Advertising
Advertising

The Real Reason to Be a Social Worker

The Real Reason to Be a Social Worker

You have the opportunity to be almost anything. If you apply yourself, you could be an astronaut, a brain surgeon or the president of the United States. However, what you should really, truly be, is a social worker.

Like the other careers I mentioned, social work is not easy. It is exhausting, requiring copious amounts of time and energy as well as education to care for clients properly. Yet, despite the social services bad reputation, there are dozens of good reasons to join the field ― but you probably only need one.

Advertising

The Other Reasons to Be a Social Worker

Before I get to the only reason you should want to be a social worker, I want to cover a few minor positives of the career.

  • Reliable pay. In America, the average social worker’s salary is about $45,900 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and though this is not an astonishing figure, it is higher than the average personal income for all of the United States, which was about $30,240 when last measured in 2008. For many Americans, a social worker’s salary is envious if only because it represents consistent pay, which many jobs do not provide. Still, plenty of young Americans decide against doing social work because they are dissatisfied with the seemingly low-income potential. However, social workers can become quite wealthy as evidenced by a number of unquestionably rich social workers. Famous financial guru Suze Orman is a trained social worker, and Oprah Winfrey’s independently wealthy beau Stedman Graham devoted his life to social services long before meeting Lady O. The key is to make wise financial decisions, apply your knowledge and experience to profitable endeavours, and always put people first. When social workers are financially stable, they can accomplish great things for their communities.
  • Fast education. Unlike other do-good careers, such as those in medicine or lawmaking, you don’t have to devote decades of your life to become a social worker. Entry level positions in social services require little more than a Bachelor’s in Social Work ― which you can achieve through online school or night courses at a local university ― and state licensure. In just a few years, you can earn a reliable salary and make a positive impact on the world. To move up the social work career ladder, you may need to seek advanced degrees and certifications. Fortunately, these also are available through accredited online programs, so you can continue to work while improving your career prospects.
  • Job growth. The world needs social workers. Especially in this time of social and political turmoil, millions of Americans desperately rely on social services to establish and maintain a stable lifestyle. Unlike jobs that are being outsourced to foreign countries (or worse, to robots) social services must be performed in American communities by empathetic American workers. As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in social work to be faster than the economic average; by 2024, there should be nearly 75,000 more social work positions around the country for you to choose from.

The True Reason to Be a Social Worker

If you ask a social worker why he has devoted his life to this type of service, he probably won’t strive to explain the benefits of the dependable salary or the opportunities to advance in his career. Rather, he will say something like this: It’s good for the soul.

Advertising

pic-1

    Social workers endeavour tirelessly to provide better outcomes for underserved communities. The poor, the disabled, and the otherwise disadvantaged can rely on social workers to provide light during the dark times.

    Advertising

    Social workers have countless stories of families who turned their luck around thanks to the help of social services, which gives them a unique perspective on the value of health, love, and support. Despite the seemingly low pay, long hours, and thankless nature of the job, many social workers can’t help but smile after a good day’s work.

    The Bottom Line:

    When considering starting a career, most people consider the hard numbers: The salary and benefits, the required hours, the potential for advancement. However, every year, more and more Americans are unhappy with the work they do. According to a 2013 survey by Monster.com and research company GfK, only about half of Americans actively enjoy going into work, but what is more notable is that over 15 percent of us actively detest our jobs.

    Advertising

    So, maybe the hard numbers aren’t really what we should be focusing on during our job searches. Maybe, we should think of better reasons to work ― reasons like purpose and pride that just might lead more of us straight to social services.

    Featured photo credit: www.usnews.com via usnews.com

    More by this author

    Who’s at the Wheel? Technology Causing Distracted Driving and Other Stories of Multi-Tasking Is Your Website Costing You Sales? Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim If You’re a Burned Out Entrepreneur There’s a Solution Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

    Trending in Work

    1 How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work 2 Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step) 3 10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity 4 How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch 5 How to Make Going Back to School at 30 Possible (And Meaningful)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work

    How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work

    There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

    The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

    Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

    Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

    And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

    I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

    In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

    What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

    There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

    When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

    Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

    • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
    • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
    • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
    • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
    • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

    If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

    Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

    Advertising

    Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

    Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

    4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

    You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

    The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

    To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

    1. Value Your Time Above Money

    There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

    When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

    Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

    By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

    If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

    Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

    Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

    Advertising

    2. Build a Network

    Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

    One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

    Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

    A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

    It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

    You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

    The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

    You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

    Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

    In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

    Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

    If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

    Advertising

    Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

    3. Believe It Is Possible

    One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

    If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

    In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

    A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

    Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

    If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

    They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

    Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

    “environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

    By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

    4. Put Yourself Out There

    You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

    Advertising

    Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

    Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

    If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

    Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

    Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

    You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

    The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

    Final Thoughts

    Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

    Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

    More Resources About Career Change

    Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
    [2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

    Read Next