What do you want out of your social work career? That’s a tough question. I thought it was community mental health or solely clinical therapy. Before going to school I though social workers all work for child protective services. But there are so many options for a career in social work that there is no need to limit ourselves.
Social work careers might include working for the NFL, working in a hospital or school, leading corporations, or being a professor. Or maybe what interests you is starting your own business. Your business could be anything from selling your own products to owning a consulting firm. There is so much versatility in the social work profession, but finding out what you want out of your career is the first step. The simplest way to find out more about careers is to ask someone who does what you are interested in or something close to it. Whether you are looking for a job or not, attend job fairs and hiring events to expand your network. I must admit this is not always the easiest thing to do depending on your personality. Some of us are more outgoing than others, some of us take more time to get to know a person, and sometimes you just don’t want to talk to people. BUT meeting people helps you learn about so many opportunities or options you might not have learned about previously.
Another way to network is to use social media. I know, I know, you might be thinking: I try to keep my social media separate” or “I can stand social media”. Social media is another great tool to find out about career options, trainings, and learn about other career paths. There are so many helpful groups on Facebook for example that provide assistance for licensure, or offer connection opportunities. For me joining social work or mental health groups that are about the population that interests me has been so helpful. I get the opportunity to learn about certifications or trainings that I wasn’t aware of previously.
There are so many directions your social work career can go in, and the first step is researching (and researching again) your options. Even if you’ve been in the social work profession for years, there’s always something new to learn. You don’t have to be a recent graduate or newly licensed to seek a new path. Sometimes we stay in jobs or career tracks that no longer fit our needs. Start researching other choices and who know you might find the one or two or three that are right for you.
Remember don’t limit yourself or your social career and until next time…stay motivated.