Social Worker: Career Development

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As Betty narrates her story to me, I am keenly listening and nodding my head for her to know that I am paying attention. For Betty to unload her problems on me, it means that she trusts me and knows that my judgment is right. When she is done pouring out her heart to me, I feel relaxed as I realize her case is not that critical. Sometimes people can confide in you in serious matters such as abortion and you are left in shock and anxiety, with no words to tell them. As a confiding partner, I first believe in Betty that her problem is genuine. Even if the incident is not that serious, I tell Betty that I understand her situation and dilemma. I acknowledge Betty for talking to me, because it is a risk she has taken as she does not want anyone to know how she slips out hours earlier which could mess her up. I then let her know that I appreciate what she has done. I let her know that I consider her feelings of confusion and guilt normal and reasonable. I let her lead the conversation and ask how I can help. When Betty asks me to do something that I cannot do, we talk over it and find another way of how I can be of help. I take Bettys worries seriously and that is why I express my genuine feelings by telling her to be careful as not to lose both the BSW and the chance to be a professional tennis player. I do not blame her for slipping out hours earlier or lying about hours in the library. Since she does not want to lose the BSW, I offer my help by advising her to look for a tennis coach who can accommodate her on weekends or days that she is not in the field. I respect every decision she makes and I remind her of her strengths and positive attributes.

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Bettys main interest is tennis and as stated it is a major subject in any of her conversation. Betty wants BSW to be her fall back just in case being a tennis player does not work out as planned. To be a social worker, one must have adequate training and knowledge about the field. Obtaining the right knowledge and adequate training in the field is important in your career development. Betty find slips out hours earlier and there does not get enough experience in the field making her unfit to pursue this course. A social worker needs to be organized as they handle serious paperwork about medical records. On the contrary Bettys first interest is in tennis; the field. She is not the kind of person to stick around the office all day organizing files. Flexibility is another characteristic that is needed for any social worker. Social workers find themselves working in odd hours or even receiving on- duty call. One must adapt to the new demand and be committed. Betty lacks commitment to being a social worker, as her full interest is in tennis.

Passion is key to a social worker. We all have strong opinions about what we feel right or wrong or how things should happen. For a social worker, one must have the passion to improve another persons life and enhance their way of living. They should focus and have the desire to helping others and going an extra mile to empower living of healthy lives. In any of Bettys conversations, tennis is her major topic. She sees the potential of her becoming a professional tennis player and making more than being a social worker would pay. This clearly shows that Betty is in the wrong career. She would not fit in as a social worker, as it is not her first interest. She does not have the passion.

Social work is all about self-denial as advanced by Freuds Psychodynamic Theory. While Betty may have her tennis ambitions, she should fulfill the pledge that she made to society when she made took social work. This involves putting the selfish ambitions of her id aside and doing what is right by society at large (Goldstein 1995). Money should not be her primary drive in her life goals but doing good should. She should commit to the requirements of her course to successful completion. After all, she can pursue tennis fulltime after she is done with the course and the two engagements do not have to be in conflict.

To become a social worker, it is all about passion and commitment. The time needed to be in the field is important as it will determine how competent you become. After the undergraduate studies, one is required to get volunteer experience relevant to social work. This can be in hospital, school or church among others. One needs at least six months of volunteering to become competitive during admissions for Masters Program. All states require a social worker to attain a license and certification before practicing. For one to be licensed, most states require 2 years of supervised clinical experiences or equivalent of 3,000 hours. For Betty who is pursuing a bachelors degree, she is required to have a minimum of 400 hours of supervised field experience. Therefore 400 hours is not too much as Betty puts it. This shows that she is not committed to the course since she cannot meet the requirement of 400 hours at the minimum.


Berman-Rossi, Toby. "The tasks and skills of social worker across stages of group development." Social Work with Groups 16, no. 1-2 (1993): 69-81.

Barth, Richard P., E. Christopher Lloyd, Sharon L. Christ, Mimi V. Chapman, and Nancy S. Dickinson. "Child welfare worker characteristics and job satisfaction: A national study." Social Work 53, no. 3 (2008): 199-209.

Goldstein, E. G. (1995). Ego psychology and social work practice. Simon and Schuster.

Kinman, Gail, and Louise Grant. "Exploring stress resilience in trainee social workers: The role of emotional and social competencies." British Journal of Social Work 41, no. 2 (2011): 261-275.

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