Do You Want to Train to Become a Social Worker? Here’s What You Need to Know

Apr 20, 2020 by

If you have always had the ambition to become a social worker, now may be the time you start to make a crucial career choice. You’ll need to undergo years of study and placements to get to grips with the theories and practices of the job, however, most people agree that social work is an extremely rewarding job role that makes all of the hard graft worth the effort.

Whether you’re planning on working in a school, hospital or other medical location, there will be challenges to face, but each challenge will enhance your experience and prepare you for any situation that is thrown at you. In this guide, we’re going to provide some useful information to be aware of if you wish to become a social worker:

  • Use empathy

The best social workers can show empathy to their clients, by putting themselves in their shoes and understand the hardships they’re dealing with. This will enable you to get a better perspective of the support they need and how you will deal with the situation going forwards. However, it’s important to realize that there will be occasions when you will become emotionally affected by cases and struggle to let go of these thoughts when you’re not at work. Being able to disconnect yourself will come with time and experience, as it’s not as simple as flicking a switch in your brain.

In some cases, social workers need their own therapist to help make sense of their thoughts and reduce their risk of developing anxiety and depression.

  • Keep training

Social work is an open-ended field with a vast amount of job opportunities to find out about. Once you have qualified from a standard social care course, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have finished learning for the rest of your career. It’s usually just the very beginning.
You’ll progress further if you continue to build on your professional skill base and have the ambition to train at every occasion. Once you have obtained a standard bachelor’s degree, you could enhance your knowledge by studying a Masters qualification at Wilfrid Laurier Online. In doing so, you will obtain specialized knowledge, develop theoretical perspectives and boost your career prospects.

  • Ask questions

Upon first starting out in social care, you aren’t expected to know it all. There are times when you will feel swamped by your workload and may even have doubts about your ability to handle tough situations. Don’t worry – this is normal. Social care can be very demanding, and you’ll need time to adjust to the job.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need clarification on anything you’re unsure of. Being inquisitive is all part of the learning process and allow you to gain wisdom and key tips to advance in your career.

  • Make the most of the induction

After graduating and being offered a job role, you won’t be thrown into the deep end right away, so don’t panic about knowing what is expected of you. Although you may have all the theories and knowledge under your belt, it’s impossible to be prepared for real-life scenarios until you’re experiencing it. This is why you’ll more than likely be offered an induction period. You will shadow an experienced member of staff to learn more about the role and the work environment and perhaps even a meet-and-greet with the team, so you know who to turn to when you need guidance.

  • Avoid technical lingo and be dependable

When you’re dealing with vulnerable people, they need to be able to warm to your personality.On most occasions, you’ll be visiting their homes or in hospital, so there needs to be an element of trust between yourself and the client. Be straightforward but calm and avoid using technical wording in conversations.Never promise things to your clients you know you won’t be able to fulfill; especially if circumstances are out of your control. This will not only damage relationships with your clients but is also an extremely unprofessional approach to the job. If you stay true to your word, you’ll gain more respect.There will be occasions when you’ll have to make tough rulings to manage a situation. This could involve sending a client to the hospital, removing a child from a family environment and potentially proposing adoption. Most of these decisions will derive from experiences you have learned about within your studies or taking inspiration from similar cases.

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