Things they do no tell you in social work school

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer

 Things They Don’t Tell You In Social Work School

I love what I do, but I get a kick out of learning things on the fly that would have been so much more useful before that moment. Here’s my first attempt at listing some of these trends that you never knew we didn’t know. Feel free to comment and add your own :)

1) You can’t save everyone- I don’t mean this to be cynical or a reason to not continue to do what we do, but so many people still have the “save the world” mentality. Social work is a broad field and a lot of this is also what it is you’re doing with your degree. The truth, is much more likely that things won’t be filled with the “aha” moment. People will continue on their merry way, filled with bad habits, and your efforts will often go by the way-side even with your best efforts. What makes it all worthwhile is those few and far between wins. In a sense, social workers operate much like addicts, just waiting for the next hit.

**For this reason, and many more, don’t forget the importance of supervision. If you’re not getting it where you are, get it somewhere else. We need to continue to grow and learn in order to be effective social workers.

2) You should be grateful- We all know social workers get into the field for money and power….No? Damn, I must have misheard them at the college fair. OK, so we all know that social workers are often underpaid, overworked, etc. What we’re not told is that we’re expected to keep it like that. After all, we’re lucky to have jobs. This is the kind of thinking that hurts us. Put an unfair burden, take away benefits, raises, help, and other disciplines would storm out. Social workers are not only expected to make it work, we are looked down upon if we complain about it. It doesn’t matter that our expected salary is a joke, the student loans are equitable with those of much higher grossing professions.

3) It’s not the place to meet guys- This one might sound flippant, and it was never a reason why I chose the profession, but Holy mother of lady parts Batman is it a female dominated field. Now this gives a really interesting experience, but it lacks the diversity and different viewpoints in order to question and expand the field. It also ensures hilarity every time a male social worker joins the group. We instantly turn into the seagulls of Finding Nemo whispering “Boy? Boy?” But one thing that is still vastly apparent is that despite the ratio, a huge majority of management positions are still held by men.

4) Get off the couch- Social workers are less constrained to be clinicians than our counterparts in the mental health field, and we should take advantage of it more. Within a short time you’ll realize that social workers will be used interchangeably with: therapist, case worker, case manager, CPS worker, social services, and child stealer. Don’t worry about the last one, but the differentiation must be made that social workers can encompass a little bit of all of these jobs and more. Don’t get bogged down to a label.

5) We’re not all saints- You would think that everyone in the helping profession would be…well, helpful. The fact remains, just like all other populations or groups, you will have some good, some bad, some in-between. Everyone is drawn into their profession for their own reasons, and just as we ask ourselves what the client is bringing baggage wise, we have to remember that we all carry baggage as well.

Written by Courtny Kidd, L.M.S.W.
SJS Staff Writer


social work by LSE Library

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We can’t think of anything less fun than brainstorming words to describe your work skills—but it might be a smart thing to do. Responsible is the most overused word on people’s résumés, according to a new analysis released today by LinkedIn.

MORE: 5 Mistakes Job-Seekers Make

It beat out creative, which was the No. 1 most overused word in both 2012 and 2011. Here’s the entire top 10 list for this year (in order):

1. Responsible
2. Strategic
3. Creative
4. Effective
5. Patient
6. Expert
7. Organizational
8. Driven
9. Innovative
10. Analytical

Have one of those words on your résumé? Here’s why that’s not-so-great news: “If you sound like everyone else, you won’t stand out from other professionals vying for opportunities,” says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should hit up and just plug in a synonym, regardless of how stilted it might sound.

MORE: Don’t Forget THIS At Your Next Job Interview

If you really can’t think of another word to use, Williams recommends setting yourself apart from other candidates by using concrete examples to illustrate the fact that you’re responsible (or strategic, or whatever). On a site like LinkedIn, you can even upload photos or videos to help accomplish this.

Something to keep in mind—especially if getting a new job is one of your resolutions for 2014.

What Social Workers Make

What social workers make.   Adapted from the original poem: “What Teachers Make” by Taylor Mali with additional content by Regina Brett and BSW students from Park University.

He says the problem with social workers is like,  “What’s a person going to accomplish when they’ve decided their best option in life was to become a professional do-gooder?”
He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say
about liberals and social workers:
“They think with their hearts and have no sense of accountability.”
“I mean, you’re a social worker,” he says. “Be honest now. What do you make?”

And I wish he hadn’t done that
(asked me to be honest I mean.)
Because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and reality: if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what social workers make?

We make it possible for a child to fall asleep every night without fear of a beating.Or worse.

We make it possible for an infertile couple to celebrate a lifetime of Mother’s Days and Father’s Days.

We make it possible for a beaten soul to find the confidence and courage to leave their abuser.  And prosper.

We make kids understand that they are loved and wanted and important, regardless of the failings of a poorly funded foster care system.

We make a teen father understand that sometimes he needs to count to 10 and leave the room so he won’t shake his newborn son.

And later we make it possible for him smile out loud as he tells of gently feeding the baby all by himself,   at 3 in the morning. And then changeing a poopy diaper.  And still getting to his new job on time. Every single day.  For a month now.

We make it possible for someone with “chronic residual schizophrenia” to see past their demons. And we make it possible for an employer to see past a diagnosis.

We make it possible for a crime victim understand that it can be OK to talk about “it” for the first time. Ever.  And to know that they have a choice to do something about it. We make it possible for an ex-con to put down the bottle and pick up a job.

You dare to flash your Rolex and ask what we make?

We make it possible parents see their children for who they are
and for what they can be.                                                                                                    We make it possible for people imagine peace and justice,
We make it possible for them question what might be
We make it possible for them challenge what has been.                                                                                                            
We make it possible for them think and do and succeed.

We make it possible for a couple communicate so well that they rediscover love. Like they never knew it existed.                                                                                             

We make it possible for a person dying with cancer find peace with the past, and the present, and perhaps even with the future.

We make it possible for elders to cherish and hold tight to the memories of love and laughter even as disease tries to wrestle it away.

We make the forgotten feel cherished, the disfigured feel beauty, the confused feel understood, and the broken feel whole.

We also make them understand that if you got this, (knowledge)
you follow with this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by the color of your skin, the people you associate with, the depth of your faith or what you make, you give them this,   a taste of what’s real.

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a difference!

What about you?

You Will Need A Social Worker When…

You’ll Need a Social Worker. . . .

when you come into the world too soon. . . .when you can’t find anyone to play with. . . . when you are left home alone. . . .when you hate the new baby. . . .when you don’t think your teacher likes you. . . .when you are bullied. . . .when you don’t want mommy and daddy to divorce. . .when you miss your big brother. . . .when you don’t like how the neighbor touches you. . . .when you get into fights at school. . . .when you don’t make the team. . . .when your best friend moves away. . . .when you get poor grades. . . .when you always fight with your siblings. . . .when your friends pressure you to get high. . . .when you can’t adjust to the move. . . .when you can’t talk to your parents. . . .when you want to quit school. . . .when your friends don’t like you anymore. . . . when you didn’t want this baby. . . .when you feel like running away. . . .when your friend swallows an overdose. . . .when you are the only one that thinks you’re fat. . . .when you can’t find someone who speaks your language. . . .when you can’t forget the assault. . . .when you can’t decide on a career. . . .when your family pressures you to marry. . . .when your boss is hitting on you. . .when you can’t stick to a budget . . .when you want to adopt. . .when you wonder if you are drinking too much. . . .when you can’t find good day care. . . .when you think you are neglecting your kids. . . .when you are hated because of who you are. . .when you lose your baby. . . .when your community has gang problems. . . .when your kids want to live with your ex. . . .when your partner is unfaithful. . . .when you want to meet your birthparent. .when your disabled child needs friends. . . .when your step-kids hate you. . . .when your mother won’t speak to you. . . .when you just can’t face moving again. . . .when your spouse wants a divorce. . . .when you want to be a foster parent. . . .when your city officials don’t respond. . . .when your best friend has panic attacks. . . .when you find drugs in your son’s room. . . .when your job is eliminated. . . .when your mother-in-law wants to move in. . . .when your neighborhood needs a community center. . .when you find there is no joy in your life. . . .when your car accident destroys your career. . . .when you sponsor a refugee family. . .when your legislature passes a bad law. . . .when your brother won’t help care for dad. . .when your partner has a mid life crisis. . . .when you are stressed by menopause. . . .when your mom gets Alzheimer’s. . . .when you are caring for parents and children. . . .when you want to change careers. . . .when you lose your home in a fire. . . .when you are angry all the time. . . .when your nest really empties. . . .when your partner insists you retire. . . .when you can’t afford respite care. . . .when you can’t find a job and you’re sixty. . . .when your kids demand you move in with them. . .when your daughter suddenly dies. . . .when you are scared about living alone. . . .when you can’t drive any more. . . .when your children ignore your medical decisions. . . .when your retirement check won’t pay the bills. . . .when you learn you have a terminal illness. . . .when you need a nursing home. . . .

Life’s Challenges – Social Workers Are There For You!

Copyright by Darlene Lynch and Robert Vernon

Interviewing Errors

According to the CareerBuilder survey, the following are the errors job seekers make most often:

  • Answering cell phone or texting: 77 percent
  • Appearing disinterested: 75 percent
  • Dressing inappropriately: 72 percent
  • Appearing arrogant: 72 percent
  • Talking negatively about current or previous employers: 67 percent
  • Chewing gum: 63 percent