A career as a social worker can be emotionally and mentally taxing, but also a very fulfilling choice of work. Social workers often find themselves in challenging work environments where they may be dealing with crisis situations such as abuse emergencies or mental health crises. Many social workers choose to work in this career for these reasons. They are often people who want to make a real difference in the world and to the lives of others, and social work is one of the most effective lines of work for those who want to really help others. Whether you are considering social work or are simply looking for a future career where you will be able to help others and make a difference to the world, here are some of the main reasons why social work could be the right choice of career for you.
What is Social Work?
Simply put, social work is a career that revolves around understanding people and determining what you can do to help them improve their lives. Once qualified as a social worker, you will be able to enter a profession that is based around helping people. Social workers work with people of all ages, ethnicities, and social backgrounds. Their main job is to help these people improve their lives. It is known for being a position with a lot of pressure and challenges, and often takes a special type of person in order to be able to thrive in this career path that can be very demanding, but also extremely fulfilling and rewarding.
Many Job Opportunities
Those who want to pursue a career in social work need not worry about spending months searching endlessly for a job. The field of social work offers many different chances for employment in a wide range of different areas. There is a variety of different career opportunities available based on the population or populations that you are the most interested in working with, which is vast and based on various different factors including age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality and location. In addition, social work jobs are growing in demand with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting the field to grow by around 11% by 2028.
Versatile Career Path
Most people who pursue a social work career will do so because they want to be able to help others and make a difference to the lives of others. Social workers are professionals that don’t merely work as government employees but will also take on several other roles in their daily work as well. Social work as a profession opens up many different opportunities for versatile work. Social workers often find themselves offering emotional support, analyzing policies, advocating for community health, training people in diversity, and liaising in court and other legal settings. In addition, there are lots of opportunities for social workers to choose the work that they would prefer to do. They can work both domestically and internationally and use their strengths and interests to create the type of job that is the most suitable for them.
Change People’s Lives
Helping to make positive changes to the lives of others is one of the most rewarding and important elements of a career as a social worker. When social workers are instrumental in helping others, it is not just a case of appearing in their lives for a short time with some words of encouragement. Social workers are often able to help and support people in a variety of very substantial ways including helping people through major difficulties including addiction, substance abuse, poverty, domestic violence, child abuse, and much more.
There are many different and meaningful ways that a social worker can have a large impact on the lives of other people. They often have the ability to be there for people through bad and often very emotional situations, helping them overcome it and create a better life for themselves. And as a social worker, the impact that you are able to have on the lives of others will stick with you, with a sense that you are able to make a real difference to the lives of individuals and within communities one of the main reasons why many social workers continue to take on the challenges of this job even when the going gets tough.
Opportunities for Self-Improvement
Social workers are often highly altruistic people who will often focus on others and put the needs of others first. For many, it can sometimes come as a surprise when they realize that their job is also a situation that they can use towards their own personal and professional growth and development. Ultimately, the fact that social workers use their careers to help, support, educate, empower and advocate for others means that they will inherently do the same for themselves. Many social workers will experience a lot of growth from the challenges of this career that force them to face and overcome their own shortcomings. Reflective practice is a key part of working as a social worker and people who work in this profession are often thrust into situations where they are required to challenge their own assumptions and biases on a regular basis.
Change the World
Social workers are able to make a big difference to the lives of individuals, which will ultimately lead to changes being made at a more systemic level. For a long time, social workers have acted as the voice for marginalized people within society, and a career in social work allows you to play a part in the bigger picture of how vulnerable people are treated by society. Social workers often have careers that allow them to touch on key social justice issues like disability, poverty, inequality, and child abuse in a way that few other career options allow. And, social workers have a keen knowledge of the system and how it works that allows them to make changes to it from the inside out. Social workers are often found using their experience and expertise to make key recommendations to judges or to advocate for the people that they work with to policymakers and lawmakers.
How to Become a Social Worker
No matter what kind of people you see yourself working with as a social worker in the future, one of the best ways to become a social worker is with a bachelor of science in social work online. Once you have completed this degree, you will be immediately qualified to work in a position within social care. In addition, there is also the option to pursue postgraduate qualifications in related areas such as professional training and education. While there are on-campus programs available for those who wish to pursue a career in social work, online degree programs are becoming more popular for a range of reasons including benefits such as additional flexibility, more cost-effectiveness, the ability to fit studies around your other commitments, and access to an online community of students.
Skills You Need as a Social Worker
While students will learn and develop a lot of skills while getting their degree in social work, it can be helpful to possess some skills that are needed in order to become an effective social worker. The social work career often takes a special type of person and, in order to do this job effectively, you will need to be reliable, motivated towards helping others, have the ability to manage your time effectively around a heavy workload, and be an empathetic and compassionate person. Social workers should also have a non-judgmental attitude and be open-minded since they will often be working with people from a range of different backgrounds. They must have a strong ability to work as part of a team, be self-aware and able to reflect on themselves and their performance, and have good communication and listening skills.
Deciding if Social Work is the Right Career for You
Choosing the right career for you is not always an easy task. If you like helping others and find the idea of a career that focuses on making a difference to other people appealing, social work might be a career option that you have considered. However, there are many different factors to think about if you are deciding on whether or not working as a social worker is the right pathway for you to take.
Social workers need to be emotionally resilient and strong. It is important to consider the challenges of this line of work and be realistic about the situations that you might find yourself in as a social worker. Since social workers are often people who have a lot of empathy, it is important to note that you may often find yourself in situations that are going to have an impact on you mentally. One of the main requirements to work as a successful social worker is that you are willing to look after yourself and get support for yourself when it comes to dealing with the challenges of this career.
Social workers are professionals who can make a real difference in the world. If you are interested in a career that is focused on helping others, this could be ideal for you.