Seven Best Tips for Newbie Social Workers
Being a social worker takes a lot of energy and the best of one’s personal qualities. Here are the top 7 ways to simplify your experience of being a social worker.
Take care of yourself
It is very important to have a very supportive team. I was lucky to have a supportive team, and we looked after one another so that if somebody was struggling we were always ready to help. Regrettably, with the increased popularity of mobile and flexible working team-work has become a rare thing. In case you don’t have a supportive team, create your own network of people whom you can ask for advice or help. Anyway don’t give all of yourself, because there will be nothing left for you and the ones you love.
Be a team player
Never forget that everyone in the team is important and plays his/her own role. In case you have mastered some new skills or possess a rare qualification, don’t develop your ego and think that you’re better than everyone else. Become friends with everyone and have a genuinely friendly attitude.
Use learning and training opportunities
Probably, after several years of intense study at the university and some busy years in employment, further training opportunities may not seem like something attractive. However, taking these new training and learning opportunities can open new doors for you. Don’t limit yourself to the knowledge that you received in the past. Social work is constantly developing, evolve with it.
Take the time to reflect
Reflection should follow action to make you take the most out of your experiences. It also helps to keep your mental condition strong and maintain your wellbeing. If all you do is just pushing yourself forward without stopping, you risk missing something really important. Reflection doesn’t mean being away from your desk for 2 hours. It can be as simple as taking a short walk or drinking some tea with your colleague.
Some cases will challenge all your being
Social worker’s profession takes its toll on everyone. Sometimes you will get cases which won’t let you sleep at night, but don’t worry. You will get through it. Remember about the benefits of team-work, you don’t have to take all tough decisions yourself.
Learn to explain what you do
A lot of people will think that you’re working with children, but if you work with adults, you have to be ready to explain to the average person the peculiarities of your work in a very simple and accessible language.
Understand that you have the ability to change things
Many social workers think that they’re just a tiny part of a great machine and that they have no power to change some things. This is wrong. You can bring the real change – you just have to find the correct person to speak to. The most difficult thing here is figuring out who is this person and how you can contact him/her.