Enhancing Your Education to Start Your New Career in Social Work

By on May 31, 2022
social work

How many times have you taken a step back and started to focus on doing something for yourself? Pleasing yourself and pursuing the career that you want (at any age) is much more important than being a people pleaser. Of course, to start a career in social work the right way, it is important to enhance your education and establish your motivation. This may be your second or even third career, and you want to be sure that you can hit the ground running and be as successful as possible.

Why a Career in Social Work?

Firstly, you need to establish the driving force behind a career in social work. For example, do you have the drive to help others positively change and improve their lives? Or do you want to use your personal life experience to improve and enhance the lives of others? Do you want to have a positive impact on the lives of young people, or would you like to play an active part in your local community? A career in social work will give you the opportunity to have an impact, and with this impact comes responsibility. Establishing what is driving you will keep you motivated (even through any periods of struggle).

Taking the Leap

Sometimes, actually making the commitment to start a new career can be one of the most difficult things to do. When you are steady in your current role or job, you may not want to compromise what you have. However, why should you let this hold you back and ultimately stop you from realizing your full potential? To take the leap, you have to be confident in yourself and your potential. If you are experiencing self-doubt, then you must work on eliminating this before you push forwards. When you take the leap and make the commitment, you will wish you had done it sooner, so start looking at changing your career and start by focusing on enhancing your education.

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Pursuing an Area that You Love

Social work is diverse in its nature, and there are not two areas that are similar. When you look at studying for this new career, you must decide what area to pursue. Of course, you have to love your new area, or else it will affect career satisfaction. So, would you prefer to focus on other adults in your community? Or would you prefer to work with younger people in the community, perhaps helping them to overcome issues within their family dynamics? When you pursue an area that you love, no challenge will phase you, and no obstacle will stay in your way. If you are simply just going through the options in a new career, you will find that you are looking for new opportunities a lot sooner than you thought you would.

Letting Your Passion Guide You

Your passion is important, and just because you are moving on to a new career, it does not mean that your passion has faded. Quite the opposite, in fact. As you learn more about the impact and difference you can have on other people, your passion should burn brighter than ever. If you are not letting your passion guide you and your career, then everything will feel like an uphill struggle – especially the commitment you must make to studying once again.

Why You Need to Embrace Studying

You cannot simply fall into the role of a social worker. You have to embrace studying to get the career you want. There is a lot to learn to become a social worker. For example, you have to learn how to approach certain situations, and you have to learn how to communicate with a variety of people and groups. This is, of course, not something that can be done overnight. When you embrace studying, you see the important role it plays at the start of your career and in your ongoing career too. If you are not embracing studying at all points within a new career, then you are not developing or growing as a professional.

What Advanced Studying Should You Be Doing

Now that you are aware of the importance of studying, it is time to start looking at what you need to study. An MSW online degree is essential for your new career, and this is something that cannot be compromised. Taking 3 years to commit to learning about the role ad responsibilities of a social worker and readying yourself for the role is essential, especially if you have no previous experience in this type of work. When you advance your studies, you enter into a new mindset. You start to see all slides on social care and work (and not just your own). When you can embrace all elements of the role and the career, you can then get more (and give more too).

Adapting to Studying Online

Even though you must embrace studying, you do not want to let it take over your whole life (or this will feel too consuming). To stop this from happening, you must look at studying online. Yes, it can be less sociable (as you are not attending a physical campus), but it can be freer, and it can certainly give you more flexibility too. When you study online, you need to be self-motivated and focused because if you are not, you will find that you will be unproductive. To successfully adapt, you must set goals, and you must create a study timetable. When you have set times to study within, you will be able to create a separation between your studies and your home life. If you do not create separation, you will find the two will engulf each other, and this is when the joy and passion start getting pulled out of your new career.

What You Will Get Out of Your New Career

Your new career in social work is your time to change. It is your time to make a positive impact and difference in the lives of others (both inside and outside of your community). However, it is also time to get self-fulfillment and self-enrichment. Feeling that you have made a difference, as well as seeing that you have made a difference, will give you a lot back at the end of the working day. It will also give you the motivation and stimulation to keep pushing forwards each and every day. When you start a new career (especially after a period of studying), you may find that you have high expectations – and this is fine. However, to keep things stable and sustainable, you must keep expectations realistic. If you are unrealistic with what you want to do and achieve, then you will end up burning out quickly within your career- and of course, this is not what you want.

Setting Career Goals and Targets

Once you have met licensing requirements, you are ready to start enjoying the career you have worked so hard for. To get the most out of yourself (and your career) then, you must start setting career goals and targets. Without goals and targets, you may find that your career is not as successful as you thought it might be. When you are setting career goals and targets, you have to make them realistic, defined, and achievable. If they do not contain all of these three elements, then you will struggle to achieve them, and this will then leave you feeling deflated.

Focusing on Networking and Making Contacts

You are not an island as a social worker, and great co-operation will help you to achieve more. To focus on great co-operation, you must focus your efforts on networking and on making contacts. Utilizing the support, advice, and guidance of other professionals and building networks will give you the chance to expand your horizons and develop as a professional too. You can learn a lot from other professionals, and you can gain valuable insights from networking. When you are making contacts, you need to look at making contacts in other professions, as well as those within social work and care, because sometimes diversification is necessary.

Improving Your Skillset

Even as a new social worker, you will already have a skill set in place. What you have to offer within this skillset will vary (According to previous careers, jobs, and experiences). However, moving forwards, it would be positive to start focusing on improving your skillset. To improve your skillset, you need to establish what you are great at (and, of course, what you are not so good at). If you are struggling with this, then seek feedback from colleagues and from those who know you the best. Sometimes development and growth can be difficult to undertake if you cannot see where room for change lies. When you are working on improving your skill set, you need to focus on one area of skill at a time. You also need to look at building your soft skills alongside your hard skills. Focusing on both skill sets will help to mold you into an even better professional – both for now and for the future too.

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Enhancing Your Education to Start Your New Career in Social Work