A man in a suit holds up a heart made of yarn

Should You Be a Social Worker?

Social workers work in many different settings and help people with a number of problems. Social workers care about others and go into the field because of their passion. However, excelling in social work requires many other skills other than just a kind heart. Find out if social work is the field for you by looking at the skills social workers need.

Do You Listen to Others Well?

Good social workers listen to others before dishing out advice or interjecting with opinions. When working with people, it’s important to listen to all sides of the story before making judgments about necessary actions.

Are You Perceptive?

If you’re good at understanding social situations and perceiving people’s feelings, you may be a good social worker. Social workers are able to read between the lines and know when people need to talk about something, even if they’re not forthcoming.

Are You Good at Articulating and Expressing Ideas Verbally?

Social workers often have to explain situations to clients and co-workers. Being able to articulate issues and multiple sides to situations clearly will help you do your job more effectively.

Are You Understanding?

Social workers have to be empathetic of client’s circumstances and personal issues. If a social worker understands client difficulties, they are able to give more credible guidance and therapy.

Do You Like Having Regular Contact With Others?

Social work is a profession that requires you to work with many different kinds of people all of the time. If you don’t like being around people all of the time, social work may not be the profession for you.

Are You Good At Controlling Your Emotions?

Sometimes social workers have to make difficult decisions that affect people’s lives. This can be emotionally straining on both the client and the social worker. In these difficult situations, social workers must be able to control their emotions so as to not cause further situational stress.

Are You Organized and Easily Reachable?

Social workers often balance many different cases and clients. To do this well, they have to be organized in order to manage large workloads, and they also have to be able to balance communication availability.

Are You Good at Working in a Team and Working Alone?

Social workers work in a team when managing cases at the employing institution, but they also rely on individual decisions and work. If you’re good at balancing both work modes, social work may be a good profession for you.

Do You React Well to Change?

Many social work fields are affected by government politics and policies. This often means changing standards and guidelines that social workers have to be able to adapt to and balance.

Are You Willing to Invest In Your Education?

Not all professionals who work in service professions are social workers. Social work is an educational field with its own professional and ethical principles. The term “social worker” is only applied to individuals who have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in social work. 

Last Updated: April 15, 2015