Social work has become an important part of our society. To help another person overcome great adversity makes for one of the noblest acts one can perform. Not every career has a positive and as significant an impact as social work.

So, what do social workers do?

Most social work focuses on helping people, including the underprivileged overcome adversity or difficult situations they may be facing. Social workers practice with both individuals and small, large, or familial groups. With their skills and god-gifted talents, social workers act as part-counsellors and facilitators in helping the cases assigned to them. But it is not limited to just this. Many social workers also act as advocates, steering existing government policies for betterment, advocating for a better world with better laws that encompass the needs of all citizens and not just a select few.

Social workers are also agents of change.

Learning about and practicing social work can enable you to live a better life. To get a head start, you can apply for advanced standing MSW programs, venturing down the path to a whole new calling.

Here are four ways social work can help you master crucial life skills and teach you to be a better you.

Confidence and Empathy

Social workers have been at the forefront of civil rights movements ever since the 60s. Even today, social workers play an active role in ensuring equality and justice for people challenged based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, faith, political opinions, and beliefs. As a social worker, it becomes not only your responsibility to speak up for these oppressed, but it also becomes second nature. The discrimination people face halts their progress, keeping them from contributing to society. Ending such conflict by raising your voice is essential to focus on the bigger picture and achieving long-term goals. You help these people access all services and opportunities they need to thrive.

It takes a great deal of confidence and empathy to speak against injustice in its face. Being confident and empathetic is indeed a life skill that we require to make important decisions.

Patience and Perseverance

Mental illness and disorders were heavily stigmatised just a few years ago. Because there was limited knowledge on mental illnesses, people sent to asylums would receive inhumane treatment. Social workers have strived to change how the world sees the mentally ill. Over the years, the treatment methods have improved. Mental healthcare reforms have greatly helped in the destigmatisation of mental illness. As a social worker working for the betterment of the mentally ill, you ensure that the care they receive is in line with government regulations and focuses on productive recovery.

Mental health disorders can be difficult to treat and work with. If you are not a patient person, you must persevere while working with patients. With perseverance comes true patience. As an adult living in the 21st century, we are faced with difficult life choices, be it work or something at home. We are required to display perseverance and, above all, patience, as the two are the only way ahead. As a social worker, you get to learn both.

Responsibility and Ownership

Social workers in the US play an important role in the child protective services system. Many children find themselves stuck in abusive homes with parental figures who need help themselves. There are now laws that enable social workers to step in and rescue children from abusive homes. Child Protective Services can legally take custody of children and put the parents under the law’s watchful eye.

Parental neglect can be extremely unhealthy. Children spiral into patterns of addiction, substance abuse, and even self-harm. As a social worker, you learn that taking care of a child coming from a dysfunctional and disturbed household is indeed a big responsibility. And when you truly take ownership of the case assigned to you, you realise how much of an impact you are making in the child’s life.

Self-Awareness

As a social worker, you need to, in some cases, help people with addiction to alcohol, drugs, and substance abuse before you help them with familial conflict, academic complications, crime, depression, and other issues. With substance abuse, you have to understand your case. What are their limits? Are there any tell-tale signs that you can use to intervene? What specific treatment might work for them? Usually, people struggling with addicts work better in groups. Sometimes, a social worker is assigned to a small group for a more intimate and faster recovery on a personal level. You can realise, then, how great a responsibility it is to care for a person struggling with addiction.

Self-awareness is the key takeaway here. Understanding someone on a personal level helps nudge you to understand yourself. When you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, your potential and limits, you are destined to make healthier life choices. Self-awareness is not just a state of mind but a life skill that saves you more times than you may be willing to admit.

When you are self-aware, even the mistakes you make count.

The takeaway

Social work is a noble profession. To become a social worker, you can enrol in a master’s in the social work program or get certified online. Social workers help enact social change. If you have always wanted to leave an impact, you can do so as a social worker and more.