A career in social work is an ideal path for resilient individuals who are interested in hands-on work that makes a positive difference in other people’s lives. You can get your foot in the door by earning a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an Emphasis in Social Work from Grand Canyon University. A bachelor’s can allow you to work in some settings, but most aspiring social workers find that they need a master’s degree too. Before beginning your academic journey, talk to established professionals in the field to find out what social work is really like.
You are Flexible and Adaptable
There are a lot of popular misconceptions about social work. It’s often thought that social workers primarily conduct home visits to check on the well-being and safety of minor children in troubled families. In fact, this is just one career possibility out of many. Social work is a diverse and dynamic field and to be effective at your job, you’ll need to be flexible and open to change. Consider whether any of the following possibilities appeal to you:
- Working with homeless students in a public high school
- Working with isolated seniors with functional problems
- Working in a hospital to advocate for patients
- Working in an adoption agency to assist future parents and facilitate good placements
It’s challenging to describe a typical day in the life of a social worker because their roles and responsibilities are so diverse. You could become a patient advocate and resource coordinator at a national health organization, such as the American Cancer Society or American Heart Association. You could even work at a juvenile detention facility, where you would help youth offenders turn their lives around and provide support and education to their families.
You are an Excellent Listener
Wherever your career path in social work takes you, you’ll be effective if you’re a good listener. Active listening is a skill that you’ll improve upon while working toward your degree. Active listening involves truly concentrating on and understanding what a person is saying verbally and non-verbally. You may work with disenfranchised individuals who feel that they don’t have a voice in their community. One essential aspect of social work is to give these individuals a voice, both literally by letting them express themselves and figuratively by advocating for their needs.
You are Mentally and Emotionally Resilient
You may feel drawn to social work because of a desire to help others and it can indeed be a personally fulfilling and rewarding career. But before you choose this path, you should know that social work can also be draining. You’ll have a firsthand view of the best and worst sides of humanity. You’ll hear tragic stories and it will be challenging to remain impartial. The key to emotional resiliency isn’t to be unaffected—rather, it’s to be able to bounce back after experiencing challenges. If this describes you, then a career in social work may be the perfect choice for you.
You can find a higher calling at Grand Canyon University. We offer an extensive selection of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in sociology, and we provide exceptional student support services. Click on the Request More Information button to get started.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.