Have you considered becoming a social worker? This can be a surprisingly effective career to advance your concerns about green living.
There is actually an entire sub-field of the social work profession called “green social work.” This profession deals with the concerns about the impact that fallout in the environment has on society.
Global warming has had a hugely adverse effect on our mental health. Green social workers can help address this concern.
Understanding How to Become a Thriving Eco-Friendly Social Worker
Social workers are dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable among us. They can play an essential role in the fight for environmental justice, helping to prevent and address the consequences of climate change through education, advocacy, community organizing, and research. Social work, beyond doubt, is an incredibly gratifying and meaningful profession. And the professionals of this field wear more than one hat. On a given day, these workers might acquire the role of therapist, facilitator, organizer, caretaker, advisor, clinician, case manager, or administrator.
These skills are becoming even more important as climate change and other environmental concerns become an issue. Green social workers can help people deal with the fear of dwindling natural resources, rising energy bills due to global warming and food scarcity.
The field of green social work provides you with the golden opportunity to bring the best version of yourself and learn various theories about human behavior. Not only this, but it also allows to apply concrete methods and pragmatic approaches to deal with unique challenges, particularly those brought on by environmental problems. Being a green social worker, you can lend assistance to people who have been victims of marginalization, violence, trauma, and oppression.
Therefore, it’s critically important to develop the core skills to enjoy a successful career as a social worker. Contingent upon who you are and what you do, some of the skills discussed in this article probably are inherent to your personality. All you need is to acknowledge their presence and cash in on their advantages.
However, other skills identified here may require a distinct way of learning. For example, formal education can help hone your extant skills. In contrast, the remaining ones may necessitate you to evolve professionally and personally.
There isn’t any definitive list of skills that you must develop throughout your career trajectory. Nevertheless, the article highlights skills that are indispensable for fresh graduates that become eco-friendly social workers:
1. Time management
It takes plenty of endeavors, dedication, preparation, hard work, and lots of tears to get acclimatized to a social worker’s life. Therefore, manage your time and acknowledge that you can only achieve a viable workload in a limited timeframe, especially in this all-consuming career.
While it’s important to acquire skills, higher education is another crucial aspect to fortify your profile. With proper education and experience, it becomes easy to secure leading positions in social work. Therefore, consider a master degree in social work online to set your career on the right foot and attain a work-life balance. Fortunately, online education allows you to study at your own pace. In addition, the degree enables individuals to gain in-depth knowledge and apply real-world insights to address challenges in competitive work settings.
2. Critical thinking
The social work profession is dynamic – one that offers jobs of all types and sizes. For instance, you may get transferred to a poverty-stricken community – one with a high ratio of early school dropouts and fully swarmed with drug addicts and alcoholics. Or you may get assigned to a healthcare facility where you have to deal with expectant mothers struggling with mental health issues. Whatever the case, it is a demanding profession with its booms and busts.
Therefore, it’s vital to build critical thinking skills. As a social worker, you should have the ability to recognize the nature of the problem and identify the solutions which will have a significant positive contribution. As with active listening, you can develop this skill through academics. However, in most cases, it is an innate characteristic.
3. Active listening
A significant part of a social worker’s job involves listening attentively. As a social work practitioner, you should listen intently and get immersed in the conversation to let your client know that you understand their situation. For example, ask relevant questions to your clients and analyze their answers in the proper context to collect as much patient information as possible.
Effective listening gives birth to trust, respect and shows that you sincerely care. And thus, this eventually helps your clients to get comfortable with you. Besides, active listening serves as a vital tool to create a therapeutic alliance. Moreover, active listening isn’t just about verbal; it goes way beyond this. For example, the tendency to pinpoint emotional pain in your client’s body language can help immensely.
Social workers advocate for their client’s rights and convey the issues to the responsible parties day in, day out. Being a social worker, you may either work in child welfare systems or become the director of social work agency. There will be times when you will have to communicate with insurance companies, healthcare providers, or supervisors. For this reason, it’s vital to possess excellent communication skills.
Therefore, try to be precise, transparent, and communicate in a way that sounds reasonable and makes sense to your clientele. Aside from verbal, refine your written communications skills as well. You should know the art of preparing accurate reports, writing emails, and maintaining recordkeeping. Communication skills don’t only prove beneficial while contacting clients and third parties. It is also critical in a legislative hall or courtroom.
5. Boundary setting
The quite common complaint most social work practitioners have about their careers is fatigue and burnout. Social workers wish to do everything in their capacity to aid people – getting in touch with every single contact and leveraging multiple resources. However, there comes the point when they eventually falter and collapse.
Therefore, it’s essential to set healthy boundaries and realistic expectations. Practice self-care since this field involves constant engagement with people in the throes of mental health issues, drugs, and poverty. Also, try not to develop personal relationships with clients to avoid the emotional toll.
Take the Right Steps to Become a Successful Eco-Friendly Social Worker
The field of green social work unquestionably is a challenging yet rewarding one. Therefore, if all these pointers resonate with you and think you have got what it takes to be a green social worker, this is certainly your calling.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that this field will probably expand by the year 2030, approximately 12%. According to the agency, the job outlook for mental health and substance abuse social workers is exceptionally bright, depicting an increase of 15%. In contrast, the job prospects for healthcare social workers might probably increase by 13%.
Therefore, gear yourself up for this future ahead and strengthen your portfolio by developing these key capabilities. Because when you play your part to provide the impoverished community with the roofs under their head, all those sleepless nights and countless tears will pay off.