Social Work: Is it Worth it?

It has been almost two years since I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and I am beginning to doubt whether or not I want to remain in the field. What are my reasons you ask? The pure and simple answer is money.

Now, I did not get into social work to accumulate massive amounts of wealth. Anyone in the profession knows that is not the reality of the situation. We join the social work profession to support others; to help clients find their self determination and empowerment. I became a social worker for these reasons and more. Simply put as cliché as it might be….I wanted to help others. I wanted to make a difference in the world, even if it was one person at a time. I still do. Social justice, supporting others, is in the very fiber of my being. That fiber of my being is challenged by the mountain of bills pilling up, and the struggle of trying to make ends meet.

I have worked seven days a week, barely seeing my family. I have worked 2 to 3 jobs to the point of burn out trying to stay above the ocean of bills eating me alive. Frankly, I am tired. I am tired of not seeing my family. I am tired of compromising my well being. I am tired of living check to check. Are these thoughts and feelings selfish? I would say not. We talk to clients about recognizing their limits and engaging in healthy coping mechanisms to keep a positive well being. It is ironic we say these things, but burn out is so high in our profession.

As role models, I say we are failing to illustrate healthy living to our clients by living the opposite. I have decided to take a stand and say I will not compromise my well being. I am taking a stand to remember that I am human too, with wants and needs just like our clients. I am taking a stand to say as social workers we deserve more compensation for the profession we breathe. I am taking a stand not to live in irony. What’s your stand?

Written by Audrey Haven, LMSW
Staff Writer

 

Help us ensure that future generations of social workers do not have to make this choice. Please sign the Social Work Reinvestment Act Petition below.

The Social Work Reinvestment Act would support Social Work in the following ways:

*Competitive and fair wages

*Tuition assistance/loan forgiveness

* Recruitment and retention

* Continuing education and research

* National licensing/ title protection

Next Goal : 40,000

Social Work Reinvestment Act

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