Consider what the job market looked like a century ago. There were relatively few jobs to choose from, and they included such things as medicine, teaching, the military, shopkeeping, or banking. There really wasn’t much chance to do a lot more than this, especially since technology was not as advanced as it is today. That breakthrough in technology and the innovations that have come from it since have meant that many new jobs have been created, even as some of the old ones have disappeared.
There will always be some jobs that remain, no matter what else is happening, and they include the ones mentioned above, as well as others. Of course, the way the jobs are done will change – again thanks to technology – but the structure is generally the same, and the world still needs people to choose those careers.
Social work is a good example of one of these long-term careers. Although not as old as some of the others, the general profession has been around since 1970, and it doesn’t seem as though it is something that is no longer needed. In fact, social workers are in demand, and people – adults and children – need the help of these professionals on a daily basis.
The question is, what are the advantages of being a social worker? Why should you choose it as your own career path? There are many potential reasons; read on to find out.
It’s An Exciting Career
If you took every possible job there is and lined them up in order from the most boring to the most exciting, you would have something for every stage of the progression. There are some jobs that are supremely dull, and others that never allow those working in them to rest for a moment as they are so exciting. Most jobs fall somewhere in between, of course. Which one do you like the idea of? Something boring or something exciting?
If you want to have an exciting career, social work would be a good choice. Rather than having to do the same commute to the same place with the same people to do the same kind of work every single day, there is a lot of variety when you’re a social worker, meaning that although there will be some days when you do have to sit and do paperwork, there are just as many when you are out in the field face to face with the people you are helping.
When you have studied to be a social worker, perhaps taking a specific degree in the subject or something more general but just as useful, such as a human services degree, you’ll already have a good idea of the kind of work you’ll be doing. However, it isn’t until you’re ready to do the work for real that you’ll finally understand just what an exciting day-to-day life a social worker will have. If you like the idea of having an interesting job that will keep your brain active, consider social work.
You Can Do It
One of the best things about deciding whether social work is the right career path is that it’s open to all. So, if you do feel that it’s the right thing for you to do, there should be nothing stopping you from achieving your goals. Of course, you’ll need to gain the relevant qualifications, and you’ll need to look for ways to get experience, and you’ll also need the right attitude for the work, but in overall terms, if you want to be a social worker that’s exactly what you can be.
However, it’s also important to remember that although everyone can be a social worker, it’s not going to be the right choice for absolutely everyone. In fact, it would be a terrible option for a lot of people. As a social worker, you need to be compassionate, empathetic, caring, quick-thinking, and decisive. You’ll be meeting people going through terrible times, and they’ll want you to help them – and that’s what you’ll need to do. It’s not an easy job, especially when it comes to being emotionally draining, but it’s a rewarding one. Could it be the right one for you?
It’s Not A Desk Job
Over the last two years or so, more and more jobs have started to be done from home. People are setting up effective home offices, and they are working from there, barely seeing anyone (barring those they live with) for days on end. Although remote working can offer an excellent work-life balance when done right, there are downsides, and the isolation that can come about is certainly one of the negative aspects of it.
When you are a social worker, you don’t have to worry about being isolated. Although you may still need a home office (or you might have an outside office to go to) as you’ll need a base to work from and do your reports in, a lot of the time, you’ll be in the field meeting new people and helping them, as well as seeing your current clients on a regular basis. When you’re a social worker, you’ll never feel lonely as there will always be people to talk to. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by colleagues. This might not be done in a physical manner, but technology is amazing, and even if you can’t be in the same room, you can still connect through video calling or online collaboration tools. So, you’ll always have someone to turn to if you need to.
A Diverse Career
You might think that, once you have completed your studies and are able to apply for jobs in the social work arena, there is just one route to go down; you’ll become a social worker in the traditional sense, helping families and children in need. However, this is not necessarily what you will be doing if you would rather not. The reality is that social work is a very diverse career with many options within it. No matter what kind of work interests you, you’ll be able to find an avenue within social care to enjoy it. Just some examples include working with children, vulnerable adults, or those with mental health issues, for example.
Social work is so potentially diverse and allows you to work in many different fields or to specialize in one specifically, which means you can use any particular skills you might have in the best way. Think about what you can do best and what your personality is like, and then research the different jobs available within the very broad social work sector. You might be surprised to find there are a lot of options for someone just like you, opening up new and exciting career goals for you.
Social Work Will Challenge You
Challenges are good things. You might not immediately agree with this statement, but it’s a true one. Of course, too many challenges all at once are not so good; when this happens, it can cause burnout and stress and make people – even highly trained social workers – very unwell. However, some challenges are useful, and that’s a positive thing since it will keep your brain active (which is said to stave off conditions such as dementia) and keep you interested in what you are doing. If there were no challenges, then the job would quickly become routine and boring, and you might fall out of love with the idea of being a social worker. After all, you choose this profession after researching it well, meaning you knew it would be a challenging one.
Social work is not an easy thing to do. The challenges can be hard ones, and it can be a stressful job. However, it’s ultimately one of the most rewarding jobs you can find, and you will certainly be making a difference in many people’s lives, including your own.
You Will Learn About Yourself
How much do you really know about yourself? If you’re like most people, the answer will be that you don’t really know that much. You’ll know enough to understand some likes and dislikes and roughly what your personality is, but you probably won’t know what you are truly capable of, and that’s the important thing. Unless you are challenged – which, as we’ve said, is something that social work will do for you – you may never discover just what it is that you can do under pressure or when you really have to.
Once you know the answer to what you are really like and you learn more about yourself, you’ll find that many more opportunities present themselves, not just in your career (although they definitely will), but also in your life in general. You’ll be much more able to make the right decisions, and you’ll be willing to try new things because you are sure about who you are and what you can achieve. You might even want to push yourself further to find out about your limits.
This is all positive, and it will come from a career in social work. When you are a social worker, you’ll find out so much more about yourself than you realized possible, and this will have an effect on every aspect of your life.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.