If you are very compassionate and a philanthropist at heart, social work is just the right career for you. In these stressful times, people find it difficult to handle their problems. Many of them buckle under the pressure and succumb to anxiety and bouts of depression.
In such difficult times, social work emerges as a particularly important field. If you want to brighten up people’s lives and make a positive difference in them, you must be focused on your approach. This article will outline certain things that you must keep in mind if you want to take up social work as a career.
Social Workers’ Job Profile
The main profile of a social worker includes helping out people, families, and social communities in overcoming stressful situations. This ranges from coping with drug abuse and addiction, recovering from an illness, accessing homeless housing, or overcoming family problems. They work in different environments like schools, hospitals, and defense where they explore the problems prevailing in society and their impact on the people. Utilizing insight gained from their research, they plan programs to handle these problems at the national, state, community, and individual levels.
Steps to Becoming a Social Worker
You must have the requisite educational qualifications to become a social worker. There are certain steps to be followed in order to take up social work as a career.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
A degree in social work is the first requirement for this career. When completing the bachelor’s degree, you need to specialize in social services, social work practice, and case management.
Choose Your Social Work Field
There are many areas within social work that a professional can specialize in. Some of the fields are mental health, school, healthcare, children, and families. Choosing a specialization gives you particular knowledge about the field, and you are in a better position to help the people in a targeted way.
Just like the medical field, a career in social work demands a social worker to complete an internship in their chosen area. An internship gives you the practical exposure you need before you officially enter the field. This is extremely essential as you will be dealing with human beings and their emotions. There is little room for error here.
Get a Master’s Degree
A master’s degree in social work is an added advantage in many areas of social work. An MSW (Master’s in Social Work) degree gives you additional expertise and skills in your area. Along with many colleges, nowadays you can also register for advanced standing MSW programs online which are as beneficial as physically attending college. In fact, an MSW degree is absolutely essential in some areas of social work.
Get Your License
A professional license is needed to practice as a social worker. Every country and state has different rules and regulations regarding obtaining a license. Mostly these requirements include a social work degree and completion of a certain number of practice hours.
Apply for Jobs
Once you are done with your license, now is the time to apply for a position as a social worker. You can get a job in NGOs, government organizations, schools, social service organizations, and even schools.
Skills a Social Worker Needs
A social worker needs a special skill set to deal with human emotions which can be very volatile at times. A social worker must be able to interpret the body language and nonverbal clues that a client might be giving. This requires a high level of emotional intelligence and a great deal of empathy and compassion. You must be a good communicator. Only then can you develop an emotional bond with the client.
A strong emotional bond helps a social worker to understand the needs of the client. Being a good communicator means also being a good listener. You will need to have excellent critical thinking abilities to analyze situations and come up with a solution for the problem at hand.
The ability to multitask and good organizational skills are a must as you will likely be working on multiple cases at the same time. It is very important that you do not get emotionally involved in the case. Emotional involvement can hinder your practical, rational approach to a problem.
Social work is indeed the need of the day. The increasing stress, anxiety, and problems caused due to the pandemic have led to an increase in the demand for social workers. It is one of the most satisfying and rewarding professions one can enter. You must ensure that you truly have the caliber and the necessary skill set to become involved in this noble profession as you are handling human beings and their emotional states. We hope this article has helped you decide whether this kind of work is a good option for you.