Young professionals are often discredited for their lack of experience. Even worse is when someone verbalizes your age as a concern for your ability to do your job. We’re young, we get it. We promise we’re working on getting older but in the mean time, let’s focus on all the great things about us young social workers.
1. We’re malleable and make great employees. We just spent 4 years with individuals (whom we paid) telling us how to be social workers. So yeah, we’re pretty good at listening to how things should be done and completing assignments. Compared to “Betty Sue” who has been with the agency since the depression and “has always done it this way,” your boss is going to have a much easier time giving you direction. And now we get paid to receive it!
2. We’re doing double duty right now. Not only are we learning our role as social workers, we’re learning how to be adults on top of that. We’re trying to answer medical card questions when we are just learning about copays and detectables from setting up our own insurance. So next time you are frustrated with the social workers answer of “I’m not sure I’ll have to check and get back with you on that,” try to remember this and cut us a break.
3. Our hearts are driven. We haven’t yet experienced the burnout that Betty Sue talks about. The years of struggling to improve broken families that leads her to be hesitant in her efforts to provide services. We are loaded with energy and faith in humanity and we’re not afraid to use ’em.
4. We can relate to the species that is teenagers. Sure all social workers have been a teenager but us young professionals just freshly lived it. In my personal experience I’ve found this to be helpful. Looking like a 16 year old has helped several young adults confide in me because I’m more of a peer to them than Betty Sue.
5. We’re gonna show up. I mean, we’re less likely to miss a lot of work due to a weak immune system. Although some of us have maybe started a family, we’re more than likely not going to have to leave several times a week because our kids don’t yet have football games or dentist appointments… Or even teeth in my case.
Eventual these powers will fade out as we age but then we will acquire a whole new set of skills to make up for it. Betty Sue will retire, we will become her, and when those practicum students get hired on we’ll root for them because we remember our walk in their shoes.