If you are someone that loves to work with people, is often described as a people-person, and loves to help others and wants to make a real difference with your career, then working as a social worker could be the vocation for you. But there are some skills and experience that are going to make you better able to do the job, which is what today’s post is all about; how to get into social work as a career.
For starters, you don’t necessarily have to have a degree in social work to get into it, but it can certainly help. In fact, if it is something that you are really passionate about, then looking into an advanced MSW accredited online program could be a good idea to help you to move on from your bachelors and get even more knowledge and experience. But again, unless you want to go in at a high level, this may not necessarily be needed. If you’ve got the skills to pay the bills, what else do you need to be able to make it in social work?
You can read about something and read about something until you have memorized the words, but if you don’t have any hands-on or real experience then it can be hard to really imagine what the day to day of being a social worker is like. Which is why work experience is so important, not only for you to know what is coming, but for any potential employers too. They will be able to see that you have had experience in social work and will know a little of what to expect. It doesn’t have to be direct social care work experience, but any roles where you have had to care for others and demonstrate empathy are going to be good.
There are some skills that are going to stand you in really good stead when it comes to embarking on a career in social work. So when you’re applying for a job, being able to demonstrate these things will be such a help and mean that you’re more likely to get a job. For starters, being able to show that you are inclusive and respect diversity is important as you never know who you will be working with from one day to the next. Having good skills of judgment can be a good idea too, such as judging when a situation for a child isn’t right, for example, or judging what the best thing to say in a certain situation is. Other great skills to be able to demonstrate are:
- Communication skills. Dealing with a variety of different people each day will happen, so you need to be able to get your point across in the right way, as well as learning to be a good listener.
- If you are good at resolving conflict and want to manage this, then that is a great skill to have as you may end up with some situations that are a little contentious.
- Being able to plan your time, use your initiative, and manage your day is important, as there will be a lot to do and not much time to do it all in.