I began my life in the social work sector way too early. I sometimes feel as though I was actually born into the profession, seeing as how my parents have always been floating around in the fishbowl we call the mental health field. At times I become irritable and grumpy and it becomes difficult to see that positive ” end result” that we all hope for. I sometimes find myself wondering if I wasn’t destined to do something else. But eventually I realized that constantly thinking this way while simultaneously trying to care for others wasn’t the best way to get the needs of my own as well as those of the people I work with met. So if you feel a little stuck and disgruntled at times, here are a few tips I would like to pass on that help me get through the day.
* Leave your work where it belongs – at WORK. Many times this is easier said than done, but believe me, when I learned how to do this it made a world of difference in my own mental health as well as the mental health of those around me.
* Learn how to laugh at yourself and at life in general. In this line of work it is crucial that we are able to laugh at the interesting twists and turns life offers us. If we take things too seriously, it’s hard to get a clear mind and a stable grasp on what needs to be done.
* Get rid of those unrealistic expectiations. You’re a social worker. You’re probably not going to be swimming in cash, even if you do get that master’s. Know that if you go into this profession it’s very unlikely you’ll become a millionare anytime soon. You really have to like doing this line of work for it to be fufilling.
* Learn to tolerate or ignore the administrative edge. The social work system isn’t the best system. It’s confusing and, at times, extremely irritating.But if you become too disgruntled with it you’ll lose focus. Stay grounded with what you really want and need to do in order to help others get their needs met.
* Have a social life! Make sure that you stay active outside of work. Remember that your life should be more about who you are and how you enjoy life rather than what your profession is. Schedule time for yourself and your interests. Routinely pick up new hobbies. Be good to yourself.
Most importantly, just remember to incorporate patience in your everyday dealings with your job. Your co-workers, clients, and family will thank you for it.