Maybe you just graduated and are looking for your first social work job. Maybe you are searching out the perfect practices or internship. Maybe you’d have been doing this social work thing awhile and are looking for greener pastures, we all go through the interview process at some time. I have had many, many, many, many interviews where the outcomes have ranged from ecstatically successful to horrendous. I have also been interviewing and hiring people for years. Hopefully, some of my thoughts will help you land your perfect job.
Happy Social Work Month! March is recognized as the month to celebrate Social Workers.
So if you are one of the almost 600,000 social workers or working toward being one, make sure to celebrate a little!
If you are thinking about becoming a social worker or really if you are thinking about furthering your education in any area – What is stopping you?
As a social worker, we care about people. We want them to live the best life they can. And…at least secretly – we are sure we know what the best choices are to get what we view as the best life.
It turns out though – that even though we are assisting people in finding their way – their choices and their desired outcomes aren’t up to us. One of the main tenets of social work is self – determination.
The National Association of Social Workers states self-determination is an ethical principle of professional practice.
“Social workers respect and promote the right of clients to self-determination and assist clients in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals. Social workers may limit clients’ right to self-determination when, in the social workers’ professional judgment, clients’ actions or potential actions pose a serious, foreseeable, and imminent risk to themselves or others.”
It is imperative that a social worker is aware of their own value system and beliefs so they aren’t subconsciously or subtly moving the client to the clinician’s goals. You want to act for your client’s best interest but who decides what that is?
When I started college I had no idea what career I would choose. Then, my first semester, the Psychology class I tried to add to my schedule was full. Disappointed, I signed up for a Sociology class. I’ve always thought it fateful I ended up in that Sociology class because it became the foundation for my entire career. I told a woman in my dorm about my Sociologist dream and she said “I don’t know if there are jobs in Sociology. You should go into social work instead.” With that push, everything came together. My qualities and experience meshed so well with the values of social work. I found what I was born to do.
Are you curious about your fit as a social worker? Are you wondering what qualities are beneficial to have? These are a few of the skills I believe are essential for a modern social worker.