There is no denying that a career in social work requires hard work, compassion, and resilience. For the right person, though, it makes a wonderful career that gives back as much as you put into it. It's the kind of role where you get to see a positive improvement in people's lives because of your actions.
If you are a caring individual who wants to give back to society and feel you have the skills it takes to be a social worker, here are the reasons you should pursue a career in social work.
You Can Study Online
A great career in social work requires education. Unfortunately, some people struggle to find the time required for degrees and other courses. If you're in a full-time job, but you still want to become a social worker, don't worry - you can always choose to study for your bachelor's or master's degree from the comfort of your own home. Just search for online MSW programs and choose the course that suits your needs.
By studying online, you give yourself the chance to pursue a career in social work without compromising too much of your time or current salary. It's a win-win!
To Always Be Around People
As you'd expect, social work involves a lot of socializing. Day to day, you'll be meeting a range of patients to help them with a variety of issues, meaning you'll never be alone. This is perfect for people who feel alive when they're around people and love a conversation. So, if you lean more on the extroverted side and love to chat with people, you would thrive as a social worker. After all, you can't help people if you don't start the conversation!
The Number of Career Options
Another great benefit to a career in social work is that there is so much variety when it comes to courses and career options. If you want to work with families, you can. If you are interested in mental illnesses, there are opportunities to work with those who need mental health help. For inspiration, here are some social work careers:
Child and Family Social Worker
School Social Worker
Medical Social Worker
Social Worker Supervisor
Child Welfare Researcher
Case Management Aide
You'll need different levels of education depending on which career path you go down. If you want a more advanced degree, consider looking at online MSW programs or a Ph.D.
There's Always the Option to Advance
If you start at an entry-level career but want to advance, then good news - there is always the option to. No matter how long you've been a social worker or what career you are in, there is always the option to pursue an extra course and try a different social work career. For example, by pursuing your Ph.D., you could go from being a child welfare worker to a child welfare researcher.
To Feel Good About Your Work
Social workers get the excellent benefit of feeling genuinely good about the work they do, similarly to those who are nurses and doctors. Each day, you work toward making communities a better place to live while helping individuals with their struggles. You are the rock that people need to push through the toughest times, and because of that, you can leave work each day knowing that you've made a positive impact in the world. That's not something everyone can say!
Social Work Master's Degrees are Affordable
Many people hesitate to pursue an advanced education because of the financial strain it causes. Luckily, you don't have to put yourself in too much debt. That's because many social work degrees are online-based, meaning the tuition isn't as high as traditional courses. Don't worry - the qualifications are just as valuable, and you often get the chance to do a field placement, too.
If you already have your bachelor's, then online MSW programs are the way to go. Not only do you save money on tuition, but you also save money on transport.
You'll Become More Open-Minded
The chances are, if you are considering a social work career, you are already open-minded. That doesn't mean your mind can't expand even more, though, and by pursuing a social work career, that will happen.
As a social worker, you will spend day after day dealing with a number of individuals, all with their different lifestyles, stories, and accomplishments. Before long, you'll realize no two people are truly the same, no matter where they grew up or what their situation is. You'll understand that differences are what make people interesting and that you should never judge someone before you know them. All of this will make you a better, kinder, and more compassionate person, which in turn will improve your social worker skills.
People will Respect Your Career Choice
Many careers warrant respect, especially ones like social work. After all, when you're spending your days helping to better the community, who wouldn't respect you? Being respected isn't just beneficial for your self-confidence; it also helps motivate you when overwhelmed with work. When you know your efforts are appreciated, you'll feel even more determined to work hard.
It is Anything but Boring
Social work might not always be easy, but it's certainly never boring. If the idea of sitting behind a desk and doing the same monotonous task day in and day out frightens you to your core, then social work might just be the path for you. While you might spend a lot of time at a desk (depending on your particular specialty), the work you do will always be interesting, whether that's researching the needed resources for the local community or meeting with vulnerable individuals who require guidance.
To Gain Transferable Skills
Many skills learned as a social worker are transferable. It means that, even if you decide to switch your career later down the line, you'll have gained invaluable experience regardless. Of course, you'll likely want to stick as a social worker until you retire! Just some of the skills you'll gain include:
You'll Believe in Yourself
Before starting online MSW programs and becoming a social worker, you won't fully know the full extent of your abilities. Once you've spent some years helping the community, however, you'll come to know just how brave, resilient, and patient you are, and in turn, you'll believe in yourself. Once you've dealt with an emergency crisis or changed the life of someone who previously seemed beyond help, you'll never doubt yourself again.
Challenges are Part of the Role
Some people say that they would prefer a career where they don't have to put too much work in. After a while, though, wouldn't this get boring? Human beings need goals in order to stay positive and motivated - without a challenge, you are likely to grow tired of your profession. Luckily, social work provides challenges every day. Whether you're faced with a big or small problem, you will always come away feeling proud of yourself for achieving something worthwhile.
You Will Meet Amazing People
Social workers are some of the best people. It makes sense; after all, it's a career entirely revolved around helping others. So, whether you're doing online MSW programs or just starting your first social work role, you are more than likely to meet excellent people who'll turn into lifelong friends. It's not just your classmates and co-workers you'll meet, either - there'll be patients you'll come to truly admire, too. Some of them might even inspire you.
You'll Learn a Lot About Yourself
Some careers warrant no inward reflection - social work isn't one of those. As a social worker, you'll learn something new about yourself all the time. You'll learn how patient you can be, how much knowledge you really have, and how far you're willing to go for people. The career itself is a lifelong lesson - your education expands far past online MSW programs!
To Help Aspiring Social Workers
It's not just your patients you'll be helping - it's also future social workers. By pursuing a career in social work, you will actively help shape future generations, even if you don't choose a teaching role. That is because your workplace will likely have students on field placements, meaning you get to guide young minds toward a great future.
The Career is in Demand
There is never a better time to browse online MSW programs and become a social worker. With the growing population and an increase in mental illness, social workers are needed more than ever. That means that once you are fully qualified, you can expect a long career.
To Pursue a Career in Something You Truly Care About
Is pursuing a career you genuinely care about something that matters to you? If so, then social work will not disappoint. While you might have to deal with difficult situations and a large workload, you will be doing something that you are passionate about, which is more than a lot of people can say. Who doesn't want to be proud of the work they do each day?
How to Succeed as a Social Worker?
If you have decided to choose the amazing social work path, you probably have questions about how to succeed. After all, helping individuals and communities isn't an easy task. To ensure your social work career is as thriving as your passion, you should:
Pursue Further Education
To succeed as a social worker, you must pursue further education. While many social workers are content with sticking to a bachelor's degree, many also prefer to go on to do their master's and even their doctorate. Once you get a job as a social worker, you can study on the side by choosing part-time online MSW programs over traditional full-time courses. That way, you gain the qualifications necessary for advancement while gaining valuable experience.
Choose the Right Career Path
Social work encompasses a range of careers, so you must decide which one is right for you. Do you want to work in mental health? Are you great with kids and want to make the most of that? Browse plenty of social work careers in order to figure out which one would suit you best.
Organization skills are an absolute must for social workers. Whether you're doing online MSW programs or starting your first role, you must ensure your time management skills are second to none. To make it easier on yourself, keep a diary.
Speak to Other Social Workers
If you want a true idea of what working as a social worker is really like, you should speak to social workers who have been in the career for a while. Fortunately, you'll have a chance to do this when studying for your degree. Even if you're doing online MSW programs, you'll have the opportunity to speak to professionals during your field placements. Remember - networking is as important in social work as it is in any other career, so don't hesitate to make connections early on.
Get to Know the Community
If you want to make a real difference as a social worker, you should get to know the community you're working in. That means understanding common societal issues, such as how much poverty there is and what the health issues are like. The more you know, the better help you'll be able to provide.
Most importantly, you must stay passionate about helping people if you want to thrive as a social worker. This is especially important during the times you feel a little overwhelmed with work or a situation that has affected you emotionally. By staying passionate about bettering the community, you are sure to enjoy a long and successful career.
Social work isn't easy, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth pursuing. With enough enthusiasm and genuine compassion, you can enter a career that's all about helping people and communities.