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Why Choose a Career in Social Work?

Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Social work is more than just lending an empathetic shoulder to the socially disadvantaged and downtrodden. If you've been contemplating over a career in social work, read ahead to find out other equally strong and compelling reasons why you should go for it.
If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there. ~ Will Rogers
Why choose a career in social work? Well, why not? Of course, social work best satisfies the stirrings of your altruistic instincts, but there is more to it than just that!
Serving those members of the society who are physically, mentally and socially less advantaged than you and making them feel accepted, loved and cared for gives a sense of fulfillment so great that materialistic achievements come nowhere near it, if a comparison between the two is attempted.
Most of us have a latent altruism gene inside of us that preconditions us to care for others at various occasions. Remember the time when, as a child, you brought home a stray kitten or an injured bird, fed it and cared for it even at the cost of attracting rebuke from your parents over issues of hygiene and domestic cleanliness?
Remember those times when you gave a lift to an elderly person en route to office even when that meant getting late for work and straying from your regular route? What made you help that blind lady cross the road the other day when she didn't even ask for it? See what we mean?
We often tend to ignore this dormant caring streak and pretend to be tough and ruthless in order to appear fit for the proverbial rat race. However, there are those among us who prefer to be true to themselves and give in to their altruistic sides.
They seek to dedicate the best years of their lives towards making a difference in the lives of those lesser children of God whom the society often neglects in conformity with the evolutionary axiom - survival of the fittest - leaving them behind and often forgetting to turn back and see if at all they've caught up.
Today, there are a lot of career options in social work that offer ample opportunity to work with the neglected, silenced members of the society in a thoroughly professional and effective manner to enable them to live a better life and make them feel accepted.

Why Pursue a Career in Social Work?

Is altruism the only reason to opt for a career in social service? Well, no! There is a lot more to be expected from a career in the field of social work. These points will tell you all about it.

Personal Growth:

You grow as a human being, your sentient development gets rounded when you work with people who have been subject to adverse conditions and injustices.
When you work in an environment where you get to see the not-so-pleasant aspects of life, you get a reality check and come to appreciate all that you have in your own life. You come to count your blessings when you work in close proximity of the physically, mentally, emotionally and socially disadvantaged.

Time and Crisis Management:

Social work exposes you to a lot of cases that require time and crisis management and almost all social work organizations provide professional training to candidates who join them. Such kind of training prepares you to stay calm and conduct yourself professionally in situations of disaster and crisis.
These trainings also impart a lot of technical and medical (mostly first aid) skills to the trainees which can be put to good use in situations of chaos (such as accidents, fire and natural calamities) to help the injured and handle the mass panic effectively.

Career Satisfaction:

If working with the disadvantaged gives you a sense of fulfillment and makes you happy, you might as well give it a shot! Besides the immense psychological satisfaction, your hard work will get recognized and remunerated handsomely.
Yes! There's this myth about social work that it doesn't pay well, but the fact is that a lot of social work organizations remunerate the workers handsomely and the average annual earnings can fall anywhere between $31,000 and $65,000. You see, when you take care of the society, the society also takes care of you!

Making a Difference:

If you're anything of an average reader or watch good quality television channels (Discovery, Nat Geo), you must have come across stories about animals taking care of each other and adopting orphaned offspring of other animals belonging to a different species altogether!
Well, if beasts can show such a high level of compassion, mankind, having higher intelligence and empathy, should definitely put other fellow creatures before itself more than often! Not being compassionate enough just makes us worse than wild animals!
What better way to feel more human than make a positive difference in the lives of others? Even plants and animals make efforts to nourish themselves and reproduce, for God's sake! Making life better for others just proves how human you are!
Still wondering why to choose a career in social work? Well, there are a lot of software engineers, surgeons and marketing managers but social workers are not that abundant and the world can do with more of the latter! Besides - for those who want to out from the herd - not everyone has the balls to tread the unconventional path, the road least taken!
So, if you've had social work in your mind for some time now, it's probably a sign of your true calling. If such is the case, then you had better listen to your heart - you see, not everyone's gutsy enough to take risks that can change another's life towards the better!