Have you ever heard of an elevator speech? This is a short introduction you might give someone to explain who you are or what your job is. The idea is you will intrigue someone to learn more about you in order to bring in more clients or champion your cause.

It might seem obvious that mine might start with “I’m a social worker who…” And I am a social worker and I am proud to be a social worker but that isn’t how my elevator speech starts.

“Hi, I’m Julie and I have a passion to help people live the life they want to live.”  That is it. That is what it means to me to be a social worker. I support people in their quests to live their best life.  To live their passions rather than just getting by. No matter what your role is as a social worker – you are likely helping people improve the quality of their lives and you do it by meeting them where they are and with the dreams they have. I believe that life is so much more for people who live their passion so of course I want to help everyone do so.

The thing is, sometimes people in helping professions such as social workers, nurses, teachers and many others- know how to help others reach their goals but full a little bit short of making their own goals. I am definitely guilty of sometimes forgetting to take my own advice. Below are some tips to living your passion that not only can you pass on to clients but you can remember so you are following your own passion.


  • Figure out what your passion is. All the time in sessions I ask people what does being happy mean to them. People mostly struggle with the answer. Figure out specifically what interests you and what really being happy means to you.  How will you never live your life to the fullest if you don’t know what that is for you?
  • You don’t have to earn being happy. There isn’t a big scale in the sky making sure you have had enough hard times before you get to be happy. Struggles and sadness are part of life. You won’t be able to avoid them but they aren’t a prerequisite to living your life fully. You are worthy of being happy
  • Step outside of your comfort zone. Try something new. When we are uncomfortable we are growing. People often stay in less than ideal situations just because they are familiar. It is easier but you miss out on the exhilaration of new experiences and actually finding where you should be.
  • Remember that most barriers are of your own making. People find time or money for the things they want to do. Honestly look at what is getting in your way from taking the next steps in your dreams. You will likely find the roadblocks are not insurmountable – you just have decided to see them that way.
  • Comparison –Don’t do it. I’ve read comparison is the thief of joy somewhere. Remember that. When you compare yourself to others you only see the highlights of their life.
  • There will be ebbs and flows. If you have a bad day or don’t live up to your own expectations – remind yourself that this too shall pass.
  • Just because it could be worse doesn’t mean you can’t want it to be better. Yes – be grateful for all that you do have and all that you are. Other people may have more difficult circumstances or choices but you don’t have to hold back because your life is tolerable.
  • Time passes if you live your passions or not. We always think there is time to do the things we really want to do. We tell ourselves when we get older or when the kids grow up we will find the time. We think when we make a little more money or weigh a little less or finish this big project then I can do it. Most of us think there is always time but it slips away so much quicker than expected.

Give yourself permission to stop enduring your life. Live. It is time to go to learn to knit or open that business or go back to school or become a foster parent or go see Stonehenge. Now is the time to live your life.

March is Social Worker Month! All you social workers – know you are making a difference!