A career in social work is challenging and rewarding. It offers the unique opportunity to help those members of society who need help the most. That said, social work isn’t a career for just anyone. It takes the right kind of person to thrive in this demanding and fulfilling field.
If you’re looking for a career in a fast-growing field that offers the chance to work in a variety of settings, social work might be for you. If you want to make a real difference in the lives of children, the elderly, the poor, and the mentally ill, then social work might be your best career choice. If you want to give back to your community and advocate for social justice from the trenches, you should consider choosing a career in social work.
Social Work Is a Rapidly-Growing Field
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the social work field is expected to grow by about 12 percent before 2024, which is much faster than the average job growth of seven percent for professions overall. Though most people think of social work as a field that helps children, youths, and families in poverty to access social services, that’s not all social workers do.
In fact, social workers do their jobs in settings that range from schools to child welfare agencies, human services agencies, settlement houses, hospitals, mental health clinics, community development organizations, and even private practice. Many social workers do help poor, disadvantaged, and elderly people to access the social services they need.
But many more social workers help people from all walks of life to cope with everyday problems. Some help the families of disabled and chronically ill people to access home health and other services. Others work in schools as guidance counselors. Some even work as counselors in private practice, or in mental health facilities, where they may help treat mental or behavioral health problems.
Because there will always be a need for talented social workers to advocate for the marginalized and disenfranchised in their communities, social workers typically enjoy a high degree of job security. And because social work licenses and degrees are usually transferrable from one state to the next, social work is a career that offers a higher degree of flexibility and mobility than many other service careers.
Social Work Lets You Make a Difference
Most people who go into this career do so because they want to make a real difference in the lives of those who need help the most. As a social worker, you’ll be directly involved in the life of your community, as you work to help its members solve their problems and improve their lives.
You’ll be able to have a visibly positive influence on the lives of others, as you’ll be able to help them obtain housing, food, medical care, education, and occupational or literacy training. You’ll be doing work that will directly and dramatically improve the lives and living conditions of those with whom you interact on a daily basis.
Social Workers Are Social Justice Advocates
If you want to improve society and advocate for marginalized populations, social work is the career for you. Those who have a passion for helping the disenfranchised and less privileged tend to thrive in social work roles.
You’ll be a powerful advocate for improving the living conditions of populations who struggle to assert their rights and access needed resources, including the homeless and the chronically poor, immigrants, and members of the LGBT community. As a social worker, you could be the one who turns a young person away from a life of crime, or helps an elderly person escape mistreatment in his or her final years.
A career in social work is one that will require you to give your job 100 percent. It can be demanding, frustrating, and emotionally wrenching work — but that’s why it’s also so deeply fulfilling for those who yearn for the chance to make a real difference in the lives of the marginalized, disadvantaged, and struggling. If you want to do your part making our society a more just one, consider entering social work today. Demand for good social workers is growing, and social work is a field that offers many opportunities in communities around the country.