While the economy seems finally seems like it’s on a true rebound, many 20-somethings are still experiencing stress regarding their job prospects over the long-term. From fretting over money, benefits and stability to the increasing realization that the typical office job’s perks aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be, the daily grind is turning out to be a bit grind-ier than many anticipated. More and more, many of us are just wishing we could find a way to pay our bills and do work we believe in. If you’re in the middle of a career crisis that centers on meaningful work, consider looking into social work. Stable, people-centered and essential, here are seven reasons why social work is a great career for people who want to make a difference.
Social Work Is a Stable Career Choice
If you’re someone who needs stability in order to relax and enjoy your work and life, social work can certainly provide that for you. Social work is a fast-growing career that’s predicted to grow by 25 percent over the course of the next decade — a growth average that’s higher than almost any other profession, and many social work jobs are also listed on the U.S. New and World Report’s list of 100 Best Jobs for 2014, which means a career in social work is desirable today and will likely remain so.
Social Work Really Does Help People
It’s no secret that life presents challenges to some populations and people that are more than they can handle on their own. Social work, because it provides much-needed advocacy and counselling services to individuals in difficulty and crisis, goes a long way in helping individuals navigate complicated legal, financial, housing, government and medical systems. A social worker also provides counselling services to assist people in developing better coping strategies, anger management, parenting skills and more.
Social Workers Help Society at Large
When your grandparents complain about the deterioration of society, it can be difficult to take their complaints seriously. However, there are a number of problems within contemporary life that are more pronounced than they were decades ago. From homelessness and underemployment to drug abuse and intimate partner violence, there are more people struggling than there used to be. Because social workers directly assist those individuals who are having the most difficult time manoeuvring jobs, housing, education and the like, they provide an impressive benefit to society at large.
Social Workers Get Paid A Decent Salary
While it won’t compete with a banker or doctor’s wages, social workers do get paid a decent amount of money to do their very important work. The median income for a social worker sits at over $20 an hour, at around $44,000 a year. Considering the education required to become a social worker and that most jobs within social work have room for advancement, your salary, responsibilities and benefits could increase with minimal effort on your part.
Social Workers Have a Lot of Options
Social workers have a surprising number of options, too. Whether you want to work with foster children, ageing Americans, the terminally ill, immigrants, the poor or battered women, there are jobs that will put you in direct contact with the population you feel most passionate about, so you can do the most good. You can also work in a wide variety of settings, from hospitals and government offices to schools and nursing homes.
Social Workers Are Well-Respected
Many people desire to do work that their peer group, family and community can respect, and social work is certainly that type of job. Because social workers are rightly viewed as spending their time assisting others, they are often held in high esteem, but helping others isn’t the only reason social workers often have such a sterling reputation. Social work is also a professional career that requires advanced education and training, which will garner additional respect from most circles. For anyone who wants to feel the admiration of those around them, social work is a great career choice.
Social Workers Grow From Their Work
Not every career choice comes with the added benefit of personal growth, but social work is definitely one of them. From increasing your ability to empathise with people in situations that are markedly different from your own to helping you learn the limits of your own ability to radically change reality, social work provides a challenging and fertile landscape for anyone who wants a life and work that includes plenty of positive growth and change.
Don’t just work for a paycheck when you can draw a paycheck and make a positive difference. Look into social work if you’d like to spend your time helping others live more productive and meaningful lives.