As a senior in WSU’s social work program, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else or entering another profession. While I was very happy with my decision to major in social work, I didn’t realize that was what I wanted to do until two years ago, when I was entering my first year of college.
Specializing in social work was completely my idea, without any outside influence. I knew I wanted to change majors and after going through the list of majors offered by WSU and doing my own research on the profession, I spent a lot of time wondering why it took me so long to figure out what I wanted to do.
When I was in my first and last year of high school, there was a lot of emphasis on choosing a career path, but I can’t remember a single time when I had someone talk to me. of the profession of social worker. While careers like teaching, psychology, and policing were important, I knew that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do.
Have you ever heard a teenager respond with the statement “I just want to help people” when it comes to what they want to do with their life? Because I did it, and not just once, but a lot, and it also came from my own mouth.
Many kids want to make a positive impact on the world but don’t see themselves in the typical helping professions everyone is talking about.
Many people hear the word social worker and immediately imagine someone abducting children from their family. Although child welfare is a large area of social work, it does not even describe the profession as a whole.
I don’t have enough room here today to give an in-depth look at social work, but all you really need to know are the core values of the profession; service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relations, integrity and competence.
Social work is about people and fights for the fundamental rights we all deserve. It helps people build better lives, relationships and communities and gives them the tools to live the healthy and happy lives they deserve. We work with all populations, from young to old, and believe in self-determination.
We don’t tell people how to live their lives; we give them the tools and resources to create and achieve their own personal goals. If you’ve ever been told that your heart is bleeding or that you are too sensitive, it could just mean that you were meant to be a social worker.
When I think of social work, I really think my goal in life is to help people and to be an advocate. At the end of the day, I know my job is important and I’m slowly making a positive impact on the world, one person at a time.
The profession is growing and in higher demand than ever before, with a projected twelve percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Social work is a very broad profession, with so many different paths to take and explore that you will never get bored or stagnate.
I urge schools and parents to start promoting social work with kids who just don’t know what they want to do, but know they want to work with people and have a positive impact on the world. Although I wouldn’t change my path, I wish I had known about social work earlier than I did.
We need social workers, and I am excited to be a part of the next generation in a field that shines a light of hope in a world filled with negativity and darkness. We need all the hands we can get; I hope you will join me.