A social worker is an advocate, broker, researcher, counselor, and so many other things. We do not limit ourselves to one position in this profession, and there are so many things to fall in love with. Social work has more than meets the eye to those that really have a passion for it, so here are a few things we want you to know:
1.)We know we won’t get paid a large amount of money, but we don’t really care.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “We’re in it for the outcome, not the income.” No other statement has been truer. We don’t need you to tell us we will be broke for the rest of our lives, but you don’t understand that we gain so much more by helping others.
2.)We aren’t “child snatchers.”
When most people hear “social worker” they automatically think we’re going to take away your kids. (Rolls eyes). For the most part, we are going to be the ones behind the scenes doing the paper work. The harsh truth is, we are just doing our job in investigating. We want the best possible outcome for children.
3.)We work in more than just child services.
We may be your counselor, your case worker, etc. There are so many opportunities in social work, and you can do something different every day. Social work is a field of opportunity that allows you to go out of your comfort zone (if you dare) and try out something that you may fall in love with.
4.)It’s so much more than “helping people.”
It’s about being someone’s last resort. It is about researching and getting the facts. It is about using every possible resource you can to make sure a client will have a tomorrow.
5.)Our job isn’t as easy as you think it is.
You may think all we do is paperwork, but that is only the half of it. We may be in court, in a session with a client, going from house to house as a caseworker, or spending time doing research. We may be working with a couple who would love to adopt, or we may be making a home visit for a struggling alcoholic.
6.)Taking time for self-maintenance is key.
It cannot be stressed enough that the key to always being on your toes is really within yourself. You must take the time to vent to someone or pick up a hobby that you love. Our job is stressful enough without bringing it home with us.
7.)You can’t sleep with your clients (No Sex Eyes)
Just in case you decide to become a social worker, you should probably know you can’t have relations with your clients. Surprisingly, after a certain amount of time a therapist can have relations with their clients. I’m not sure why you’d want to if they’re coming to see you for your help, but you can’t do that in social work, so don’t.
8.)Our job is more dangerous than you think.
Going on a home visit, you never really know what to expect. You may be going to the home of one of the nicest families you’ve ever met in a suburb of Niceville, or you may be going to a rough part of town where you don’t really know what’s going on, you just hear sirens close by.
9.)We don’t work that good ole 9-5.
We don’t have a normal schedule, but who really likes normal? There is always an emergency, which is alright with us because we are doing what we love.
10.)If your heart isn’t in it, it isn’t for you.
You can’t half do your job because someone’s life depends on it. You have to have the true passion to make an impact on someone’s life. You have to have the dedication and know your job will never be easy, but it will always be worth it. You need to know if you have the heart to be a social worker, or you will burn out fast.