Do You Have the Skills to Become a Social Worker?
Photo by CC user 39582141@N06 on Flickr
Becoming a social worker can open up so many opportunities for not only the social worker themselves, but also the many people they come in contact with over the years.
That said are you looking at the possibility of a career as a social worker?
If so, where will you start as far as education, job opportunities, networking, and more?
With countless children and adults in need of help, becoming a social worker could be your way of giving back to your local community.
Starting the Process
In order to get the process started, look at the following areas that will help you develop the skills to become a social worker:
- Commitment – Before anything else, you need to determine your level of commitment in wanting to be a social worker. Truth is, there will definitely be some challenges in this line of work. With all the success stories and good feelings that emerge, there are some cases that can leave one heartbroken. Being able to handle some adversity is key. If you have it in you to roll up your sleeves and help many people, this can be a very rewarding career;
- Education – The next question is what level of education will you need? Knowing what steps are needed in order to qualify for a career as a social worker may not be as challenging as you might first think. Better yet, online programs have popped up in numerous locals nationwide over the years, allowing men and women already in the field an opportunity to get their Master’s Degrees in this line of work;
- Personal experiences – Some men and women go into careers as social workers due to their own experiences. Whether growing up in a difficult environment or knowing someone who did, some yearn to be social workers to help prevent others from going through difficult times. If you’ve had some of those very experiences, you likely have the compassion and know-how of what it takes to help others;
- Handling adversity – Being a social worker brings great rewards, but it also means handling the tough times too. Some social workers will come across a number of downright heartbreaking experiences, some of which can stick with them for a long period of time. Knowing how to deal with such instances, along with seeking help at times to talk things through with others, both prove important;
- Being a good listener – Although some social workers will be thrust into cases where snap and/or difficult decisions must be made involving families, it is oftentimes a matter of being a good listener. Can you sit there and listen to individuals and families without judging them? Are you someone who can offer solutions, not throw more fuel on the fire? Lastly, can you earn the trust of individuals and families? Some will be hesitant to speak up, especially if there is serious trouble going on within the family framework. Having the ability to gain one’s trust and find a workable solution is very important. Others, some of whom may be battling depression or other health-related issues, will need extra patience and time to work with. When you can take the time to listen to people and don’t rush to assess the problem, things typically work out better for all involved ;
- Networking – Whether looking to become a social worker or you’re already in the field, the ability to network with colleagues and those you hope to know is important. This is where having the ability to properly surf the Internet, knowing where to find the best websites and social media outlets, proves important. Finding white papers and other documents on social work and helping people in general will provide you with good resources. When it comes to social media, you have a wide array of sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) to reach out to others in the field. By doing so, you can share and educate one another on how best to resolve difficult cases involving individuals and families. If there is a concern about utilizing social media in this line of work, it typically falls under privacy issues. Always use your best judgment in making sure you do not put any information out on social sites that is meant to stay private.
Becoming a social worker may or may not have been in your line of thought over the years.
If it is something you want to pursue or already are, use the vast resources out there to make yourself the best social worker you can be.