Dear Future Social Worker,
As you embark on this journey, always bring your authentic self to work, ensure that you work where you are celebrated and not tolerated, surround yourself with a supportive network of fellow social workers and mentors who understand the challenges you may face.
Seek out opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally, and never stop learning. Social work is a dynamic field that requires continuous self-reflection and growth.
Change can be uncomfortable, but this often signals growth.
Being comfortable with the uncomfortable is social work. Never forget that you have the power to be a catalyst for change. Your advocacy and dedication can help break the cycle of poverty, oppression, and injustice.
‘I grew up around social suffering’
Colleen shares how a childhood surrounded by poverty and injustice prepared her for a career in social work, in a post on the Social Work Community, our new online community for the profession.
It provides a gated, moderated space where you can exchange ideas and experiences with fellow students and social workers, without the risks of posting on social media.
Sign up to the Social Work Community now, so you can engage with Colleen and other colleagues.
Your commitment to social justice will inspire others to stand up for what is right, and your unwavering belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual will have a lasting impact.
Activism is at the heart of social work. You provide a voice for the voiceless. Keep learning and reflecting on how you can drive change. No matter how uncomfortable it is, you are a leader, so lead by example. Lastly, there will be times you might doubt your abilities, feel overwhelmed and feel like an imposter. But believe in yourself, trust in your abilities, never lose sight of your passion and purpose.
In times of doubt or discouragement, remind yourself why you chose this path. The world needs dedicated and compassionate individuals like you. Individuals who are willing to stand up for social justice and work tirelessly to create a better future for all including those in your profession coming in behind you.
Know that you are embarking on a profoundly meaningful journey. You have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of others, and I have no doubt that you will leave an indelible mark on the world as an aspiring social worker.
With great admiration and best wishes,
Colleen Simon, head of social work, social care, adult safeguarding and the Mental Capacity Act