There are more than a few professional careers in which the individual faces daily challenges (both professionally and on a personal level), but which are counter-balanced by the plethora of meaningful and overwhelming rewards that also come with the role.
Amongst others (which include teaching, nursing and psychology), a career in social work is certainly placed in the top echelons of careers that are not just considered to be a job, but much more of a vocation.
With that being said, continue reading to discover the top six advantages and benefits to the pursuit of a career as a social worker.
1. Working With Children
Social workers interact, assist and work with people across the length and breadth of different age groups, cultures and diverse backgrounds and as a result have one of the widest impacting roles in local communities that exist. However, you are able to focus on the type of social care you would like to work in and a large number choose to help children. Helping a child in need can be one of the most rewarding life experiences available and choosing a career which allows you to do this daily can be very satisfying.
As working with children and child welfare is naturally of the upmost importance, social workers are required to possess a solid background in education which will equip them with a strong foundation of knowledge as well as an ethical awareness.
The high level of job satisfaction social workers receive from their daily tasks and activities are practically unrivalled and as a social worker you will play an integral role in the supporting, educating and counselling of individuals.
Furthermore, you will be tasked with thoroughly researching and taking positive action to assist those individuals and families who have been unfairly treated or otherwise marginalized by society or specific groups of people.
The importance of job satisfaction cannot be denied and (although it is somewhat of an unquantifiable feeling) the positive emotional and mental response to your day-to-day activities and communications with the people you are tasked with helping is a strong reason to become a social worker.
3. Opportunities For Career Progression
Once an individual obtains their social work academic qualifications, their career prospects are greatly expanded. In addition, there is a wide range of opportunities in which to specialize in a certain field of social work, your choice of which will largely depend on which areas you are drawn to and the types of people and situations that you enjoy helping and fixing the most.
Specialist fields of social work include, but are in no way limited to:
Child and family social work
Mental health social work
Substance abuse social work
Military members and veterans social work
Community social work
Administrative social work
4. A Genuine Connection With The Local Community
One of the most important professional figureheads in and around the local community is the social worker, with community social work being one of the most crucial aspects of the role and the one which affects the most amount of people.
The sense of inclusion and belonging that affords ordinary members of society can be one of the main determining factors in an individual person’s overall satisfaction and contentment in their daily lives and where they live and the role of the social worker greatly enhances this feeling.
Social workers who specialize in community work employ a plethora of different professional approaches to better understand and integrate themselves within their local community, including practices such as Social Action, Social Planning and Community Development.
Social Action is the framework based on members of the community coming together to strive towards one common goal. Social Planning is the process of planning social services policies, programs and services for the community. Community Development is focused on the idea that every single person should be able to access the same opportunities, justice levels and health and wellbeing.
5. Constant Practice of Professional and Personal Skills
There are a wide range of skills and personality traits that make an individual suited to the challenges and the multitude of rewards that come with a career in social work.
Such skillsets and attributes include:
The ability to set successful professional and personal boundaries
Sensitivity to personal information
Strong listening and communicative skills
An exceedingly high level of empathy
Excellent organizational skills
Time management skills
The prioritization of self-care
A strong sense of work/life balance
For a person that is both strongly suited to a career in social work as well as someone with a deep-rooted passion to positively affect change in and around their local community, the acquisition of a bachelor’s degree in social work is the obvious and quite necessary step to success.
Wonderfully, unlike other professional roles in community work and healthcare, it takes a significantly less amount of time to complete one’s professional studies in social work and you will be working professionally far faster than in other, similar roles.
6. The Pursuit Of Social Justice
Essentially, social justice is the ultimate goal of social work as a profession and can be defined as justice with regard to the fair and even distribution and division of privileges, wealth and opportunities within an individual society.
The ideal of social justice is truly at the heart of social work and forms the basis of the working ethic and application of daily roles and responsibilities.
Although every single specialism within the working framework of social care and work has its roots in social justice, a particularly passionate sector is that of mental health social work and it is here that social justice becomes of ultimate and paramount importance.
Mental health social workers are dedicated to the assessment, treatment and assistance of individuals who have emotional, mental or substance abuse issues within society and engage in activities such as group therapy, case management, crisis intervention and client advocacy. It is an area that has been long neglected in our society and those involved are constantly seeking to improve society’s understanding and attitude.