As a newly-qualified social worker, your mind will be swimming with questions, worries, and concerns, and hopefully, you will have a tutor from your degree program or a mentor within your first official place of work to turn to.
However, even if you are lucky enough to have a fantastic professional relationship with such a person, just as nurses never tell the details of giving birth to a mother in labor, there are probably things that they will, deliberately or not, miss out.
With this in mind, continue reading to discover some important pieces of advice for newly-qualified social workers everywhere.
Never Make False Promises
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice for newly-qualified social workers is to never, under any circumstances, ever make even one false promise.
Not only will offering more than you can actually provide lead to problems with your bosses and add undue stress to your working day, but saying something you do not mean will also get the hopes up of the service user, only for them to be dashed soon after.
Never Take Your Work Home
You may have heard the old cliché that if you do something once as a favor, then the next day, it will become expected of you, and roles such as social work certainly follow this line.
Even though emotionally, if you have had a particularly stressful day with a heavy workload, you will naturally want to ‘vent’ to your partner, close friends, or family members, in terms of your actual work, you need to leave it where it belongs – at work.
Never Work Through Your Lunch Break
Now obviously, there will certainly be occasions when you are simply too busy or the individual circumstance you are working under will not allow it, but as a general rule, you should always ensure to take even a ten-minute break in the middle of the day.
Whether you are spending the day in the office, writing up notes and planning your next week’s schedule and meeting line-up, or dealing directly with service users in the local community, a break is absolutely essential for both your physical and emotional health.
Never Think You Know Everything
As you are now only just qualified as a social worker, you will be unlikely to start to assume you know the answer to something immediately or be confident enough to verbally disagree with a senior or your social work mentor.
However, it is vital to remember that even social workers who have been practicing for many, many years still strive to learn as much as they possibly can. It is, therefore, strongly advisable that you embark upon a top online MSW program, which you can complete alongside your current professional role.
Never Lose Your Sense of Humor
As with so many jobs across different types of industries, always maintaining a sense of perspective, a certain amount of distance, and your valuable sense of humor is absolutely mandatory – but especially in this line of work.