

2 answers

Nija’s Answer

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Hi Emely,

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.
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Thank you so much for your insight

Angela’s Answer

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Hi Emely:

I agree with Nija's response, the field of social work is very broad and allows for the individual to decide how to pursue their interest and career. Broadly speaking, social workers should be passionate about working with individuals or interested in policies that impact people, with a focus on those who are in need of support or assistance. I earned both my Bachelors and Master's degrees in Social Work with an emphasis on Administration and Planning in my Master's.

I have always worked with youth and families focusing on direct service for the first 10 years of my career and then moving into management for the last 17 years where I manage and support a team of 15-20 staff, program budget and development. I've been really blessed in that I have always loved my work and can't imagine doing anything else. My hope is to stay in this field throughout my entire career.

I have worked in non-profits, elementary and middle schools, county library and local government. I think most work environments are stressful at some point and the key is learning how to mange your stress and find a balance between work and play/life. I have always worked more than a typical 40 hour work week in all of my work settings and that doesn't bother me. I have time out to play on a regular basis and take vacations to get away from work and get refreshed.

Hope this helps and wish you the best as you explore your career options and continue with your education.

Best,

angela

Angela recommends the following next steps:

  • Find out what you are curious or passionate about in terms of population or area of interest in social work. For example, in the area of population - youth, young children, foster care, older adults, adults in prison, disabled, individuals with special needs, etc. Think about area of interest that goes with population you want to work with - drugs/alcohol, education, job training, career counseling, abuse prevention, etc.
  • Once you have an idea of your area of interest, see if you can find volunteer or internship opportunities where you can gain some hands on experience or talk with professionals working in the field already, it's a great way to learn first hand whether this is the right path for you.