Social work is a career it’s well worth considering. You have excellent job security, due to the high demand for social workers, robust pension arrangements and the freedom to mould the later stages of your career as you choose. After some time spent acquiring front line experience, you might want to move into management, running your own team and eventually service, and bringing that experience to bear to benefit dozens of social workers and the people they work with.
That’s perhaps the most common end-stage of a social workers career but there are plenty of others: some get into research, giving the practices of the majority of social workers a proven bed of evidence to work from, while others take that research and use it to inform policy that affects the lives of people across the country. Others, after a career on the front lines end their career in academia, training the next generation of social workers.
In order to get to those prestigious positions, you need to get those first jobs that lay the foundations of your career. Today we’re answering the question ‘how do you get work in social work?’
Temporary or Permanent?
If you’re looking for a social work job you have to choose whether you want a temporary or permanent one. Permanent jobs have security, of course, and the potential for development, so if you know you’ve made the right choice about where to settle, you’re going to want to get the best permanent job you can.
The flexible demands of social work mean that a lot of temporary positions are available that you give you the opportunity to gather lots of experience in different areas and positions. While they are often contracts with a set term, the temporary nature of the work is counterbalanced by more pay. Specialist social work and care recruiters like Sanctuary specialise in linking social workers with the jobs they need and that need them!
There are lots of different kinds of social work, and it pays to specialise. The law, and the help you’re able to give, varies depending on whether you’re working with the elderly, with children, with recovering drug addicts or any of the other at risk groups that social workers can help.
Many people get into social work because they feel a strong desire to work with a particular group, and you can help yourself get the jobs you want by focussing on this in your training. Push for early placements and work experience to be with a service specialising in the group you want to work with. This gives you a foundation not just of experience but also of recommendations and contacts that can help you establish the career you want!