Careers in Social Work

Do you want to do something exciting and at the same time challenging. Did you as a child always felt that you should do something for the society? Then becoming a social worker is an ideal career choice for you. Social work is an exciting career options, besides, it gives you the flexibility to help people in diverse settings. By choosing social work as a career option, you can help to bring the change though initially at a small level, but which can go on to become a mass change.

Who is a Social Worker

A social worker is a person who has chosen to help individuals or groups professionally. As part of career one helps people in managing their daily lives, to cope up with different issues including professional, personal, social or natural.

Social work as a career can be categorized into groups based on the settings they work:
  • Social workers in hospitals- help patients and families understand and make difficult health care choices.
  • Social workers work with families who are experiencing domestic problems; sometimes by providing legal assistance.
  • Social workers help in developing, implementing, and assessing programs to address social issues such as poverty, child abuse and domestic violence.

Role of a Social Worker

  • Educate individuals.
  • Provide counseling to cope with illness, disability or death.
  • Provide legal assistance.
  • Acts as a link between individual and resources in the community.
  • Research on social issues and look for solutions.

Skills of a Social Worker

Compassion: Should be sensitive towards people. Since social workers have to work with people so they must have compassion and empathy.

Listening skills: Should be a good listener. You will be able to find solutions only when you know the cause for which listening is very important.

People skills: You should be able to work with people from different background. Having strong people skills helps in building healthy and productive relationships.

Trouble shooting skills: A social worker should be innovative in approach to solve problems.

Organizational skills: For doing any kind of work, organization is very important. It helps in doing work in efficient and streamlined manner.

Time-management skills: Social workers do a lot of work at a time, so it is important that they divide their time in an efficient way to provide services to all.

Pros and cons of being a Social Worker

  • Professional satisfaction.
  • Get to work in various settings throughout their career.
  • Builds self esteem.
  • Makes you humble and selfless.
  • Get to meet people from different section of group, community or society.
  • Learns to be tolerant, respectful to others.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Mediocre pay as compared to other jobs.
  • Have to work in varied and limited settings, sometimes unpleasant.
  • Concerns regarding their safety.
  • Emotionally stressful
Anyone can become a social worker, there is no fixed criteria when helping to others is concerned. However to those who wish to help others and make it part of living requires qualification in Social Sciences and related disciplines. To work with government and private organizations a candidate need degree qualification or higher in a related discipline. However, people from other walks of life are also required to join government and private organizations as social worker. Job roles varies greatly. For example; a doctor can join an agency as social worker to help people in living healthy. Organizations engaged in social work need services from all professional streams. The qualification to join an organization as social worker largely depends on job roles and responsibilities. However, a qualification in Sociology or related discipline is a sure fit to work for social welfare. In some countries you may need certificate post qualification to become a social worker.

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