When you become a social worker, you work to uplift the lives of others and bring joy and happiness to them. You do this by providing them with solutions to their problems and delivering the justice that they deserve.
Just like nurses and teachers, you too work to help people who are suffering and enable them to overcome the challenges that they are facing. The thing that separates social work from nursing, teaching or any other profession is that you take into account all the aspects of people’s lives. You pay special emphasis on social justice.
A social worker not only considers the internal struggles of a person but also their relationships, their environment, family structure, community as well as the system that they live in and its policies that affect them directly or indirectly. A social worker analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of its people and the resources that are available, he then utilizes it all to present a solution that brings a good change to their lives.
Social Workers work with different people from all walks of life and in various settings like schools, hospitals, mental healthcare facilities, communities, and organizations. They get to work with children, adults, old people, men, and women.
If helping others is what you want to do in your life then all you have to do is to get your online social work masters degree and you can fulfill your dream of helping others.
Becoming a virtuoso
If you want to become an expert in any field then you have to develop some skills that are needed for that field. These skills are different for different careers. To become an expert in the field of social work, you need to develop and grow the following traits:
Empathy is one of the most important characteristics of any social work expert. You need to make sure that you develop this trait in yourself and maintain it. All the people that you are going to work with will be suffering from some kind of ailment or distress. They will come to you in their moment of crisis and you must be able to offer kindness, understanding, care and help so that they can overcome their challenges. To put it another way, you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes so that you can fully understand the extent of their problems and their implications in their lives. To do that you have to ensure that you make yourself as available and relatable as you can. If the people who come to you cannot relate to you or if they think that you are out of touch with their reality then they won’t want to work with you.
The work that you do will require you to show extreme levels of patience. Sometimes the cases that you will handle will be so complex and they may involve multiple parties who all will have different goals. Bringing those cases to fruition can take a lot of time, effort and patience even if the cases are not overly complicated.
There can be other issues too, like the people who you are dealing with are not as forthcoming as you had hoped or they are not eager to work with you. In situations like these, you have to make sure that you do not run out of patience and give in to frustration. This might complicate the issue more and bring harmful consequences for the people instead of getting rid of them.
You cannot do anything if the people you are working with do not trust you. Trust is everything in this field. Savvy social workers earn this trust by being completely honest, open, and reliable. The organizations you are working with should know that no matter what happens, you are on their side and they can depend on you in the direst of situations. When this happens, they will trust your advice, guidance and follow your lead. This is the way you can add weight to your opinions and ensure that you are heard. If you withdraw your support and love in the middle of a situation, you will break the trust and they will never trust you again.
It is a trait that is necessary for any career, but for a social worker it is of the utmost importance. You will be dealing with multiple clients who have multiple issues and you will need to make sure that you keep all your documentation hyper-organized so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to help them. You do not want to misplace a client’s letters or any other documentation and lose their trust. Organization and killer time management skills are the need of the hour for an expert social worker. If you plan well and keep your desk and your mind uncluttered and organized, there is nothing that you cannot achieve.
For a social worker to be helpful and good at their work, they have to be excellent communicators. Not only do they need to talk well, but they should also be able to listen well to what the clients are saying and deduce what they mean by it. You have to be an expert in listening and reading between the lines so that you can perceive their actual problem and do something about it.
Based on your listening skills and your perceptiveness, you will be able to chart out a course for them that will be the best possible option for them. The same is true for your observation skills.
To become an expert social worker, you have to remain objective in calamitous situations. There are cases where you cannot help but be embroiled in someone else’s problems and make them your own, but you have to keep your personal feelings aside and keep a level ahead if you want to help your clients. If you are not objective, your ability to make an informed and impartial decision will be greatly hampered and you will not be able to represent your clients according to their best interests. There is a very fine line that exists between empathy and objectivity and you have to tread carefully so that you don’t tip over.
These are just some of the characteristics that you need if you want to become an expert in the field of social work. Since you have joined, you already have these traits, you just need to develop them so that you can deliver the best results to your clients.