Skills You Will Need as a Social Worker

Besides a passion for helping others in need, social workers require an array of skills in order for them to be successful in their career. Below are a series of questions to help you comprehend whether or not you have the skills to be a good social worker.

Are You a Good Listener?

Many times, as a social worker you will deal with lots of situations that individuals will often have different perspectives on. In order to thoroughly understand each situation and gain insight on the differing perspectives, you will need to listen to others and make them feel heard.

If you are someone who interrupt with opinions or advice before fully understanding all sides to a story, then you might have to work on your listening skills before becoming a social worker.

Are You Perceptive?

Are you good at interpreting and handling social situations as well as perceiving others’ feelings? If so, then you could very well succeed in a career in social work. Some people may not be particularly forthcoming when it comes to difficult situations they might be involved in; as a result social workers are able to read between the lines and respond accordingly to each situation.

Are You Articulate?

Being able to verbally explain complex ideas and situations clearly and concisely is also quite important to the success of a social worker. This is because social workers often have to address and explain differing situations to clients or co-workers, and often times the situations involves differing perspectives and issues.

Do You Like Being Around People?

As you have probably guessed from the title of the job, social workers are constantly surrounded by people. Social workers tend to work with a wide variety of individuals, families, or communities– thus if you don’t enjoy being around people constantly then social work may not be the profession to pursue.

Can You Control Your Emotions?

While compassion and empathy are often traits of a great social worker, at times many difficult decisions that are made by the social worker leave giant impacts on people’s lives. Social workers must remain clear-headed and calm to make the best decisions for their clients, as well as to not cause more stress for people who are already in extremely tough situations.

Are You Organized?

Social workers tend to work many differing cases and consult with different clients at once. Thus, one of the most important skills for a social worker to have is organization. Organization helps social workers be more present and thorough for each situation that are given to them.

Are You Able to Work In a Team as well as Individually?

Social workers could work in teams or individually, depending on where they are employed or what kind of case is presented. As such, often social workers will find themselves between both of these work modes — and success lies in being exceptional at both.

Are You Okay with Change?

Are you a flexible person who react and adapt well to change? Social work is profession that is constantly being affected by government politics and policies. Whenever policies change, the standards and guidelines that social workers are privy to will often change as well. As a result, good social workers must be able to adapt positively to these changes.

Are You Willing to Invest In Your Education?

To be able to become a social worker, you must have either a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in social work. To be able to practice everywhere in the United States regardless of license requirements that vary by state, you must hold a master’s in social work. Often investing in a bachelor’s degree is the very first step for people who wish to become a social worker.

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