Social workers are often left to handle some of the most serious and oftentimes heartbreaking situations. Whether it’s a child that’s being neglected or someone who’s been dealing with substance abuse, it takes a special kind of person to become a social worker. Social workers work in government agencies, private businesses, schools, police departments, courts, hospitals, private practices, and many other types of workplaces. They’re often asked to play a variety of different roles depending on the situation. It takes enormous mental and emotional strength to work in the profession, but it’s also one of the most rewarding careers out there. Below are just a few of the best traits for social workers to have.
Best Traits For Social Workers
This is easily the number one trait that a good social worker should have. You’ll be dealing with tough situations on a daily basis, so it’s important that you can be empathetic and understand what your clients are going through. Most social workers get into the field because they’re already empathetic. They might be the person in their friend group that everyone turns to when they need to vent. They also might find themselves wanting to help others even if it doesn’t benefit them in any way. When it comes to the best traits for social workers, maintaining empathy is a crucial part of becoming successful in the field.
Obviously, one of the best traits for social workers is to have the knowledge and skill set necessary to be a good social worker. In social work, it is a critical combination, as these professionals must go into their jobs with the right skills, training, and competency, but will also need to be modest and humble regarding what they do not know, and will only learn when faced with a particular challenge in practice. They should be confident when dealing with clients and should always remain up-to-date with the latest studies and trends within the industry.
Flexibility is also one of the best traits for social workers. You typically won’t be working the traditional 9 to 5, and your schedule will often depend on the availability of your clients. You’ll often be juggling a variety of different clients so you’ll often need to change your counseling tactics based on the person. Sometimes creativity can play a vital role in your career so you can solve problems to the best of your ability.
When working as a social worker, one of the best traits you can have is good perception. If you’re working with a client, they might not feel coming out and saying an issue verbally. In many cases, it’s up to you to decipher an issue based on body language and other non-verbal cues. You not only need to be a good listener, but you need to be able to read between the lines to figure out exactly what your client is telling you. Keen listening and attention to detail are some of the best traits for social workers to have.
Social workers are also required to have incredible patience. This job is certainly not easy, and many clients are quite difficult. However, it’s important that you’re able to maintain a calm, patient demeanor on the job. Your patience will help you avoid getting frustrated both with the serious issues you and your clients face and also with the people you encounter. When social workers operate with their hearts on their sleeves and do not take the time to patiently analyze their own opinions, as well as the stimuli they were faced with, they will be more likely to make costly errors in efforts to support their clients and the families around them.
A career as a social worker can be a very tough, but very gratifying career. It takes a special kind of person to help those in serious need on a daily basis. If you feel like this is a career for you, feel free to check out the thousands of licensed clinical social worker jobs we have available.