Social work is one of the most admirable career choices, and as such, it certainly does take a certain type of person to embark upon a career in the field. Whether you are merely considering social work as a career at this stage or not, you will certainly find this article interesting.
So, without further ado, continue reading to learn about the top skills needed to be a social worker.
A Natural Ability to Lead
Every single working day within a social worker’s normal life will be entirely different, not just in terms of the types of people you will meet but also in the way you need to handle them in order to move together and achieve a positive outcome.
When working with children, for example, your demeanor and approach will need to be entirely different from when you are working to help an older adult break free of a crippling addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Skills in Advocacy
The ability to professionally and confidently advocate for the rights and better treatment of your clients and any other service user in your remit is more a skill that you naturally possess rather than one you can learn overnight.
One of the fundamental principles of the ethos and morality line of social work is that the job involves empowering clients and service users, and without a strong working knowledge, you will be unable to advocate for people effectively and successfully.
A High Level of Resilience
Unfortunately, one of the normal behaviors of human beings is, when feeling cornered or being subjected to advice that they neither want nor care to listen to is to attack, either verbally or, in some rare cases, perhaps even physically.
This means that, when considering social work seriously as a profession, you should learn to develop a proverbial thick skin. Moreover, you need to be able to cope with criticism, the aforementioned physical and verbal attacks, and a high-pressured workload.
A Willingness to Learn
Another incredibly important natural personality trait that will stand you in good stead further down the line is a willingness to learn and to always strive to expand your knowledge base.
This is why, although not every single qualified social worker, certainly the majority seek to expand on their academic education in healthcare and social work. By far, one of the best decisions would be to apply for and undertake an online MSW degree, which can be completed alongside current professional roles and responsibilities.
An Awareness of Personal Boundaries
Obviously, personal boundaries do not only exist in terms of private and personal physical space between another person, but they also exist in terms of how and when you decide to delve into your client’s inner psyche and ask them potentially triggering questions.
Strong interpersonal skills are an absolute must for anyone considering a career in social work. An awareness of both emotional and physical boundaries is also necessary to be a successful social worker.