Life can feel busy and overwhelming once you’ve completed your studies at a school of social work and landed your first job. New social workers usually find their first year to be both exciting and challenging, as they build the habits and skills that set them up for success. These tips for new social workers will help you steer your new career on the right path to reach your goals.
The knowledge, resources, and network connections you gained as a social work student are important to reaching your goals, not just while you are in school but on the job. Refer back to books or colleagues for a refresher course as new challenges arise, and take full advantage of your educational opportunities, career groups, and colleagues.
Leverage Local Resources
There are many services available that are designed to provide help for social workers who have clients with unmet needs. There will almost certainly be clients in your caseload who are struggling with substance use disorders. Addiction is a treatable disease of the brain, but, when it is left untreated, all of the other help you have to offer may not be enough.
RecoverWell helps social workers find exactly the right kind of rehab facility or treatment environment for their clients who are struggling with alcoholism or addiction. This service matches clients, based on their treatment and financial needs, with accredited recovery organizations.
Set Achievable Goals
As you start your career as a licensed clinical social worker, of course you feel enthusiastic and want to impress the agency or organization that hired you. However, it is usually advantageous to start slow and avoid being overwhelmed by a large caseload of clients with complex problems. Follow your supervisor or manager’s recommendations and communicate with them on a regular basis about your workload. Look to them for social work case management tips based on their years of experience.
Develop Appropriate Boundaries
Chances are that you entered the field of social work because you want to help people overcome their own life challenges. Social work relies on your own self-awareness and will engage your emotions at times. Leaving your work at the office may be a lofty goal, but setting limits and maintaining an appropriate work/life balance will help you avoid burnout. You will need to set appropriate boundaries for your clients and coworkers to maintain your own resilience and mental focus
Find a Healthy Way to Unwind
Your job is stressful and can follow you home at night. Your natural concern for your clients and your coworkers can weigh heavily on your mind. Remember that you need to care for yourself first so that you can care for others. Many new social workers find relaxation in hobbies or activities like yoga, meditation, exercise, crafting, gardening, etc. Finding your own way to clear your mind of the challenges of the day will help keep you healthy and resilient for the obstacles of tomorrow.
Pivot with New Technology
Embracing change is a valuable skill in any career path, but it is especially important social work career advice. Researching better ways to use technology to streamline your processes will free up more time for helping your clients and managing your casework. Healthcare technology companies like RecoverWell are always innovating new ways to help people. As revolutionary processes and tools are made available to you, use them to become more effective and more efficient in your work.
Be Open to Career Opportunities
Your first job in social services is likely a stepping stone to bigger life goals and hopes for career advancement. By practicing effective time management and bringing your own unique insights to the table, you are likely to be offered more opportunities as you prove your skills and your openness to change. Make sure that you share your ambition to move ahead with your supervisor, professional network, and personal mentors. Keep your door open to what is coming down the career path.
Offer Solutions and Solve Problems
As you grow your network and access to resources, you will find it easier to offer meaningful solutions and guidance to your clients. Creating solid plans and reporting on their progress will help you advance your skills and your career simultaneously. Growing your skills as a problem-solver and focusing on realistic solutions not only helps your clients become more independent, but will also help you avoid work-related burnout.
How RecoverWell Helps Social Workers
As you start your new career in social work, signing up with RecoverWell will help you manage your workload. Contact us today or sign up online to have 24/7 access to the best resources for your clients who are struggling with addiction. Your drive to make a difference is empowered by your skills and connections. Let us help your clients move out of the system and on to more fulfilling lives without the negative influence of drugs and alcohol.