Social work careers are not an easy option, and no one that picks them thinks that they will be in for a cushy ride. But these roles are very valuable to our society. Social work entails assisting vulnerable people to ensure that they are safe and that their needs are being met. If you are considering a career in this field, read on for an honest evaluation of some of the pros and cons.
Pro: Get to help people
The first thing in favor of a social work job is that it is a role in which you are on the front line of helping people. You will be put in challenging spots, such as getting a child out of a bad situation, or helping a person with mental illness cope better. You can be sure if you go down that route that there will be some challenging work, which will allow you to actually improve someone lives. There aren’t too many jobs like that round no are there?
Con: They don’t always want your help
The corresponding con of this point is that people don’t always want your help. There can be a lot of resistance to social workers. People sometimes feel that they are meddling in private affairs or taking control away from them and giving it to the state. You will come across people; that are resistant to being helped. But its doesn’t mean that with some professionalism and consistency that you can get through to them in the end.
Pro: Get to make a real difference
Many people are drawn to social worker jobs because they want to make a difference in their time here on earth. They want to feel like they have achieved something worthwhile, and that their life has counted for something positive. While this is a noble goal, it is also important to remember that you are dealing with people and individuals. Therefore your goals should not ever override what is best for them in that particular situation.
Con: Lots of responsibility and stress
The problem with a job in which you can make a difference is that it often comes with a lot of responsibility and stress. This is, of course, the case with social work. Although the emotional and financial rewards are good, dealing with crisis all the time can be emotionally draining. It is important to have a good work-life balance and find some strategies for coping with stress efficiently and constructively.
Pro: You are working directly with the people that you went to help
Some jobs are quite removed from the people they will benefit, like computer programming. But with social work you are dealing directly day to day with the people whose lives you are looking to improve. That means you can get feedback direct from them about the positive and negative of the situation and what you can do to assist.
Con: You can be too into your work
Like any role which involves helping people, it can be all too easy it becomes wrapped up in your work, and not have any time for yourself. This is definitely a danger in social work, especially if there is a shortage of staff in the area that you are working in. But it is important to take breaks for your emotional survival, which in the long run, will make you better at your job.