Social workers have the capacity to fight for the rights of those less privileged. Very few people in this world have this quality. The dedication of social workers is demonstrated by their unwavering commitment to helping others and making this world a better place. This drive that social workers have is what keeps them going in the face of adversity.
A career in social work is challenging, which is why it may not be suitable for everyone. However, for those who do make it through, it can be gratifying and fulfilling.
If you have the motivation to help others and are wondering whether the field of social work is for you, here are six compelling reasons you should pursue a career in the field.
But before that, let’s talk a bit about what you need to do to become a social worker.
Becoming a Social Worker
People generally believe that to become a social worker, you must either earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) or qualify as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). However, it is not a question of MSW vs LCSW but deciding whether or not you want to be able to provide clinical services as a social worker.
An MSW is a degree needed to be a social worker, while the LCSW is a license to offer clinical services such as psychotherapy. You don’t have to choose between one or the other; you just have to decide if you want to be able to offer clinical services, in which case you need to obtain the LCSW on top of the MSW.
A career in social work is physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding and draining. However, it is one of the most honorable professions in the world. For those dedicated to helping others, it can be a fantastic career. Here are the top reasons to choose a career as a social worker.
1. Help the Less Fortunate
Often the only difference between you and a person living in poverty is the family that you were born into. Your places could have easily been switched. When you look at life with that view, it really helps bring clarity and put things in perspective. As a result, you develop an inner motivation to help those that are less fortunate.
By pursuing a career as a social worker, you can directly help these people. You will spend your days finding housing for homeless persons, facilitating victims of domestic abuse, and placing children in safe environments. Every day, you will help those less fortunate and give them a better chance at life.
2. Multiple Career Options
From a practical point of view, social work is a growing field with many different career options. You can work at the forefront in sectors such as child protection, healthcare, and refugee assimilation. At the same time, you can also choose a more backend role, such as lobbying or policy-making.
If you have an LCSW, you can also offer counseling services to victims of abuse or childhood neglect and participate more directly in their recovery process. This way, you can work for a cause that you truly feel passionately about.
3. Skill Development
One thing that all challenging experiences have in common is that they become great learning opportunities. The same is the case with a career in social work.
As you spend your days providing support to people, negotiating with governmental organizations, de-escalating emergencies, and coordinating through multi-layered trajectories, you will learn many skills that will help you in your professional and personal life.
The best part is that these are highly coveted skills that are transferrable to many different roles and sectors. That means if you ever want to switch careers, the skills you develop as a social worker will be of great value.
4. Grow As a Person
A day in the life of a social worker often involves meeting with and handling many different kinds of people and situations. You will encounter people suffering from mental health issues due to traumatic experiences. You will come across children who have never seen a loving home. You will meet individuals who don’t know where their next meal will come from.
These experiences teach a person many valuable life lessons and help one develop qualities such as humility and empathy. The things you witness on your job will make you appreciate life and all that it has given you, and by working as a social worker, you will grow and become a better person.
5. Find Your Clan
We all dream about doing big things. However, more often than not, our insecurities and self-doubts stand in our way and stop us from unlocking our true potential. One way to keep yourself going and actually see your mission through is by finding people who share your vision.
As a social worker, you will meet many like-minded individuals who will share your passion for helping others. With their support and companionship, you can stay true on your path to changing the world and making it a better place for all of us.
6. Make a Difference
The biggest reason you should pursue a career as a social worker is that the world needs you and others like you to make a difference. Not everyone is granted the opportunity to raise their voice and take action for others.
Take advantage of your privilege and stand for those who need your help. Even if you can help one person at risk of disease, neglect, abuse, starvation, etc., as a social worker, you’re making a difference. Thomas Keneally said that the person who saves one life saves the entire world. As a social worker, you can be that person.
Social work is a service to humanity that can never be repaid. The importance of the impact you have on the lives of others as a social worker cannot be emphasized enough. If you believe you are ready to face the challenges of the field and have the drive to make a difference, consider pursuing a career in social work.
You may not make a lot of money or gain a lot of fame, but you will live a life that is fulfilling and rewarding in a way that truly matters.