Social workers can be employed in a variety of settings, from schools and hospitals, to medical facilities and nursing homes. There are also a lot of job openings available for qualified social workers because the field is always expanding as more people need assistance. But before you consider becoming a social worker, think about whether or not you really have the personality traits that are suited to this type of work.
Be Ready to Study Hard and Get an Advanced Degree
Once you decide that you’re ready to dedicate your life to social work, you’ll need to spend a few years getting the right education. In addition to getting your bachelor’s degree, you’ll also need to get your masters in social work from a reputable and accredited college or university, such as Rutgers University. You’ll then need to look into what your state requires in terms of licensure for social workers, and you’ll have to pass all of the requirements, including a state exam, prior to becoming licensed and fully qualified to seek employment. Therefore, if you don’t have the dedication required to study hard and for a few years straight, you should probably look into a different career path.
You Need to Have Empathy
Those who have a lot of empathy, or concern for others, will enjoy a career in social work. This is because the majority of the people with whom you’ll work will be in some form of crisis. You need to be able to remain calm, understanding, empowering, and caring with every person you meet, and you’ll need to be able to put yourself in their shoes in order to really comprehend what they’re going through while making yourself relatable.
You Need to Always Remain Objective
Even though you’ll need to show a lot of empathy towards others if you enter the field of social work, you’ll also need to be able to remain level-headed and objective. Otherwise, it will be difficult to accurately assess a difficult situation and come up with a series of solutions that will actually work. You can’t let your feelings override the ability to make informed and impartial decisions that will benefit your clients. In other words, you need to be able to refrain from judging those who do harm, and you need to follow ethical guidelines when deciding which legal actions should be taken.
You Need to Be Resilient
As you deal with difficult cases daily, your resiliency will be tested and you may end up suffering from compassion fatigue. Your emotional strength will be tested as you learn about your clients, who deal with mental abuse, physical abuse, poverty and financial problems, substance abuse, and more. Therefore, you’ll need to be strong and resilient so you can continue facing these daily challenges while making a difference.
These are just a few of the many personality traits that you’ll need to have if you wish to be successful as a social worker. As you can see, this field is challenging, but it can also be extremely fulfilling.